A teacher in the Steilacoom Historical School District and one in the Clover Park School District were honored recently by the Rotary Club of Lakewood. Recognized for their efforts were Coley Fannin, counselor at Steilacoom’s Chloe Clark Elementary School and Clover Park’s Nick Helmer, on the staff at Beechwood Elementary.
“Chloe Clark opened in September of 2001, a few days before 9/11 and a short time before the war in Iraq began. As a result, the school has been particularly hard hit by US Army and Air Force deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In his role as counselor, Fannin has helped students, faculty and families all cope better,” according to the award nomination information provided by Gary L. Yoho, school principal.
He conducts a variety of counseling groups each week, including a deployment group that works with children whose parents are deployed, a divorce group, and a group that works with issues related to friendship, the principal added.
Fannin has been with the district for only three years and his efforts were recently featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
Nick Helmer has been in the Clover Park District for 34 years and is currently at Beechwood Elementary School.
He has served on numerous committees and taken leadership roles in various capacities and has actively participated in the district’s new teacher mentor program helping 1st and 2nd year teachers make a smooth transition into the teaching profession, according to Patty Mitchell, principal.
A few years ago he moved from his duties as a 3rd grade classroom teacher to teaching physical education to students at Beachwood. In his role as PE teacher Helmer uses grade level curriculum maps and works closely with classroom teachers to integrate math, language arts and social studies goals into his PE curriculum. He has gone out of his way to locate equipment, which he borrows, to make it possible for students to learn recreational sports skills like bowling and golf right on at the school, the principal said.
The teachers were recognized for these efforts by the 135 member Rotary Club which meets every Friday noon at Tacoma Country & Golf Club.