[singlepic id=36 w=320 h=240 float=left]A Clover Park School District teacher and a City of Lakewood employee were recognized for their efforts as a highlight of the annual Champions for Youth Breakfast put on by Communities in Schools Lakewood.
Elizabeth Davis of Lochburn Middle School was honored as Outstanding After-School Teacher and Desiree Winkler, Transportation Division Manager for the City of Lakewood was named Outstanding Champions Mentor during the event at Old Country Buffet Wednesday morning.
The two honorees were joined on the stage by their mentees; Joane Jimenez stood with Ms Davis and Manny Peters accompanied Ms Winkler. Both students noted that their mentors had made a tremendous impact in their lives already.
Gary Wilson, assistant CPSD superintendent, was master of ceremonies. Also speaking at the program was CISL Executive Director Dave O’Keefe.
In addition to the recognition of the two mentors, Greg Rediske, representing the Lakewood Community Foundation, presented $1,000 checks each to CISL and also to Caring for Kids. Presenting the checks, Rediske pointed out they were the first distributions from the Lakewood Foundation endowment fund. “This Foundation originally was established as the Lakewood Rotary Foundation and later expanded to included Clover Park Rotary Club. A couple years ago it was decided to broaden it and ask other community service organizations to join and make it a citywide foundation,” he explained. To date, the Foundation has received $400,000 and is hoping to raise $1 million so the earnings can be used to benefit the community.
State Superintendent of Schools Randy Dorn spoke very briefly during the 7 am event and the keynote speaker, introduced by Youth for Christ leader Dan Livingston, was Erin Jones. She spoke of her life as a black woman orphaned as an infant and adopted by a white family who moved to Minnesota.
Speaking movingly of the trials and tribulations she experienced, Jones said she had planned to become an attorney but decided to enter the teaching profession instead. Jones described her first days at a hilltop school in Tacoma where she was the first fulltime teacher after kids had run off 11 substitutes. She described being sworn at for asking a young girl to rise and lead the class in the flag salute. “And that was the best part of the day,” she added.
Rising above the problems, she stuck with it and today is still in positive contact with the young girl who swore rather than stand and lead the pledge.
Wilson ended the session by asking those attending to make contributions or pledges to the Communities in Schools Lakewood program.