Shining Stars

Nicole Becker

"Nicole always has a positive attitude and finds alternative ways to meet students halfway to help reach their potential. We appreciate how Nicole thinks outside of the box to make the Alternative Learning Experiences (ALE) program a success for those students who have different learning needs."

- Nicole Becker, KHS ALE Teacher

Mitch Kochis

"Mitch has quickly proven to be a great addition to the Kalama secondary staff and its programs. New to the district this school year, his passion for supporting students and staff has led to some great changes and supports."

- Mitch Kochis, KMS Counselor & Coach

Julie Lee

"Julie is new in our attendance secretary role and has quickly become proficient in all that it entails. She helps ensure that records are accurate, students and staff are served with a smile, and helps the office run smoothly."

- Julie Lee, KES Attendance Secretary


"Jennifer really cares about students and, thanks to the creation of the middle school principal position, she has the time and energy to really connect and focus on middle school students and their variety of needs."

- Jennifer McCallum, KMS Principal

Bambi Woolford, KSD Para Educator & Bus Driver

"One person who always, no matter what, remains a shining star is Bambi Woolford... She does a lot for the District as a Bus Driver and as a Para. Bambi is an advocate for students and is always here. She is a great reflection of what true dedication is."

- Bambi Woolford, KSD Para Educator & Bus Driver

Jennifer Steward, Kalama School District Business Manager

"Jennifer is a kind and encouraging person in the midst of the 'storm.' Her commitment to staff wellness, despite her job being dedicated to 'numbers' make her a standout business manager and a great colleague for ALL district staff."

- Jennifer Steward, KSD Business Manager

Tammy Smith, KMS/KHS Life Skills Teacher

"Tammy’s dedication to working with the students she serves is making a positive impact every day. Her team is able to work directly in-person on individual goals with students to ensure they are not falling behind."

- Tammy Smith, KMS/KHS Life Skills Teacher

Billina Dolezal, Kalama School District Dean of Students

"As our dean of students, Billina works with our staff and students in a variety of ways. Recently, she helped KES spearhead holiday support efforts, which meant dozens of children and their families had a wonderful holiday where they might otherwise have had none."

- Billina Dolezal, KSD Dean of Students

District Custodial Team

"It is easily forgotten that there is a whole group of individuals who work tirelessly to make sure that our schools are safe and ready for use every single day. It's important to recognize their efforts that so often go unnoticed."

- KSD Custodial Team

Kristy Delashaw, Kalama Middle School Teacher

"Mrs. Delashaw has masterfully found new ways of connecting with students and families. She strives to create an online learning environment where students feel supported socially, emotionally and academically."

- Kristy Delashaw, KMS Teacher

Courtney Geier, Kalama Elementary School Nurse

"To be new in her position... during the days of COVID! She is doing a great job of assisting students on a daily basis while juggling the demands of tracking symptomatic students and staff and fielding all sorts of questions about COVID-19 and the 'what-ifs' and 'what-nows.'"

- Courtney Geier, KSD Nurse

Cory Torpa, Career & Technology Education Teacher/Director

"As the CTE Director, Cory is working with the staff and community business leaders to bring new CTE courses to Kalama HS and MS. Cory's hands-on projects in his manufacturing class are truly motivating to our students!"

- Cory Torpa, CTE Teacher/Director

Michael Ready, Kalama High School Teacher

"Michael is a new teacher to Kalama High School this year. He teaches HS/MS Drama, English, and History. He jumped in right away writing grants for the Drama program to help with purchasing new equipment needed for productions."

- Michael Ready, KHS Teacher

Melissa Wilson, Kalama Middle School Teacher

"Both in her role as history teacher and leadership teacher, Mrs. Wilson continues to creatively find ways to keep students connected both to each other as well as to school."

- Melissa Wilson, KMS Teacher

Carey Sweyer, Kalama Elementary Head Secretary

"Carey has jumped into the role of Head Secretary and is managing all of the pieces that go along with it. She helped facilitate a successful move-in and is very pleasant to all students, staff and parents."

- Carey Sweyer, KES Head Secretary