4 recipients of Kalama School District's Stars of Education Awards

A group of Kalama School District staff members were recognized for their outstanding achievements on Wednesday (6/12) afternoon at the district’s 2024 Stars of Education Awards. 

The awards are meant to honor employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, exemplary leadership, collaboration, and dedication to student growth and positive outcomes.

Award categories and recipient(s) are:

Outstanding Dedication Award: Jessica Shoup, KHS Science Teacher

The Outstanding Dedication Award is given to someone who willingly takes on additional responsibilities, actively seeks opportunities for professional growth, and proactively contributes to the overall success of Kalama schools. They are known for their willingness to assist colleagues, mentor new staff, and collaborate with others to enhance the student experience.

PLC Leadership Award: Randi Decker, KES Kindergarten Teacher; Tim Swett, KMS Math Teacher; Caitlin Sonn, KHS English Teacher

The PLC Leadership Award award honors one staff member from each of our schools who have embraced the collaborative spirit of PLCs (Professional Learning Committees), taking on a leadership role to drive positive change and professional growth among their colleagues. It honors their outstanding contributions in cultivating a culture of collaboration, promoting effective teaching practices, and advancing student achievement through the power of collective learning.

School Spirit Award: Jeff Taylor, KES Paraeducator; Kenya Nigro, KMS Science Teacher; Dan Uhlenkott KMS/KHS Dean of Students

The School Spirit Award honors staff members at Kalama Elementary School, Kalama Middle School, and Kalama High School for their vibrant spirit, positive attitude, and ability to inspire and uplift both students and colleagues. The award inspires other staff members to embrace a similar spirit, fostering an environment where learning becomes a joyful journey filled with excitement, positivity, and limitless possibilities.

Supporter of the Year Award: KSD Culture Club

The Supporter of the Year Award is presented to an individual or group within the district that has demonstrated exceptional dedication, commitment, and support to the success and advancement of our schools. The award celebrates their significant contributions, partnership, and unwavering advocacy for the district's mission, goals, and the overall well-being of students and staff.

Community Partner of the Year Award: Port of Kalama

The Community Partner of the Year Award honors outstanding collaboration and support from a local business, organization, or individual. This award recognizes partners who have significantly contributed to the district's educational mission through innovative programs or projects, donations, or volunteer efforts. These contributions enhance student learning experiences, foster community engagement, and support the overall success and well-being of students and staff within the district.

Volunteer of the Year Award: Judy Bergthold, KES Paraeducator

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual – a staff member or non-staff member – who has demonstrated exceptional dedication, selflessness, and a commitment to serving Kalama School District and its students through volunteer efforts. Whether before, during or after school, the recipient of this award exhibits a willingness to give personal time to enhance the educational environment and build a stronger, more connected school community.

Unsung Hero Award: Stacy Jackson, KMS/KHS Secretary

The Unsung Hero Award is awarded to someone who consistently demonstrates exceptional dedication, commitment, and a genuine passion for their work. They may be an administrative staff member, a custodian, a bus driver, a cafeteria worker, or any other staff member who plays a vital role in the functioning of the school, yet often remains unseen. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, the recipient of this award helps to ensure the smooth operation of their school, and without a doubt, positively impacts the lives of students and staff.

We congratulate all of the award recipients, and thank each and every one of our staff members for their hard work and dedication throughout the school year!

Staff service milestones

Prior to the Stars of Education event, the district recognized the following staff members for reaching a 5-year milestone in terms of years of service in the district:

5 years of service:

  • Sara Cameron

  • Kimberly Crumpacker

  • Kalyn Dolan

  • Bonnie Dunn

  • Marsha Ives

  • Maria Londono

  • Ronda Smith

10 years of service: 

  • Cathy Brown-Bergmann

  • Rebecca Edgecomb

  • Emmy Hodges

  • Alice Trevino

25 years of service:

  • Jody Stemkoski

  • Joe Martin