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Whole Child Heroes

During the month of January, we celebrated our educators and staff who help every student feel known, valued and supported by recognizing them as a Whole Child Hero! Whole Child Heroes make a positive impact in the lives of our students by keeping them: 

  • Healthy: Whole Child Heroes provide instruction or conversations regarding student wellness that include physical, mental, emotional and social activities that support opportunities for students to learn and practice healthy lifestyles.
  • Safe: Whole Child Heroes provide a space that supports a sense of belonging and community building through intentional activities. 
  • Engaged: Whole Child Heroes provide students opportunities to express themselves, have a voice that influences culture/learning environment and be involved in school clubs, activities, sports or events that support a sense of purpose connected to their learning.
  • Supported: Whole Child Heroes provide every student with a warm welcome through greetings and relationship-building activities. 
  • Challenged:Whole Child Heroes provide opportunities to have authentic connections with students based on mutual respect, give feedback in emotionally-intelligent ways and hold students to high standards that offer them opportunities to succeed. 

Whole Child Heroes were nominated by their colleagues. See below for a list of our Whole Child Heroes and some comments about the impact of their work from their nominators. 

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Thu Ament

(third from left)
Deputy Superintendent

"Dr. Ament often work closely with various stakeholders to implement policies that prioritize the comprehensive development of students social and emotional development as well as academic programming."

Dasha Berry Whole Child Hero Award

Dasha Berry

Bonney Lake High School

"Dasha exemplifies the Whole Child Award that supports students’ academic success, career development and fosters their social, mental and emotional wellbeing."

Melissa Blanco receives whole child hero award

Melissa Blanco

Maple Lawn Elementary 

"Melissa intentionally addresses student’s physical, mental, social emotional wellbeing every day. She leads with a servant heart."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

David Brower

(third from right)
Assistant Superintendent

"David contributes to the overall success of the students by recruiting and retaining qualified, dedicated educators and staff. Ultimately, it's his job to make sure each child has access to a high-quality and supportive learning environment."

Anna Carlson holds Whole Child Hero Award certificate with students

Anna Carlson

Third Grade Teacher
Emerald Hills Elementary 

"Anna meets every child where they are at and provides avenues for all children to feel successful and accepted!"

Dave Coutts

Director of Facilities and Maintenance

"Dave ensures that the physical environment of the school is conducive to the overall well-being of students. This includes maintaining safe and healthy facilities, creating a positive atmosphere for learning, and addressing any environmental factors that may impact learning."

Jennifer Crandall holds Whole Child certificate with students

Jennifer Crandall

DLC Learning Specialist
Maple Lawn Elementary 

"Jennifer commits to knowing and engaging every learner from all backgrounds, social status, and cognitive abilities."

Four people stand together for Whole Child Hero Award

Cynthia Cuellar

Sumner High School

"For her efforts in bringing the Teen Mental Health First Aid alive in the classrooms at SHS."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Kelly Denn

Assistant Superintendent

"From a district level, Kelly makes sure fostering a positive and inclusive school culture, and ensuring a supportive learning environment that considers the diverse needs of each student remains at the center of our mission."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Laurie Dent

(first from left)

"Dr. Laurie Dent has demonstrated exceptional dedication to advancing well-being.  She leads our district in challenging students academically and being prepared to cross the graduation stage and success beyond."

Maurice Dudley receives Whole Child Hero Certificate

Maurice Dudley

Campus Safety Officer
Sumner High School 

"He cares deeply about the success of our students."

Andrea Grant presented Whole Child Award

Andrea Grant

Liberty Ridge Elementary

"Andrea spends time each day providing an alternate recess opportunity for students in order to give them an inside alternative to being outdoors. Andrea has taught multiple Thunder Eagles to crochet-a skill they love doing!"

Leslie Hartley stands with award as a Whole Child Hero

Leslie Hartley

First Grade Teacher
Daffodil Valley Elementary 

"Leslie has a true servant heart."

Diana Herrera stands with colleagues for Whole Child Award

Diana Herrera 

Sumner High School

"Diana is a key reason we have both the Teen Mental Health First Aid and Young Entrepreneurs program here at SHS."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Marilee Hill-Anderson

(second from left)
Community Engagement Director

"Marilee is constantly working on behalf of our students (and their families). She tirelessly works at finding resources to support individual students and their families; food, housing, clothes, gas money, propane, opportunities for students to share with Rotary and other community workers to meet individual needs, safe living conditions, school supplies, classes and countless other needs for so many of our students."

Dyanne and Johnny receive Whole Child Hero Award

Dyanne Jewett-Borst

Mountain View Middle School

"Dyanne is a constant and invaluable source of love and safety for our students. Dyanne holds all of our students accountable for their actions in a way that encourages them to grow and adapt to difficult situations."

Vicki Johnson receives Whole Child Hero award

Vicki Johnson

Tehaleh Heights Elementary

"Vicki is an unstoppable force who spends her life’s work enriching the lives of children. She’s a bright light for students who have a fond appreciation for her ability to connect, nurture, and empathize."

WHole Child Heroes Transportation

Pam Knapp (right)

Director of Transportation

"Pam meticulously organizes and maintains a safe and efficient transportation system for students. She makes sure that buses are well-maintained, drivers are trained, and routes are optimized for both safety and timeliness."

Pam Knowles hold certificate for Whole Child Hero

Pam Knowles

Crestwood Elementary

"Pam not only knows all the students on a first name basis at Crestwood, she also has a friendship every student."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Jeannie Larberg

(first from right)
Director of the Whole Child

"Jeannie plays a pivotal role in championing the complete well-being of all students. She is masterful at creating systems where each child is known, valued, and supported."

LMS Tim Luhring Whole Child Hero

Tim Luhring

Athletic Coordinator/Coach/Teacher
Lakeridge Middle School

"Tim provides a healthy and safe learning environment for Lakeridge athletes/students and helps to keep them engaged through participation in athletics. He challenges each to become better athletes and people and provides each with the tools to do so."

Junko Maekawa handed certificate as a Whole Child Hero

Junko Maekawa

Speech Pathologist
Donald Eismann Elementary

"Junko creates a welcoming environment for her students and their families."

Isabel Martin Martinez receives Whole Child Hero Award

Isabel Martin Martinez

Tehaleh Heights Elementary

"Isabel personifies what it means to be a Trailblazer. She spends a tremendous amount of time working with students from various backgrounds and grade levels. She will stop at nothing to help kids reach their full potential."

Kristi Martinez with Whole Child Hero award

Kristi Martinez

Bonney Lake High School 

"Kristi challenges students, offering some classes as college in the high school courses where they can earn college credits at the University of Washington while at BLHS."

Maria Montoya Whole Child Hero award

Maria Montoya

Teacher and FFA Advisor
Sumner High School 

"One notable impact of Maria's teaching is evident in the success of her thriving FFA chapter, boasting over 40 active members. These students willingly invest extra time in extending their learning and taking on leadership roles in agriculture, food, and natural resources."

Dyanne and Johnny receive Whole Child Hero Award

Johnny Moore

Campus Safety Officer
Mountain View Middle School

"Johnny makes ALL students feel welcome. He makes it a habit of checking in with students because he genuinely cares about each and every one."

Palaki with Whole Child Hero Award

Deborah Palaki

Bonney Lake High School

"She embodies what it means to a selfless educator!"

Joanna Parker with Whole Child Hero certificate

Joanna Parker

Victor Falls Elementary 

"Joanna's exceptional ability to identify the distinctive aspects of students—such as their preferences, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds—sets her apart."

Whole Child Heroes from Central Office pose for photo with awards

Bang Parkinson

(second from right)
Chief Financial Officer

"By ensuring financial stability, Bang indirectly plays a crucial role in fostering a positive learning environment. Her exceptional ability to balance fiscal responsibility with the educational needs of students makes her instrumental in supporting the holistic development and success of every child in the school system."

Keith Ross receives Whole Child Award

Keith Ross

Teacher/Head Football Coach
Sumner High School 

"Keith leads with his heart and passion for all of his students and athletes."

Picture of four people standing together

David Sandberg

Sumner High School 

"For his effort in bring the Teen Mental Health First Aid alive in the classrooms at SHS."

Jason SIlbaugh Whole Child Award

Jason Silbaugh

Head Football Coach, Assistant Track Coach, Teacher
Bonney Lake High School

"Jason provides athletes with a healthy outlet through participation in football and track. He provides a safe space for participants to thrive both athletically and socially."

Bryan Slater receives Whole Child Hero Award

Bryan Slater

Teacher/ASB Advisor
Sumner High School

"His passion to serve others stretches from the class, to our school and throughout our community."

Taylor Sloan receives Whole Child Hero award

Taylor Sloan

Kindergarten Teacher
Donald Eismann Elementary

"She has spent so much time, energy, and personal finance to make her classroom cozy and inviting for children."

Monica Swigart presented with Whole Child award

Monica Swigart

IB Coordinator and Teacher
Sumner High School

"Monica is known for being a genuine listener. She also spends time connecting with parents to advocate for their children to have a well-balanced life with academics and social, emotional, and mental wellbeing."

Matt Tan receives Whole Child Hero award

Matt Tan

Tehaleh Heights Elementary

"Matt is a hero to us all. Mr. Tan is everywhere - the playground, crosswalk, classroom, and hallways. It’s a testament to his dedication to our community and school. He’s a coach to his students and a mentor to his friends. Mr. Tan is a true Trailblazer who continues to pave the way for us all. "

Hailey Thrush

Sumner Middle School

"Hailey creates a welcoming and positive environment for our students. Student in her classes practice self-reflection and learn skills that will help them be better in life and in their careers."

Jenn Tobin presented with Whole Child Hero award

Jenn Tobin

Victor Falls Elementary 

"Jenn works tirelessly to ensure that each Falcon gets what they need: physically, emotionally, socially and academically. For some students, success requires more and she works hard to identify these needs and how that student can best be served."

Robi Turley poses with students for Whole Child Hero award

Robi Turley

Head Girls Soccer Coach & Teacher
Sumner High School 

"She challenges her athletes to be better soccer players but more importantly better people."

Peter Voilles presented with Whole Child Hero Award

Peter Voiles

Maple Lawn Elementary

"Peter's classroom is a safe space where students thrive. He creates an environment where every student feels seen, valued, and supported."

Phil Wallen presented with Whole Child Hero award

Phil Wallen

Head Boys Soccer, Basketball, and Cross Country Coach/Teacher
Sumner Middle School

"Phil forms positive relationships with the SMS students, engages them, and challenges them to become not only better athletes, but better people as well."

WHole Child Heroes Transportation

Jenn Willits (left)

Bus Driver

"Beyond safely transporting students to and from school, she establishes connections and has a unique way of offering families a sense of security and familiarity."

LMS Student Support Team with Whole Child Hero certificates

Student Support Team: Lakeridge Middle

Mari Lysne, Counselor
Kristina Palagruti, Behavior Specialist
Tara Bohl, Dean of Students
Gina Rice, Counselor

"Mari, Gina, Tara & Kristina work together closely to support our most at-risk students at Lakeridge. They provide so many services and systems of support for students and families that support their ability to attend school, feel safe and supported and teach fundamental SEL & emotional health skills and strategies."