The Best of the Best Honored in Gold Star Awards Ceremony

Story by Janet Grella with photos by Michael Brunk

Over 300 supporters of the Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence gathered at the DoubleTree Guest Suites in Southcenter on Friday, May 21st to celebrate the Tenth Annual Gold Star Awards for the Highline School District.

The highly supportive audience was also told that the foundation has raised over $1 million in its 10-year history. These donations have funded many opportunities for teachers and students that they may not have had otherwise.

Honored Gold Star recipients were:

Rick Hardwood

Outstanding Administrator – Rick Harwood, Principal at Global Connections High School. Mr. Harwood was honored as he “embodies all the traits of a knowledgeable, dedicated, caring and hard-working principal. All his actions and energies are centered around creating kind, intelligent, thoughtful and action-oriented young adults.”

Jacqueline Faundez

Outstanding Classified Employee – Jacqueline Faundez, Cedarhurst Elementary. The Gold Star committee found Ms. Faundez “an especially effective advocate for our students most in need, regardless of home language or background. As an ELL tutor, Jacqueline is a professional in every sense – good at what she does and continually striving to improve.”

Carlyn Roedell

Outstanding Teacher – Carlyn Roedell, Bow Lake Elementary. Ms Roedell was chosen as she is “the paragon of an effective teacher. She loves to learn and she loves to teach. Her students are inspired by her enthusiasm, joy, and hard work. The test results back up her success.”

Klara & Braxton Dunn

Outstanding Volunteers – Klara & Braxton Dunn, Gregory Heights Elementary were selected due to “their dedication, belief in children, and high standards, which led them to introduce themselves and ask to help out ten years ago. They have a passion for inspiring youngsters.”

Reba Gilman

The last award in this annual fund raising event was for Lifetime Achievement and was awarded to Reba Gilman, CEO/Principal of Aviation High School. Ms. Gilman spent 16 years at Seatac’s Occupational Skills Center prior to becoming the first Principal of Highline’s Aviation High School. The award was presented by Tom Russell, Emeritus Trustee for the Foundation.

Musical entertainment included harpist Clara McMichael from Pacific Middle School and Mt. Rainier High School’s “Music Company” directed by Sara Stricherz. The guests enjoyed a wide variety of song and dance from this award winning choir during lunch.

The Master of Ceremonies was Peter Fewing. Besides being a proud Pirate and Highline High School graduate. Mr. Fewing is known around the Northwest for Peter Fewing Soccer Camps and his broadcast on 710 ESPN radio, talking about what else, but Soccer. He is also coach of the Kitsap Pumas.

Boeing was the Executive Event Sponsor. Event Sponsors included Rogers and Norman, Saint-Gobain Containers and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Photographer Michael Brunk assembled this slideshow with additional scenes from the awards luncheon.

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Click to Play Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

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