Meritorious Service Awards » 2016 Recipients

2016 Recipients

"How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare

Meritorious Service nominees were recognized by School Board members during special celebrations held in March 2016 in each CVSD school or building. On March 28, 2016, the board announced and presented district-wide Meritorious Service Award honorees in each category. The recipients were selected by board members from those nominated by colleagues, students, and parents below.

Congratulations to CVSD's 2016 District-Wide Meritorious Service Award Honorees: 


(Pictured L-R): Deputy Superintendant Jay Rowell, Planning Principal Jerrol Olson, Evergreen MS Assistant Secretary Marci Highley, Greenacres MS Counselor Janet McDonald, Opportunity Teacher Brandon Dunn, Evergreen Head Secretary Janet Hall, Valley Assembly Pastor Kent Mankins. Not pictured: Gonzaga Law School Jeff Geldien.

Brandon Dunn, Certificated Teacher, Opportunity Elementary: 

Brandon goes above and beyond in making connections with parents, students, staff and the community. He recently worked with a team from Active4Youth to implement the district-wide cross country program. Brandon provided suggestions how to make the program work, trained teachers, worked on grant monies, and helped run a very successful program—giving 1,200 CVSD students an opportunity they may never have had. Brandon works extremely hard to provide the best for all students in this district. The program turnout was incredible and helped promote physical activity after school. By nature, he is extremely positive and hardworking. CVSD is lucky to have him on the team.

Janet McDonald, Certificated Counselor, Greenacres Middle School:

Janet's heart for students is unparalleled, and students love her.  She shows a genuine interest in their welfare and goes to great lengths to assure they’re given every support and opportunity—both academically as well as socially and emotionally. She’s an amazing counselor with impeccable skills, who sacrifices of herself for students every day. An excellent listener, she has genuine compassion for people. Every interaction exudes her caring for others.

She makes school fun by celebrating important things in kids’ everyday lives. She not only assists students with exercises to better focus and concentrate in the classroom, she shows parents how to conduct these at home. Countless students have found success in school and in life because of her interventions on their behalf. Janet’s energy is tireless. Last year she ran an afterschool program teaching Bal-Vis-X exercises to help students build rhythm, body awareness, brain activity, and social skills. She spends long hours at school—the last and first one here. Anywhere support is needed, she is there.

Janet Hall & Marci Highley, Classified Head & Assistant Secretary – Evergreen MS:

In preparation for Evergreen’s move to Evergreen West, Janet and Marci went above and beyond to make the move as smooth as possible. On the last day in Evergreen East, students went home with 2nd Qtr Report Cards, a Ground Breaking Ceremony was held, and the school packed-up to move over the weekend. Completing grades is usually the extraordinary task at the end of the quarter – let alone moving a school and hosting a ceremony – they were instrumental in making this happen.

Activities normally done to start off the school year had to be performed once again. New schedules for 3rd Qtr at Evergreen East, then three days later, new schedules for Evergreen West. Every student's bus route and stops were entered. Maps were made. Plans were laid out. Janet and Marci worked tireless hours outside of the regular school day. The move was successful due in large part to the support they provided the administrative team, teachers, students, and parents. What makes this team exceptional is their ability to be given some direction and just make it happen. Their ability to predict needs and their background knowledge is invaluable. Most people simply do not know how lucky Evergreen is to have such a dedicated and loyal team.

Gonzaga University Staff & Faculty, Community – Opportunity Elementary:

Many Opportunity students live in a lower socioeconomic status—lacking resources to properly maintain personal hygiene and brush their teeth regularly. The school recognized the need to educate about healthy lifestyles and contacted Jeff Geldien from Gonzaga Law School to ask if traveling employees could gather travel-sized shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, toothbrushes, etc. Weekly without fail, Jeff finds bags of supplies, anonymously left on his desk. Not only travel-sized, but also personally purchased supplies and funds donated to fulfill areas of need. Students love having fancy shampoos and conditioners. Most students keep their tooth brush at school due to home conditions. Fifth graders come to school early to brush their teeth and also after lunch. Gonzaga staff’s generosity has gone above and beyond for the past two years to meet students’ basic needs –enabling them to come to school ready to learn – reflecting in their self-confidence and attendance.

Valley Assembly, Community – Progress Elementary School:

Annually for at least a decade, Valley Assembly donates approximately 100 backpacks loaded with school supplies by the appropriate grade level for Progress students. These backpacks go to new students and any students who cannot afford supplies. This breaks down a barrier for these students enabling them to learn. Valley Assembly has opened their doors for Progress Elementary to perform their annual Christmas performance at their church on the large stage with an outstanding lighting and sound system. This large, well-attended performance allows everyone to have a seat. Valley Assembly also goes out into the community to assist students with significant need. 

LTC Moving Team (Summit to Barker) - Learning &Teaching Center:

Though perhaps not an ideal situation for a school community to move buildings in the middle of a teaching year, the excellence in which the LTC Move Team planned, prepared for, communicated about and participated in the moves (x5!) was extremely impressive, highly respectful, and executed with precision. Many hours of communication and brainstorming must have occurred to orchestrate such an endeavor. Just as importantly, their commitment greatly enhanced the morale of school staff and parents during this adventure. The teacher that nominated them felt very much respected by having so many administration and support personnel show up to help with all the hard work – giving up their weekends right along staff with positive attitudes and smiles while they worked  – team players for the greater good. They showed a commitment to "high quality learning" by assisting teachers and school staff so that the important job of teaching and serving students could continue as close to normal as possible—putting students first.

Congratulations to CVSD's 2016 Meritorious Service Nominees: 

Elementary Schools

Adams Elementary School

  • LeAnna Watkins, Teacher - Certificated
  • Marcia Haney, Library Assistant - Classified
  • Nancy Chevigny-Dahlke, Volunteer - Community

Broadway Elementary School

  • Analisa Holcomb-McCann, Teacher - Certificated
  • Penny Neste, Teacher - Certificated
  • Judy Polley, Counselor - Certificated
  • Lloyd Stallings, Dean of Students - Certificated
  • Sue Ewan, Supervisor Assistant/Assistant Cook - Classified
  • Jonathan Mickelson, Supervisor Assistant/Custodian - Classified
  • Sandra Wing, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Madelynne Bafus, Spokane Valley United Methodist Church Volunteer - Community
  • Anne Oswald, Volunteer – Community
  • Broadway Parent Teacher Organization: Bobbi Robinson, Katelyn Davis, Samantha Foreman, Tabatha Copeland, Shani Newkirk, Ashley Campbell - Team
  • Broadway Playground Supervisory Team: Sue Ewan, Chie Damico, Kathy Meza, Jon Mickelson, Lindsay Oxford, Bobbi Robinson, Valerie Lester, Cori Frederick, Tina Gering, Sandy Wing, Michelle Womack - Team
  • Broadway Secretaries: Jessie Finchum, Carolyn Smart, Linda Tabish - Team
  • First Grade Teacher Team: Dixie Banta, Kathy Hudson, Analisa McCann, Amanda Miller, LesLee Sanders - Team

Chester Elementary School

  • Denise Kennedy & Bonnie Davis, Teachers - Certificated
  • Carrie Kuhl, Teacher - Certificated
  • Denise James, Secretary - Classified
  • Christy Kenney, ParaEducator - Classified

Greenacres Elementary School

  • Kelly Canup, Teacher - Certificated
  • Justin Collyer, Teacher - Certificated
  • Donald Shenk, Supervisor Assistant - Classified
  • Spokane Valley Partners Volunteers: Krystie Todorovich and Mike Spencer - Community
  • Special Education Resource Services Teachers: Wendy Bucknell, Junei Michelbook, Rachel Reiber, Anjie Lake -Team

Liberty Lake Elementary School

  • DM Freed, Counselor - Certificated
  • Jen Tesky, Assistant Principal - Certificated
  • 2nd Grade Team: Kellie Ackerman, Lora Lynn, Brandon Olson, Kelly Radmaker, Aimee Schulhauser, Katrina Stewart, Jennifer Spear - Team

McDonald Elementary School

  • Aaron Dahlgren, Teacher - Certificated
  • Janine Frank, Teacher - Certificated
  • Traci Brown, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Deanne Mellen, Head Secretary - Classified
  • Annette Dooley, Volunteer - Community
  • Jenni Spedick, Volunteer and Parent Teacher Organization - Community
  • Comprehensive Instruction ParaEducators: Angela Oliver, Scott Anderson, Deborah Toews, Michelle Bonesteel

Opportunity Elementary School

  • Brandon Dunn, Teacher - Certificated
  • Dawn Hiebert, Teacher - Certificated
  • Lloyd Stallings, Dean of Students - Certificated
  • Mary Scott, Supervisory Assistant - Classified
  • Gonzaga University Staff and Faculty - Community
  • Rachel Wilson, Parent Teacher Organization President - Community
  • Opportunity Kitchen Staff: Lorrie Whitney, Chris Curry, Rich Colman, Tammy McMahon –Team
  • Opportunity Playground Supervisory Team: Elizabeth Belcher, Kathy Hansen, Diane Pindras, Sean Caulford, Mary Scott, Kellie Nordquist - Team

Ponderosa Elementary School

  • Shirley Brick, Teacher - Certificated
  • Community, Nate and Staci Manos, Volunteers - Community

Progress Elementary School

  • Alisha Alsaker, Instructional Coach - Certificated
  • Gwen Cadwallader, Teacher - Certificated
  • Jerry Andersen, Bus Driver - Classified
  • Diane Birkner, Special Education ParaEducator - Classified
  • Community, Valley Assembly Church - Community

South Pines Elementary School

  • James Olson, Teacher - Certificated
  • Marcia Haney, Library Assistant - Classified
  • Tracy Kinney, Para Educator - Classified
  • Angela Moeller, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Gwen Meldrum and Andrea Friberg - Team

Sunrise Elementary School

  • Deena Allen, Assistant Principal - Certificated
  • Earl Chapman, Bus Driver - Classified
  • Community, Judy Demand, Library Volunteer
  • Team, Counseling Team: Rose Francis, Veronica Risken-Oakes - Team
  • Special Services Transportation: Cathy Sturman, Missy Bakken - Team

University Elementary School

  • Nancy DeLaurentis, Librarian - Certificated
  • Andrea King, Occupational Therapist - Certificated
  • Carrie Porter, Teacher - Certificated
  • Lauren Waterbury, Teacher - Certificated
  • Marcia Haney, Library Assistant - Classified
  • Christine Larkin, Supervisory Assistant - Classified
  • Jesus Moreno, Custodian - Classified
  • Andrea Wilson, Assistant Secretary – Classified

Middle Schools

Bowdish Middle School

  • Kyle Schafer, Teacher - Certificated
  • Bowdish Kitchen: Vivianne Gouin, Shari Hicks, Sarah Cornell - Team
  • Lion King Directors: Heather Brown, Ponderosa, and Raelyn Toth, Bowdish - Team
  • Andrea Benson, Volunteer - Community

Evergreen Middle School

  • Allen Kohler, Teacher - Certificated
  • Scotty Smith, Robotics Volunteer - Community
  • Janet Hall, Head Secretary - Classified
  • Marci Highley, Assistant Secretary - Classified

Greenacres Middle School

  • Natalie Foster, Teacher - Certificated
  • Cheryl Holm, Librarian - Certificated
  • Laura Hull, Assistant Principal - Certificated
  • Brianne Kirsch, Teacher - Certificated
  • Janet McDonald, Counselor - Certificated
  • Patrick Moore, Teacher - Certificated
  • Lynn Hicks, Education Assistant - Classified
  • 6th Grade Team: Nichole Clegern, LA/History and Royce Meyers, Math/Science - Team
  • Secretarial Staff: Kathi DeMaine, Kim Scott, Linda Wohlers - Team

Horizon Middle School

  • LeAnn Bianco, Teacher - Certificated
  • Cory Siddoway Teacher - Certificated
  • STRIVE: Tania Johnson, Tiffany Florez, Tony Collins, Amy Holland, Ammie Hatch, Mick Reese - Team

North Pines Middle School

  • Lisa Harding, Teacher and Athletic Director - Certificated
  • Shannon McGowan, Instructional Coach - Certificated
  • Beth Weinrich, Teacher - Certificated
  • Julienne Arlt, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Joe Lee, Custodian - Classified

High Schools

Central Valley High School

  • Heidi Averett, Special Services Counselor - Certificated
  • Charles Bowden, Teacher/Curriculum Coordinator - Certificated
  • Heather Galloway, Teacher - Certificated
  • Deanna Ristau, Teacher - Certificated
  • Jennifer Stalwick, Teacher/Coach - Certificated
  • Mona Bak, ParaEducator - Classified
  • James Breslin, Building Support Tech - Classified
  • Colleen Gulseth, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Suzy Orth, Head Secretary - Classified
  • Robert Smallwood, Custodian - Classified
  • Lorraine White, ParaEducator - Classified
  • Ron Hawkins and Mike Laws, Volunteers - Community
  • Erik Smith, Volunteer Photographer - Community
  • CVHS Accreditation Committee: Mike Amend, Corey Anderson, Robin Barnhart, Duane Barnhart, Tricia Campbell, Vince Eberly, Bernie Hite, Karissa Jacobson, Katie Louie, Eric Parker, Freddie Rehkow, Adrienne Schoenberg, Kathryn Teske, Randey Thompson, Kaye Wood - Team

University High School

  • Kerri Ames, Assistant Principal - Certificated
  • Hana Miller, Dean of Students - Certificated
  • Harvey O'Conner, Head Custodian - Classified
  • Team, 9th Grade CORE/AVID Team: Jenny Bryant, Counselor; Ernie Aguilar, Counselor; Alexis Carter, Teacher; Leah Grisafi, Teacher; Mary Hansen, Teacher; Rick Pettibone, Teacher; Wendy Mandere, Teacher; Josh Nichols, Teacher; John White, Teacher; Allison Bartlett, Teacher; Heather Chronister, Teacher; Michael Connelly, Teacher, Hana Miller, Dean
  • Team, University High School Staff and Administration 

Non-Traditional Schools and Education Centers

CV Early Learning Center

  • Jennifer Long, Teacher - Certificated
  • Lorene Santoro, ECEAP Educational Assistant - Classified
  • Kari Sheldon, Child Care SA - Classified
  • AIM/ECEAP - Team

CV Kindergarten Center

  • Kasi Miller, Teacher - Certificated
  • Ellen Murphy, Assistant Secretary - Classified
  • Central Valley Kindergarten Center Parent Teacher Organization: Kate Vaughan, Kyla Mowrer, Amanda Ferguson, Karen Dick, Tara Greene, Terra Hill, Heather Carroll, Angi Comstock, Emily Bafus - Team
  • LAP Instructional Team: Deb Griffith, Lorelei Plagman - Team

Learning and Teaching Center - District Office

  • Lori Deckard, Secretary - Classified
  • Lisa Riordan, Human Resources – Classified
  • Jerry Andersen, Bus Driver - Classified
  • Earl Chapman, Bus Driver - Classified
  • Special Services Transportation: Cathy Sturman, Missy Bakken Team
  • Maintenance Tradesman Team: Mark Weis, Ray Siegel, Darrell Blank, Brian Catron, Tom Lucas, Zach O'Reilly, Charlie Baker, Mack Crane, David St. John, Joseph Bach, Bill Coder, Jim Westover, Eric Bartholomew, Tim Conces, Sam Rogers, Greg Romey, Jeff Kanzler, Taylor Parkhill; Summer crew: Linda Langsett, Jimmie Glasco, Patti Sager, Cathy Sturman, Kevin Sheffield, Mary Sherrodd - Team
  • Summit to Barker Moving Team: Jay Rowell, Jerrol Olson, Operations, Cabinet, Professional Development, Technology & more - Team
  • Technology Department Team: Rob Curnow, Scott Allen, Dale Alling, Laura Bellagio, Doug Bragg, Jim Breslin, Steve Coffman, Jeff Gibford, Chris Jorgensen, Micah Kennemore, Chris McKahan, Kendall Richardson, John Toothaker – Team

Mica Peak High School

  • John Griffiths, Teacher - Certificated
  • Morgan Jones, Learning Specialist - Certificated
  • Rustin Lee, Teacher - Certificated
  • Taunya Luckey, Teacher - Certificated
  • Christa Neumann, School Nurse - Certificated
  • Danielle Stroe, School Psychologist - Certificated
  • Will McCain, One Church Volunteer - Community
  • AJ Sanders & Paige McGowan, Volunteers - Community
  • Sheree West, Volunteer - Community

Spokane Valley Tech

  • Birgit Hodgson, Secretary - Classified
  • SVT/Mica Peak Language Arts/Social Studies: Karen Kielbon & Jana McKnight - Team

Summit School & Spokane Valley Learning Academy

  • Shelly Mackie, SVLA Coordinator & K-12 Teacher - Certificated
  • Walt Clemons, Principal - Certificated
  • Jamie Mikelson, Instructional Coach - Certificated
  • Sheri Potts, Teacher - Certificated
  • Community, Robin Cummings, Volunteer
  • 2nd Grade Teaching Team: Jennifer McDonald & Zenita Bockstruck,
  • Summit/SVLA Crew - Team