Meritorious Service Awards » 2012 Recipients

2012 Recipients

The Central Valley School District Board of Directors honored seven recipients with district-wide 2012 Meritorious Service Awards on March 26, 2012. The annual awards are presented in four categories to recognize outstanding service to students.


Morgen Larsen, Greenacres Elementary - Certificated Employee
Morgen holds the position of Teacher-Librarian at Greenacres Elementary and she contributes to the school in multiple ways. She is extremely competent with technology and shares her knowledge to improve the entire school. Morgen manages the school website and constantly looks for ways to facilitate consistent school to parent communication. According to a co-worker, Morgen puts the “green” in Greenacres. She enjoys educating students and staff on recycling and composting, forming programs and school projects to better the school and the environment. In addition to her educator role, she takes her role as a parent in the community seriously - acting as an active Co-Vice President of the school’s PTSA.


Jerrol Olson, Ponderosa Elementary - Certificated Employee
Hands-on, positive, professional, compassionate and always learning – these are a few descriptions staff members of Ponderosa Elementary use to define school Principal Jerrol Olson. With a constant focus on student learning, Jerrol pursues personal continued learning and works directly with his staff, parents and students to reach high school goals. Jerrol sets high standards and leads by good example and great encouragement to others. His diligence helped the school earn the award of “School of Distinction.”


Tony Collins, Horizon Middle School - Classified Employee
Tony has worked in one of the toughest school environments for over 14 years. His position as Paraeducator in the Behavior Intervention (BI) classroom requires patience, integrity, and follow-through. Tony has these qualities and more. Tony is respected by his students and all Horizon Middle School staff. While educating and bringing out the best in his students, Tony finds time to help in other capacities at Horizon as well. He volunteers around the building and goes above and beyond his job requirements on a daily basis. On a two hour snow delay day, Tony spent the hours outside shoveling large amounts of snow to assist the custodian. He pitches in to help his students, the school staff and the community whenever possible.


Phyllis Morris, Central Valley High School - Classified Employee
Phyllis contributes greatly to the positive environment at Central Valley High School. As head cook, she takes pride in quality food preparation, customer service and treating others with respect. Her “can do attitude” improves the climate of CVHS. Staying calm and positive under pressure is one of Phyllis’s strengths. During a local middle school emergency evacuation, Phyllis was put to the test to quickly add 700 meals to the daily count for the incoming students. She handled the challenge incredibly while keeping a smile on her face and not showing any stress or pressure. Her commitment to serving good tasting, quality food to CVHS students, makes a positive difference in the students’ attitudes and learning potential.


Tanya LaPier, Liberty Lake Elementary and Greenacres Middle School volunteer - Community Member/Organization
Liberty Lake Elementary is grateful for Dr. Tanya LaPier. As a parent volunteer, Tanya takes time around teaching and supervising doctoral level physical therapy students and her own family to better Liberty Lake Elementary school. In 2011, Tanya developed and implemented an elementary school version of Science Olympiad. She created binders and videos as instruction manuals to integrate the national Science Olympiad program dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education into the school. She then saw the event through from beginning to end, working selflessly to benefit the children. Over the last several years, Tanya has chaired the PTSA’s Reflections program which is a state-wide extra-curricular fine arts competition. Additionally, Tanya spends her Thursdays volunteering in Mrs. Spear’s second grade classroom.


Intersection Church and Marsha Maurer, North Pines Middle School - Community Member/Organization
A member of Intersection Church in Spokane Valley, Marsha Maurer coordinated efforts with the Church to support North Pines Middle School throughout the 2011-2012 school year. What started in the fall of 2011 as an offer to support the school with some school supplies, turned in to a yearlong endeavor spotlighted in February’s “Hope and Heart Auction.” In August, Intersection Church and Marsha organized a car show to distribute back packs and school supplies to any student in our community in need. In September, they purchased and donated a large amount of school supplies including binders, pencils, pens and paper to low income students at North Pines. Marsha and the Church donated wrapping paper to the Annual “North Pines’ Santa’s Workshop” in December. The February auction they hosted raised a large cash donation for the school to help with educational materials and building needs. Marsha and Intersection Church have helped the school for years and for many years to come.


Central Valley High School Pre-AP and AP Team (Deb Albert, Eric Akins, Kathy Barnes, Lori Buratto, Elaine Fotland, Bill Gilchrist, Bernie Hite, Brandon Mack, Dennis McGuire, Doug Pecha, Pam Stickney, Tom Sullivan, Kathryn Teske and Kaye Wood) - Team
The CVHS Pre-AP and AP teaching staff has taken the school’s AP program from 252 students taking the AP Exam in 8 courses in 2007 to 574 students taking the test in 12 courses in 2012. The department’s excellence and dedication to team work and student learning has yielded impressive test results. CVHS AP students are achieving above the state and global levels on AP exams with 92 students awarded AP Scholars and seven named National AP Scholar award winners. The latest College Board AP report shows 72% of CVHS students scored a 3 or better on the AP exams compared to a 62% state average and a 60% global average. School Principal Mike Hittle attributes the measured success to the high quality and deeply caring Pre-AP and AP Team.


2012 Meritorious Service Award Nominees:


Elementary Schools


Adams Elementary

  • Ann Elgee, Certificated Employee
  • Adams Supervisory Team, Team (Shirley Chavez, Tami Kamp, Melissa Grytdal, Angela Townsend, Suzy Orth, Sherry Arland, Jackie Tanneberg, Eileen Green, Michelle Nelson, Doug Lawson, Brandy Santiago, Sue McCaskey and Lori Deckard)

Broadway Elementary

  • Custodial Team, Team (Ron Overbeck and Mike Whipple)

Chester Elementary

  • Denise Kennedy, Certificated Employee
  • Linda Maravilla, Certificated Employee
  • Jess and Mary Lawless, Community Member/Organization
  • Gen Ed Integrated Kindergarten, Team (Karen Helma, Kim Nurvic, Kristi Pannell, Marla Lamb and Katsumi Honsey)

Greenacres Elementary

  • Morgen Larsen-Atwood, Certificated Employee

Liberty Lake Elementary

  • Shelly Bajadali, Certificated Employee
  • Kathy Hart, Classified Employee
  • Tanya LaPier, Community Member/Organization
  • Neal Olander, Community Member/Organization

McDonald Elementary

  • Alison Ashlock, Certificated Employee
  • Cindy Bergdahl, Certificated Employee
  • Aaron Dahlgren, Certificated Employee
  • Beth Kenney, Certificated Employee
  • Scott Krentel, Certificated Employee
  • Emily Uphus, Certificated Employee
  • Lori Burnett, Community Member/Organization
  • Ben and Mary Sue Haberman, Community Member/Organization
  • Alternative Instruction Team, Team (Michelle Schimmels, James Haynes, Traci Brown and Nathalie Roe)

Opportunity Elementary

  • Becky Banks, Certificated Employee
  • Christa Neumann, Certificated Employee
  • Stephanie Marcuson, Community Member/Organization
  • Fifth Grade Team, Team (Leslie Geldien, Dina Murphy and Tammie Doyle)

Ponderosa Elementary

  • Jerrol Olson, Certificated Employee

Progress Elementary

  • Katherine Wacholz, Certificated Employee

South Pines Elementary

  • Anita Hofstee, Classified Employee
  • Tracy Kinney, Classified Employee
  • Kiko and Carla Barajas/Azteca Mexican Restaurants, Community Member/Organization
  • Opportunity Christian Fellowship Church, CommunityMember/Organization

Sunrise Elementary

  • Terrie VanderWegen, Certificated Employee
  • Doreen Dagon, Classified Employee
  • Jen Frater, Community Member/Organization
  • Math Train the Trainer Team (Jody Froehle, Margie Beschta, Nikki Hays)
  • Language Arts Train the Trainer Team (Jeni Davaz, Connie Ames, Rachelle Ahumada)

University Elementary

  • Bus 13, 17, 24, 46, 48 and 95 Team, Team (Kathy Arnold, Eric Bartholomew, Marvin Anderson, Anne Gust, Dave Phakoo, Rhonda Johnson, Ed Thorpe and Shannon Cowee)
  • K-2 Extended Resource Room Support Team, Team (Robbin Roseborough and Becky Light)

Middle Schools


Bowdish Middle School

  • Starla Fey, Certificated Employee
  • Debra O’Keeffe, Certificated Employee
  • Lisa Tupling, Certificated Employee
  • Stephanie Gibson, Community Member/Organization

Evergreen Middle School

  • Gary Rasmussen, Certificated Employee
  • Cindy Graham, Classified Employee
  • Rose Guegel, Community Member/Organization

Greenacres Middle School

  • Tara Downie, Certificated Employee
  • Patricia Dempsey, Certificated Employee
  • Vern Digiovanni, Certificated Employee
  • Dana Hilpert, Certificated Employee
  • Emily Matriciano, Classified Employee
  • Andrea Wilson, Classified Employee
  • Greenacres Middle School PTA, Community Member/Organization (Michelle German, Laura Wampler, Joni Schaefer, Caragh McDowell)
  • Molly Merz, Community Member/Organization

Horizon Middle School

  • Marijke Albers, Certificated Employee
  • Tony Collins, Classified Employee
  • Rondielle Frye, Community Member/Organization
  • Kandee Sabo, Community Member/Organization

North Pines Middle School

  • Doris Tharp, Certificated Employee
  • Intersection Church and Marsha Maurer, Community Member/Organization
  • Kelly Kern, Community Member/Organization

High Schools


Central Valley High School

  • Phyllis Morris, Classified Employee
  • Paul Fuchs, Community Member/Organization
  • CVHS Pre-AP/AP Teachers, Team (Eric Akins, Kathy Barnes, Lori Buratto, Elaine Fotland,
  • Bill Gilchrist, Bernie Hite, Brandon Mack, Dennis McGuire, Doug Pecha, Tom Sullivan, Kathryn Teske, Pam Stickney and Kaye Wood)

University High School

  • Julie Evans, Certificated Employee
  • Mary Beuhl, Classified Employee
  • Jan Pierce, Classified Employee

Non-Traditional Schools & Education Centers


Barker High School

  • Lyra McGirk-MacDonald, Certificated Employee
  • Pat Dockrey, Community Member/Organization (District level nominee)

CV Early Learning Center

  • Nahlah Abdal-Wahed, Classified Employee

CV Kindergarten Center

  • Sasha Deyarmin, Certificated Employee
  • Cathy Christie, Classified Employee
  • Debbie Crow, Classified Employee
  • Peggy Allen, Community Member/Organization, Kindergarten Center PTO

Learning and Teaching Center - District Office

  • Susan Christenson, Certificated Employee
  • Molly Best, Classified Employee
  • KiDDS Dental, Community Member/Organization
  • Amy Mason and Angela Falcone, Community Member/Organization

Summit School

  • Summit School Staff, Team (Kristi Amend, Zenita Bockstruck, Sucia Dhillon, Gail Dickson, Terry Eller, Sarah Ellis, CHanell Flock, April Freeman, Cheryl Hepkema, Terrina Hill, Angela Hubbard, Ian Irelan, Christina Jeromchek, Nancy Johnston, Ben Jones, Tammie Kindley, Illa King, Lyle Krislock, Cynthia LeBlanc, Nora Lollar, Sandra McCune, Janet McDonald, Tommi Melcher, George Moon, Jennifer Nelson, Randall Ogle, Sarah Olson, Dan Powell, Karen Ridl, Ken Santora, Christy Swan, Matt Walter, Keri Watson and Colin Williams)