Meritorious Service Awards » 2009 Recipients

2009 Recipients

The outstanding contributions of Central Valley School District employees and community members are recognized each year by the Board of Directors through the Meritorious Service Awards. Initiated by the School Board in 1985, the awards honor exemplary contributions by individuals and organizations toward student achievement and our district’s primary focus – learning and teaching. All of the nominees for Meritorious Service Awards were recognized at special celebrations at each Central Valley School District building. The Board presented district-wide Meritorious Service Awards in each of the four categories on Monday, March 23, 2009. The recipients were selected among the 67 individuals and 18 teams with more than 100 members nominated this year by colleagues, students and peers.


2009 Meritorious Service Award Recipients


PJ Jarvis, Greenacres Elementary  - Certificated Employee
Colleagues marvel at the dedication, passion and flexibility PJ Jarvis brings to her job as health and fitness instructor. She inspires students and the adults around her with fun and innovative projects to encourage healthy bodies and lifestyles. She is known for transforming the gym into an obstacle course modeled after blood flow through the heart and hosting a popular after school “Fit for Bloomsday” program.


Laurie Spence, Opportunity Elementary - Certificated Employee
Literary coach and teacher Laurie Spence never hesitates to help students, parents, teachers and colleagues. They turn to her for her teaching advice, curriculum knowledge and warm hugs. One colleague says of her, “She possesses that rare combination of competence and humility that endears her to others. People like to work with her because of her ability to bring out the best in others.”


John Khoury, North Pines Middle School - Classified Employee
Head custodian John Khoury has earned the respect and admiration of co-workers with his friendly smile, incredible work ethic and positive attitude. He is always looking for ways to help others. Among the stack of nominations for Khoury, one colleague wrote: “I have never seen someone take such pride in their job.”


Todd Ballensky, Progress Elementary - Community Member/Organization
Todd Ballensky is the “Top Dog” for the Watch D.O.G.S. program. Ballensky started the group, which encourages fathers to volunteer, and under his watch it has grown to include 50-plus members. He is always trying to improve the school and often volunteers his time for such activities as the recent district levy campaign, organizing a food drive, and collecting holiday gifts for families.


Josh Allison/Horizon Credit Union, North Pines Middle School - Community Member/Organization
What started as a sponsorship for a five-week junior achievement class, has become a full-time partnership. Horizon Credit Union sponsors student and teacher recognition programs, food drives and has donated digital cameras to art classes and worked with teachers to bring real-world math to students. Horizon employee Josh Allison has become an integral part of the school, meeting monthly with the principal to talk about ways to collaborate, attending assemblies and being a visible face at the school.


School to Life Program, Barker High School and Learning Center - Team
The School to Life Program serves special needs high school students with programs to teach transitional skills such as money management, shopping, cooking, filling out job applications and creating resumes. Teachers Kathy Thorson and Steve Rasmussen, along with seven paraeducators were honored for their dedication to students and collaborative work in the community. Rasmussen leads the onsite Cottage Industry program which teaches students business skills, while Thorson coordinates opportunities for students at local businesses and agencies.


2009 Meritorious Service Award Nominees:


Elementary Schools


Adams Elementary

  • Jan McFarland, Certificated Employee
  • Inge McGillivrae, Certificated Employee
  • Adams PTSA Executive Board, Community Member/Organization (Lisa Chan, Melissa
  • Grytdal, Tami Kamp, Shannon Lambert and Suzy Orth)

Broadway Elementary

  • Sue Watilo, Classified Employee
  • Leisa Mumford, Certificated Employee
  • Homework Club Teachers, Team (Jamie Kaiser, Tereza Call and Laurie Parr)

Chester Elementary

  • Marguerite Elder, Certificated Employee
  • Beth Harper, Classified Employee
  • Heidi Joppa, Community Member/Organization, Parent Volunteer

Greenacres Elementary

  • Alpha & Omega Secretarial Team, Team (Sue Jones and Diane Kellar)
  • Special Education Team (Linda Jackson, Junei Michelbook, Renee Murphy and Jan Parker)
  • Wendy Bucknell, Certificated Employee
  • PJ Jarvis, Certificated Employee
  • Kevin Middaugh, Community Member/Organization, Parent Volunteer

Liberty Lake Elementary

  • Char Burrill, Classified Employee
  • Jeff Rachoy, Certificated Employee
  • Emily Schreiner, Certificated Employee
  • Elizabeth Mallinen, Community Member/Organization, PTSA Representative/Parent Volunteer
  • Supervisory/Crossing Guard Team (Julie Baggarley, Paula Barth, Cathy Franks, Theresa Hanaway, Hope Harper, Katie Hemenway, Kristen Keller, Leanna Kennedy, Patty Sarner, Carol Schelley, Lori Thaler and Michelle Walker)

McDonald Elementary

  • Catheleen Schlotter, Certificated Employee
  • Todd Wilson, Certificated Employee
  • Sharon Talarico, Classified Employee
  • Mary Bauman, Certificated Employee
  • Andrea Benson, Community Member/Organization, Parent Volunteer
  • Linda Prothero, Community Member/Organization, Volunteer
  • Student Study Team, Team (Mary Bauman, Bridget Hocutt, Emelie Pospisil and Catheleen Schlotter)
  • Behavior Intervention Staff, Team (Todd Wilson, Rusty Lee, Kelly Anderson, Casey Fry and Debbie Potts)

Opportunity Elementary

  • Laurie Spence, Certificated Employee
  • Custodial Team, Team (Marcie Rockstrom and Travis Graham)

Ponderosa Elementary

  • Sharon Olson, Certificated Employee
  • Bill Bronsch, Classified Employee
  • MJ Bolt, Community Member/Organization, PTSA President

Progress Elementary

  • Wanda Lewis, Certificated Employee
  • Stephanie Morkert, Certificated Employee
  • Ginny Racine, Certificated Employee
  • Todd Ballensky, Community Member/Organization, Parent/Watch DOGS Leader

South Pines Elementary

  • Don Shenk, Classified Employee
  • Angela Townsend, Classified Employee
  • Rose Wilson, Certificated Employee
  • South Pines Team, Team (Principal Walt Clemons, Coach/Facilitator Katy Neal, Resource Room Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Specialists, Title 1 Teacher and Support Staff, Kindergarten Team, 1st Grade Team, 2nd Grade Team, 3rd Grade Team, 4th Grade Team, 5th Grade Team)

Sunrise Elementary

  • Supervisory Team, Team (Chris Manos, Carol Schuchart, Jonni King, Debbie Carter, Jenni Voelker, Patti Howard, Becky Riordan, Priscilla Marlow, Sandy Gass, Cindy Courtney, Heidi Guy, Carol Lemley Reyes, Ellen Cutler, Lynne Giusti and Kay Frank)

University Elementary

  • Eunie Hubble, Certificated Employee
  • Harvey O'Conner, Classified Employee
  • Melissa North, Community Member/Organization, Parent Volunteer
  • 4th Grade Team, Team (Larry Beck, Rose Hone and Linda Reineke)

Middle Schools


Bowdish Middle School

  • Trudy Byus, Classified Employee
  • Rod Gudgel, Classified Employee
  • Lori Olson, Classified Employee
  • Ann Warner, Certificated Employee

Evergreen Middle School

  • Ellen Ruscio, Classified Employee
  • Charlie Cox, Certificated Employee
  • Mike Ruscio, Certificated Employee
  • Administrative Team, Team (Principal David Feldhusen and Vice-Principal John Parker)
  • 7th Grade Language Arts Team, Team (Sam Busse, Kim Trent, Allen Kohler and Monica Larson)

Greenacres Middle School

  • Cherie Holm, Certificated Employee
  • Lisa Marsh, Certificated Employee
  • Vickie Mularski, Classified Employee
  • Custodial Staff, Team (Rick Keays, James Holloway, Greg Nicosia and Mike Bak)

Horizon Middle School

  • Kandee Sabo, Community Member/Organization, Co-President, Horizon Middle School Parent Teacher Association

North Pines Middle School

  • Josh Allison, Community Member/Organization, Horizon Credit Union
  • Vicki Arnold, Certificated Employee
  • John Khoury, Classified Employee
  • Kim Koch, Classified Employee

High Schools


Central Valley High School

  • Jason Allen, Certificated Employee
  • Steve Bernard, Certificated Employee
  • David VanVlaenderen, Classified Employee
  • Central Valley High School, Team, All Certificated and Classified Staff

University High School

  • Dr. Roger Lent, Community Member/Organization, Community Volunteer
  • University High School Counseling Team (Jenny Bryant, Marilyn Burkhart, Paul Marshall, Pat Shelley, Kathy Steblaj)

Non-Traditional Schools & Education Centers


Barker High School and Learning Center

  • School to Life Team, Team (Greta Boyer, Kris Kilduff, Lisa Mertins, Pam Moser, Steve Rasmussen, Sally Sale, Kathy Thorson, Carolyn Timms and Elizabeth Wilson)

CV Early Learning Center

  • Nita Wallis, Classified Employee

CV Kindergarten Center

  • Bev Burkhalter, Classified Employee
  • Integrated Kindergarten Team, Team (Megan Hawley, Kim Martins, Debbie Crow, Dianne McDermott, Brenda Vandouris, Kay LaPlante, Randi Love, Lisa Marsh, Cheri Johnson and Kathleen Kellen)

Learning and Teaching Center - District Office

  • Sandee Allen, Certificated Employee
  • Georgina Lynch, Certificated Employee
  • MJ Bolt, Community/Organization, Co-Chair, Central Valley Citizens for Education
  • Lise Louer, Team, Community/Organization, Co-Chair, Central Valley Citizens for Education

Spokane Valley Learning Academy

  • SVLA Staff, Team (Shelly Mackie, Erika Addington, Susan Peavey and Leslie Huff)

Summit School

  • Sarah Ellis, Certificated Employee
  • Janet McDonald, Certificated Employee
  • George Moon, Certificated Employee
  • Dawn Hill, Community Member/Organization, Parent Volunteer
  • Summit Supervisors, Team (Gail Dickson, Jim Nelson, Sandra McCune, Christina Jeromchek, Cheryl Hepkema, Mike Claggett and Rebecca Joyce)