School Board, Families and Friends Celebrate Outstanding Employees
In February, each school in the North Beach School District puts forward a nominee for the state Teacher of the Year Award. In addition, the district nominates an employee for state Classified Employee of the Year.
This year’s North Beach School District’s nominees for these awards were presented at the February 15 regular board meeting by Superintendent Andy Kelly and the school principals, who shared their nominations. The audience included a large contingent of proud family members of the nominees, too.
Deanne Swanger, the teacher of the year for Pacific Beach Elementary School, demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her school community, said Principal Marlene Perez. Deanne teaches third grade at Pacific Beach. She’s had training in the highly-regarded Guided Language Acquisition Design, a form of instruction that incorporates a variety of strategies to support bilingual students in learning content and acquiring language simultaneously. Developed for students learning a new language, it has proven to be effective for all learners. In addition to her instructional skills, Deanne took on the role of being one of two building-based teacher leaders this year, showing dedication to her role in mentoring brand new teachers.
Principal Perez said that Deanne has made a difference at PBE, exemplifying the mission of the building goals, and has positively impacted her students. Her skills, knowledge, willingness to help others, and dedication to school and the community make her a standout for teacher of the year.
Ocean Shores Elementary’s teacher of the year, Ted Chamberlain, is a dedicated educator who constantly works to provide the best opportunities for his students, said Principal Stephanie Evans. Ted works tirelessly to research and prepare fun and engaging lessons for his students. “His warm demeanor, caring nature, and high expectations combine to make him a beacon of trust for his students,” Principal Evans added.
Ted spent 30 years as a music and vocal teacher in the Puget Sound area before moving to Ocean Shores and becoming a fourth-grade teacher at the school. The foundation of Ted’s classroom is persevering through difficult things and always having a growth mindset, Principal Evans noted. He is often heard saying "we can do great things together" and cheers his students on through challenging work. “We are excited to see the academic progress of his students this year and are so thankful to have Ted Chamberlain as a part of our team at Ocean Shores Elementary,” Evans concluded.
Vicke Delaney-Weinstein is this year’s Teacher of the Year for North Beach Middle/High School. Principal Russell Evans presented Ms. Vicke, as she’s known to her students, saying, “She is one of the brightest and most hard-working teachers we have at North Beach.”
Delaney-Weinstein served as a para-educator while working to earn her teaching certification over the past four years -- all while running the middle school Special Education program and teaching in the classroom.
Delaney-Weinstein works tirelessly to support her students’ needs. She is always looking for ways to support their academics through collaboration with her peers and the school administration. She does not settle for anything less than what she knows her students can do and continues to work hard to get them to achieve.
Principal Evans’ final remarks about Delaney-Weinstein perhaps describe the kind of teachers we all hope our children encounter in their education: “Teaching is a calling. We don’t do it because someone tells us we should. If we do, we don’t stay long. We teach because we love to see kids succeed and are continually driven by the hope that we can be a part of their success. We love to see the light bulb moments and work with our kids to overcome their challenges. We take the good with the bad and are the absolute best at moving on with positivity!”
Prior to the teacher of the year presentations, Superintendent Kelly read Director of Food Services Mike Klemetson’s nomination for JoAnn Stearns as Classified Employee of the Year.
Klemetson noted that JoAnn has always dedicated herself to making her job performance count and is tireless in her pursuit of putting out the best meals possible for both staff and students. “JoAnn's effort is contagious to the rest of our team,” Klemetson said. “She leads the charge to complete the day, willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. She’s garnered the respect of our team and if I need to be out of the building, I can do so with full confidence that our department will run smoothly and efficiently”
These employees will be advanced as the district nominees for regional and state-level awards.