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Murray Journal

Murray honors, thanks many of its school district educators, staff

Sep 11, 2023 11:27AM ● By Julie Slama

Recognizing teachers, support personnel, licensed counselors, social workers, librarians and others for championing student learning has topped Murray School District, its PTA and supporters for years. 

This year is no different.

Recently the District, along with the Murray Board of Education, recognized Horizon third-grade English dual immersion teacher Sarah Paul as the classroom teacher of the year. She will represent the District for the state’s teacher of the year award.

Other nominees included Kim Tavares, Grant Elementary; Jennifer Allred, Hillcrest Jr. High; Daphne Davis, Liberty Elementary; Annie Dow, Longview Elementary; Jodi Jessop, McMillan Elementary; April Warby, Murray High; Teresa Porter, Parkside Elementary; Jen Duehlmeier, Riverview Jr. High; and Kristen Snow, Viewmont Elementary.

The licensed employee of the year is Jill Hansen, Riverview Junior High’s librarian. She was chosen from other nominees: Lawren Martin, Grant; Courtney Nolan, Hillcrest Jr. High; Karen Peterson, Horizon; Sarah Wilson, Liberty; Cole Robinson, McMillan; and Carolyn Martinez-Ross, Murray High.

The top education support professional of the year was awarded to Mary-Ann Anderson, Viewmont Elementary’s secretary.

Other nominees included Marsha Wilson, McMillan; Ada Glines, Longview; Joyce Lopez, Grant; Karina Rodriguez-Perez, Riverview Jr. High; Jennifer Horne, Murray High; Sydney Baird, Hillcrest Jr. High; Meme Jensen, Parkside; Shay Lavallee, Liberty; Jessica Rackham, Horizon; Kristen Millet, early childhood education center; and Shela Barker, Murray School District office.

In addition to these top awards, the Region 19 PTA recognized outstanding teachers, staff members, and volunteers for their nurturing of students throughout the school year.

This year’s recipients include Grant’s Rebecca Fitts (volunteer) and Charlie Quinonez (teacher); Horizon’s Rylee Hannan (volunteer) and Amara Spere (teacher); Liberty’s Alisha Chance (volunteer) and Amy Kohler (teacher); Longview’s Carolyn Forsyth (volunteer) and Melissa Mehinovic (teacher); McMillan’s Kat Christenson (volunteer) and Keira Van Beekam (teacher); Parkside’s Kylee Kiefer (volunteer) and Merissa Graves (intern administrative principal); Viewmont’s Nicole Van Nyhuis (volunteer) and Heather Preece (teacher); Hillcrest’s Jennifer Auwerda (volunteer) and Danielle Park (teacher); Riverview’s Janel Williams (volunteer) and Lindsey Parker (teacher); and Murray High’s Katrina Harris (volunteer) and Erin Turner (teacher).

Eight additional teachers and support staff have combined to bring more than 250 years of dedication and experience to student learning before they have stepped down this past school year.

Those who have impacted student learning in Murray School District and are retiring include Jacquelynn Morgan, Riverview Jr. High, 37 years; Delight Page, Riverview Jr. High, 31 years; Karen Peterson, Liberty, 33 years; Ginger Shaw, Grant, 36 years; Jennifer Simpson, Grant, 37 years; Maura Thatcher, Hillcrest Jr. High, 34 years; Sheri Winn, McMillan, 27 years; and Dianne Wiscomb, Hillcrest Jr. High, 27 years. λ