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Teachers, Staff Honored at Annual Renton School District Awards

Family science teacher Kerri Dowd, fourth-grade teacher Jane Lambert, school district assistant Sandra Case and school counselor Gary Sampson were recognized for their 'Outstanding' work.

Renton School Board members recognized winners of this year’s Outstanding Employee Awards at its Wednesday, March 27 meeting.

The Board has presented the awards for more than 30 years to recognize staff who demonstrate an extraordinary level of job performance, support of students, professionalism and dedication.

The four teachers and staff members are selected from over 2,000 employees working for the Renton School District. Two teachers and two staff members are selected for the award, divided into four categories: Elementary Teacher, Secondary Teacher, Building Support Staff and District Support Staff.

Here are the 2013 Outstanding Employee Award winners and descriptions of each, as provided by the Renton School District.

2013 Outstanding Elementary Teacher
Jane Lambert, Fourth-Grade Teacher
Tiffany Park Elementary School

Jane has been a teacher at Tiffany Park Elementary School since 2005.
She’s known for her experience, knowledge, sensibility and humor. Her constant learning and curiosity is contagious to students who thoroughly enjoy being in her classroom. She has a knack for motivating and actively engaging her students and making data-driven decisions that constantly improve her student’s work.

Jane also started a student-favorite Green Team after-school science club for students to learn about protecting the environment by making small changes that lead to big ones. She also teaches in after-school and summer-school programs.

Jane has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in science from Central Washington University and is completing her master’s degree in science.

2013 Outstanding Secondary Teacher
Kerri Dowd, Family Sciences Teacher
Hazen High School

Kerri has been an educator at Hazen High School for more than a decade teaching students about health, leadership and adolescent development.
She is well loved and respected by her students (many of whom wrote glowing letters of support for this award). She connects with students through wit and charisma, engaging them in lessons, and creating an atmosphere in which students are eager to attend class. She is the Associate Student Body advisor, and works as a chaperon for student dances, conferences and assemblies.
Kerri holds a bachelor’s degree in Theology from Ambassador College in Texas and a master’s degree in Education from City University in Seattle.

2013 Outstanding Building Support Person
Gary Sampson, Counselor
Honey Dew Elementary School

Gary has worked as a teacher and counselor in the Renton Schools District for 14 years, teaching at Benson Hill, Cascade, Lakeridge and Maplewood Heights elementary schools.

Gary has a passion and enthusiasm for his work that is immediately evident to students, parents and co-workers. His compassion for children and their success drives his insatiable work habit. Fluent in Spanish, Gary is an invaluable asset to Honey Dew families and staff, breaking down barriers and improving the lives and future success of children.

While teaching at Maplewood Heights Elementary School, Gary led a team of teachers who create a summer classroom in a nearby two-bedroom apartment to teach children, keep their skills sharp and ensure they were ready to reenter school in the fall.

Gary has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington. He serves on the board of the non-profit Renton Area Youth Services (RAYS), works at Catholic Community Services, and continues to keep his language skills sharp by taking Spanish classes with his wife on weekends.

2013 Outstanding District Support Person
Sandra Case, Confidential Assistant
Elementary Education Department

Sandra has worked in the district for more than two decades, serving first as a playground and lunchroom supervisor, library assistant and staff assistant at Cascade Elementary School; then as the office manager at Highlands Elementary School. For the last six years, she has severed in her current position as confidential assistant in the Elementary Education Department.
Sandra is known for her professionalism, attention to detail and ability to deescalate frantic parents or community members with her calming, caring, empathetic demeanor. School secretaries and support staff praise her ability to answer questions and lessen concerns with her institutional and technical knowledge about school operations and the process and policies that govern the district.

Sandra is also known for her quick laugh and fashion sense, often giving tips to the less fashionable in the district offices.

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