- Pasco School District
Pasco School District Honors 2018-2019 Retirees
Pasco School District honored 37 retiring employees at the Board of Directors study session on June 11. Those retirees represent a combined total of 723 years of service to Pasco students and families.
Gary Allen, custodian, 1980-2018: For the last 38 years, Gary has been a fixture in the District’s maintenance and custodial department. His long and distinguished career includes a 10-year stint as the lead custodian at Captain Gray, and a 14-year tenure as the head custodian at Pasco High. For the last four years, Gary has served as the District’s Maintenance and Custodial manager.
Anita Barnard, school nurse, 2018-2019: Some might say that Anita was simply saving the best for last. After spending more than two decades as a registered nurse at Lourdes Medical Center, Anita joined the Pasco School District team in 2018 as a school nurse at Ochoa Middle School.
Diane Bickenheuser, teacher, 2003-2019: For the last 16 years, Diane has dedicated herself to serving our middle school special education programs. Diane was a teacher in a self-contained special education classroom at McLoughlin Middle School, and every day she brought a level of dedication and patience to her work that was admired by her peers.
Dori Bonderman, nutrition services, 1998-2019: For more than 20 years, Dori has been making sure that Pasco students are full of fuel and ready to learn. She’s been a staple in the Nutrition Services department since 1998, working at Longfellow Elementary, Stevens Middle School, McLoughlin Middle School and Markham Elementary.
Howard Bullock, print shop, 2009-2018: Howard joined PSD’s Print Shop team in 2009, after working in graphic design for Lockheed Martin and Battelle. Howard worked as a print shop helper and operator, and also as a mail courier.
Craig Colver, maintenance, 2003-2018: Craig has spent the last 16 years making sure that things don’t get overheated in PSD buildings. In fact, Craig has been keeping things cool for more than 40 years. He spent time working at Columbia Aluminum and Simplot Food Group before joining the Pasco School District team as an HVAC/Refrigeration specialist in 2003.
Bryce Conklin, electrician, 2008-2018: Bryce joined the Pasco School District maintenance department in 2008, bringing with him more than two decades of experience as an electrician. Prior to joining the PSD team, Bryce worked close to 20 years as an electrician for a pair of local food processing plants in Pasco and Sunnyside.
Darryll Cooper, bus driver, 2017-2019: For more than 40 years, Darryll’s world revolved around woodworking and carpentry. In 2017, Darryll moved back to the Mid-Columbia and joined Pasco’s transportation team as a bus driver and bus attendant. He has spent the last two years making sure that Pasco students get to school, and then back home, safely every day.
Karin Coughlan, bus driver, 1992-2018: Karin joined Pasco School District’s Transportation team in 1992. She was a caring, compassionate bus driver who was committed to student safety and was often commended for her driving skills. Karin was described by her peers as organized and dedicated, and those qualities served her well as she worked as a bus driver trainer for several years.
Alma Cox, paraeducator, 1990-2018: After years of helping out as a volunteer in her child’s classrooms, Alma started working for Pasco schools in 1990. She spent five years as a classroom aide at Twain Elementary, before finding her forever home at Pasco High. Alma spent more than 20 years working as a paraeducator in the life skills classrooms at PHS.
Bunny Dickman, bus driver, 2002-2018: For the last 16 years, Bunny has been making sure that Pasco students get to school, and back home safely. She joined PSD’s Transportation team as a bus driver in 2002 after many years as a mom and homemaker. Bunny was praised by her peers for always coming to work with a smile and a great, positive attitude.
Sandy Farnsworth, secretary, 1991-2018: Sandy has often been described as a principal’s best friend. It’s a title she has earned over the last 27 years working as a principal’s secretary for seven different principals, first at Longfellow Elementary, and then at McLoughlin Middle School.
Cheryl Foster, nutrition services, 2010-2018: After spending more than two decades working for Lamb Weston and ConAgra, Cheryl joined Pasco School District’s Nutrition Services team in 2010. She found her PSD home in 2011, when she joined the kitchen team at Captain Gray Elementary. She’s spent the last eight years making sure the Sharks are always swimming at full-speed.
Bernie Hanan, teacher, 2000-2019: Bernie has been helping high school students at Chiawana learn the finer points of Spanish for the last five years. Before that, Bernie was focused on some of Pasco’s littlest learners. She started her PSD career as a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Emerson Elementary. In 2004, she moved to Angelou Elementary to teach kindergarten in the school’s Two-Way Dual Language program.
Barbra Hane, paraeduator, 1997-2019: For more than two decades, Barbra has dedicated her life to making the lives of some of our students the best it can possibly be. She started her PSD career as a classroom aide in the special education classes at Pasco High in 1997. She spent 12 years inside the ‘Home of the Bulldogs’ before taking on a similar role at Chiawana High School when it opened in 2009.
Kay Hardy, teacher, 2000-2019: Kay joined the PSD team in 2000 as a teacher at Whittier Elementary. In 2011, Kay decided to tackle science with a vengeance, and she found her niche teaching math and science at McLoughlin Middle School. When the district Moved 6th graders back to the elementary schools, Kay went with them. She has spent the last four years as a 6th grade teacher at Curie STEM Elementary.
Ruth Hargis, teacher, 2012-2019: Ruth’s career in education spans more than 20 years, and she has spent the last seven years as a valuable member of the Pasco School District team. In 2012, Ruth joined the team at Ochoa Middle School as a teacher in the special education classroom. She’s been a Rocket ever since, and has even helped out as one of the coaches of Ochoa’s chess team for the last few years.
Dwayne Hughes, teacher, 1983-2019: Dwayne’s PSD career started in 1983, but he landed his first teaching job at McGee Elementary in 1987. Dwayne spent six years at McGee, before moving to Stevens Middle School in 1993. For the next 26 years, Dwayne taught the finer points of health and fitness to those Tigers, while also serving as Stevens’ tennis coach, wrestling coach, assistant volleyball coach, and athletic director.
Debbie Kibling, teacher, 1989-2019: Making sure that Pasco students could master the skill of reading has been the focus of Debbie’s work for the last 30 years. Her PSD career started in 1989 as a Reading Resource Specialist at Markham Elementary. She would continue working as a Reading Recovery teacher and teacher leader for several years at Markham, and later at Livingston Elementary.
Bernie Klippert, data systems, 2001-2018: Bernie joined the Pasco School District in 2000, after an impressive 20-year career in the Marines. His first job was at Pasco High where he served as a guidance specialist, monitoring scheduling, attendance and reporting. In 2003, he moved to the District office to help implement the District’s new student information system, PowerSchool. He continued in that role for 15 years.
Terry Langston, paraeducator, 1990-2019: Terry has spent nearly three decades making sure that Pasco students get to school safely. Her PSD career started at Captain Gray Elementary in 1990, where she spent 10 years working as a crossing guard and paraeducator. In 2000, Terry transferred to Chess Elementary and spent seven years with the Knights before making one last move to Angelou Elementary, where she has spent the last 12 years.
Antonio Martinez, bus driver, 2008-2018: Antonio has been a bus driver with the District for the last 11 years. He was often commended by his colleagues for being reliable and dependable, and always conscious of the safety of his students in and around his bus. Antonio always maintained a great relationship with his students and their parents, and they trusted him to get them from home to school, and then back home again every day.
Criselda Masters, nutrition services, 2009-2018: Criselda joined the PSD team in 2008 and immediately found a home helping out in the cafeteria at New Horizons High School. Later that same year, Criselda made the move over to Frost Elementary, where she helped to keep the Cougars well-fed for the next eight years. Since 2016, Criselda has made her home behind the register inside the cafeteria at Twain Elementary.
Ron Morrison-Smith, teacher, 1994-2019: Ron joined the team at McLoughlin Middle School in 1994 as a teacher in the life skills classroom. Ron would spend nine years at Mac, before moving over to Longfellow Elementary for a year, and then spending a year at Frost Elementary. In 2007, Ron joined the staff at Livingston Elementary, and he has been a Leopard ever since. Over the years, Ron was often praised for his expertise in the classroom.
Kevin Pedersen, teacher/coach, 1979-2019: Kevin’s career in education stretches over four decades. He spent 14 years at Stevens Middle School teaching Health, P.E. and social studies before moving over to Pasco High in 1993. After 16 years with the Bulldogs, Kevin helped to open Chiawana High School in 2009, and he’s been a Riverhawk ever since. Kevin was also a longtime assistant football coach under Steve Graff, first at Pasco High, and then at Chiawana.
Conchita Pimental, paraeducator, 1992-2018: Conchita started as an aide in the migrant education program at Pasco High in 1992. After a couple years, Conchita decided the younger kids were more fun to work with, so she moved to Livingston Elementary to work as a paraeducator in the special education classrooms. Conchita spent 14 years at Livingston before moving over to Robinson Elementary. She’s been working with the Comets for the last 11 years.
James Powers, mechanic, 2015-2018: After spending close to 30 years working in the automotive repair business, James wrapped up his career as a mechanic working with PSD’s Transportation department. During his tenure with Pasco Schools, James made sure the District’s fleet of school buses and other vehicles were always running in tip-top shape.
Patrick Ray, custodian, 1993-2018: For the last 25 years, Patrick has been keeping things clean around Pasco schools. After starting as a substitute and roving custodian in 1993, Patrick spent seven years bouncing between custodial assignments at Pasco High and McLoughlin Middle School. In 2000, Patrick was named the Head Custodian at McGee Elementary, and he’s been a Mustang ever since. Patrick kept McGee’s hallways and classrooms sparkling clean for the last 18 years.
Jennifer Smith, nutrition services, 2009-2019: Jennifer joined the Pasco School District in 2009, after a long and successful career as a bakery manager. She started at New Horizons High School where she helped out in the kitchen. After a couple years with the Phoenix, she moved over to Twain Elementary, and then eventually to Chess Elementary. In 2016, Jennifer moved back to Twain, and she’s spent the last three years making sure the Wildcats are always well fed.
Cheryl Snyder, teacher, 2011-2019: Cheryl joined Pasco School District in 2011, but her career in education spans nearly three decades. She joined the team at Robinson Elementary in 2011, working with pre-school special education students. She would stay with the Comets until 2015 when she moved to a similar position at McClintock STEM Elementary. Then in 2018, Cheryl was part of the staff that opened the District’s new Early Learning Center on 7th Avenue.
Patti Soohoo, paraeducator, 2004-2018: Patti joined the Pasco School District team in 2004 working at Frost Elementary, where she served as a special services paraeducator. She would stay at Frost for a couple of years before finding her long-term home at Angelou Elementary. Patti spent 12 years keeping her eyes on the Explorers, whether that was in the classroom, the cafeteria, or out on the playground.
Maria Tamez, paraeducator, 1979-2019: Maria has been an Emerson Elementary Eagle since the days of leisure suits and Saturday Night Fever. She started as a classroom aide at Emerson in 1979. Over the course of four decades, Maria has been a bilingual paraeducator, a crosswalk duty, a testing paraeducator, and a playground supervisor.
Robert Tews, bus driver, 1983-2019: Robert joined PSD’s transportation team as a bus driver in 1983, after moving to the west coast from Schenectady, New York. Robert was a valuable and integral part of the transportation team for more than 30 years. He was often praised for his professional demeanor and his excellent student management skills. His colleagues could always count on Robert to go above and beyond to get the job done.
Thomas Townsend, bus driver, 2003-1018: Better known as ‘Mick’ to his friends and colleagues, he actually got his start with Pasco Schools nearly 40 years ago as a substitute custodian at Twain Elementary. But the allure of full-time work led him to a 15-year career in groceries, working for the Buttrey’s store in Kennewick, which later became the Food Pavilion. In 2003, Mick found his way back to Pasco, and he’s been a bus driver with PSD’s transportation team since 2003.
David Vallade, custodian, 2005-2019: David started out as the night custodian at McLoughlin Middle School, and after a year with the Panthers, he moved north to Angelou Elementary for a couple years, before finally settling down as the night custodian at Pasco High School. He’s spent the last 11 years keeping the hallways, classrooms, and locker rooms inside the ‘Home of the Bulldogs’ sparkling clean.
Kristi Williams, teacher, 1983-2019: Kristi’s teaching career starting 36 years ago when she was hired on as a substitute teacher at Captain Gray. She would spend a couple years with the Sharks before finding her forever home as a music teacher at Frost Elementary. Over the last three decades, Kristi has organized hundreds of exceptional performances for assemblies, special events and concerts, and helped thousands of students find the inner musician inside of them.
Pasco School District Honors 2017-2018 Retirees
The Pasco School District honored 38 retiring employees at the Board of Directors study session on June 12. Those retirees represent a combined total of 811 years of service to Pasco students and families.
Insoon Anderson, nutrition services, 2002-2018: Insoon has spent the last 16 years making sure Pasco Students get a well-balanced meal every day, so they can focus on their learning. Her PSD career started in 2002 and she worked at several schools over the years, including the last three years at McClintock STEM Elementary.
Kathy Battershell-Doran, special education teacher, 1997-2018: Kathy has spent a large part of her life teaching life skills to Pasco students. Her career started at Pasco High in 1997. She also worked at several elemetnary schools, including the last three years at McClintock STEM Elementary.
Carol Lynn Beck, library clerk, 1989-2018: Carol Lynn started her PSD career as a bus driver, but then moved to Stevens Middle School to be a clerk in the library. She spent 26 years with the Tigers, helping out in the media center and keeping the school’s website up to date.
Donna Beck, bus attendant, 2002-2017: Donna has spent the last 15 years making sure Pasco Students get to school safely, and that they also get a well-balanced meal so they can focus on their learning. She worked in the kitchen at McLoughlin Middle School for several years before becoming a bus attendant with the transportation department.
Jim Brown, teacher, 1974-2018: In 1974, Jim Brown accepted an offer to be an English teacher at Pasco High School. He has been a Bulldog ever since. Over the last 44 years, Jim has taught English and literature classes of all levels and degree of difficulty at PHS, as well as serving as the chair of the English Department. In 2004, he was honored with a Staff Achievement award.
Suzanne Carroll, paraeducator, 2010-2018: Suzanne’s introduction to Pasco schools came through the Americorps Literacy Tutor program in 2010. She spent her year-long internship working with the little ones at the Captain Gray Early Learning Center. The following year, she joined the staff at Captain Gray as a paraeducator. Suzanne has spent the last five years at Robinson Elementary.
Shirley Coleman, bus driver, 2004-2018: Making sure that Pasco students made it from their doorstep to the classroom safely has been Shirley’s top priority for the last 14 years. She became a full-time bus driver in 2005, and in between her morning and afternoon routes, she would spend her time at McLoughlin Middle School working as a playground monitor during the lunchtime recess.
John Combs, HVAC specialist, 2012-2018: John spent the last six years making sure that things don’t get overheated in our buildings. As an HVAC/Refrigeration specialist, it was his job to make sure that our schools are comfortable for students and staff. His supervisors describe him as an outstanding employee with a great work ethic and attitude that should serve as an example for others to follow.
Marina Compson, teacher, 2003-2018: Marina has been helping high school students in Pasco learn the finer points of a foreign language for the last 15 years. She started at Pasco High in 2003 and spent nine years there teaching AP Spanish and French classes. She also served as the Spanish Club advisor. In 2012, Marina moved over to Chiawana High School, where she continued to teach Spanish and French classes.
Judy Dietzen, teacher, 2007-2018: Judy is a National Board Certified teacher in science and early adolescence. But in Pasco, her focus has primarily been on her colleagues. Judy has been a GLAD trainer for the last ten years. In 2014, she was honored with a Staff Achievement Award for her efforts in that arena. In 2016, Judy was honored by ESD 123 with the coveted Crystal Apple Award.
Danny Dunnagan, teacher, 2007-2018: Danny graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in education, but it would take him several years before he finally became a teacher. After a long career working with the Department of Transportation, Danny joined the staff at McLoughlin Middle School in 2007 as a math teacher, and he’s been a Panther ever since.
Marie Feryn, teacher, 2003-2018: Marie’s experience in a Pasco classroom actually started way back in 1968, when she served as a student teacher at Captain Gray and Emerson. However, she would spend the first part of her career working in Spokane. Marie moved to Pasco in 2003 and has spent the last 15 years working with students at several schools, most recently at Angelou Elementary.
Sheila Fricke, nutrition services, 1997-2018: For the last 21 years, Sheila Fricke has been a busy lady in our school kitchens. She’s worked in the kitchens of several elementary schools, and also worked at all three of our middle schools. Sheila received a Staff Achievement Award in 2014 and has spent the last few years working as a training manager for the nutrition services department.
Kevin Girard, teacher, 1986-2018: McGee Elementary has always been home for Kevin. His tenure with the Mustangs started in 1986, and over the years, he has moved around from 6th grade to 3rd grade to 4th grade to 5th grade, but his passion has always been math and science. Former McGee principal Robin Hay says Kevin is solely responsible for hundreds of students gaining a firm grasp of math, and even a little ‘love’ for it.
Vickie Hanson, student services secretary, 1993-2018: Vickie is one of those unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to make sure their departments run smoothly. She was the secretary at New Horizons High School for five years before she moved to the student services department. Her supervisors have described her as incredibly knowledgeable and efficient with exceptional people skills. In 2013, Vickie was honored with a Staff Achievement Award.
Denise Hockaday, nutrition services, 1983-2018: Making sure that our students are well nourished has been Denise Hockaday’s passion for the last 35 years. This Pasco High grad has been part of the Livingston Leopard family since 1991, earning praise for being a good planner and problem solver as she worked to master the space limitations inside Livingston’s kitchen. In 2010, Denise was honored with a Staff Achievement Award.
Jody Hughes, administrator, 1982-2018: Jody’s career with Pasco Schools is a two-part story. In part one, she spent 12 years serving as a speech and language teacher, and then a 5th grade teacher at Captain Gray. Part Two began in 2004 when Jody returned to serve as the assistant principal, and then principal, at Twain Elementary. Since 2011, she’s been an assistant principal and facilitator at Livingston Elementary.
Susan Johnson, nutrition services, 1989-2018: Susan joined the nutrition services team in 1989, getting her start Captain Gray Elementary. She spent three years with the Sharks before moving down the block to Pasco High. Over the last 20 years, Susan has worked in the kitchens at New Horizons High School, Pasco High and Ochoa Middle School. She’s spent the last ten years making sure that the Rockets are always full of fuel.
Catherine Kim, teacher, 1991-2018: Catherine’s career in education spans more than three decades. She moved to the Mid-Columbia in 1991 and spent nearly two decades as an English teacher at Pasco High, before making the move over to Chiawana. Catherine has often been described as a high energy teacher who keeps her students on the go and on task, pushing them to stretch their limits.
Karen Maciboba, teacher, 1982-2018: Karen’s teaching career spans 36 years. She spent 20 years at Emerson Elementary teaching 5th graders before becoming the school’s technology teacher. She’s also served as a literacy coach, facilitator, reading recovery teacher and leveled literacy intervention teacher at Robinson, Angelou, and Franklin STEM elementary schools.
Kim Marsh, Director of Capital Projects, 1991-2018: Kim has been a constant on the operations side of the district for 27 years. As the Director of Capital Projects, Kim helped carry our three new STEM Elementary schools from concept to completion, and also played a major role in the renovation projects that created the new Early Learning Center and New Horizons High School’s new home on the Columbia Basin College campus.
Marlene Meyer, teacher, 1994-2016: For 22 years, Marlene did her best to make sure that Pasco students were not just introduced to music, but that it became an important part of their lives. Her PSD career started with stints at Captain Gray and Whittier Elementary. In 2005 she helped to open the brand-new Robinson Elementary and spent the rest of her career there teaching hundreds of Comets the school song, a tune she wrote and composed herself.
Kathy Middleton, teacher, 2008-2018: Kathy’s teaching career spans more than four decades, and her commitment to kids has never wavered. She is described by her peers as a focused, dedicated educator with a great appetite for student achievement. Over the last ten years, Kathy has worked with students at McGee and Frost elementaries. In 2014, she helped to open Franklin STEM Elementary school and has been part of the Raven family ever since.
Susan Murphy, nutrition services, 2003-2018: Susan joined Pasco’s nutrition services team in 2003, after several years as a stay-at-home mom. Susan found her first full-time home in the kitchen at New Horizons. She spent two years helping to feed the Phoenix before she moved over to Chess Elementary, where she stayed for another four years. Susan has spent the last six years working at our three high schools.
Shirley Nelson, transportation clerk, 2003-2018: Shirley found a full-time home as the payroll and dispatch clerk in transportation, working daily to make sure our dozens of bus drivers were in the right place in the right time, and were getting properly paid for the work they were doing. In 2014, Shirley became the accounting technician for the transportation department, and stayed in that role until her retirement this year.
Pam O’Brien, paraeducator, 1987-2018: Pam started at Longfellow Elementary in 1987, and she’s been a Longhorn ever since. Over the last three decades, she filled many roles at the school, serving as a classroom aide, an educational assistant, a crosswalk duty and a paraeducator. Over the years, Pam has earned high praise for her ‘can do’ attitude and her ability to connect with students on a personal level.
Michael Prather, mechanic, 2013-2018: Michael joined the transportation department as a mechanic in 2013, after working for many years in automotive shops around the Tri-Cities. Over the last five years, there’s a good chance that Michael may have worked on all 160-some school buses that the district maintains and operates. Michael was also a member of the district’s safety committee and often provided educated suggestions to the group.
Howard Roberts, Director of Fiscal Services, 2009-2018: It would be impossible to add up all of the time Howard spent sharing budget reports, bond information, and other financial nuggets with our school board members. Thanks to Howard’s leadership and guidance, Pasco School District continues to enjoy a very favorable bond rating and an extremely sound financial future.
Mark Rudeen, translator/interpreter, 1994-2018: Mark spent more than 20 years working as a translator and interpreter for Pasco Schools. Mark often served as the bilingual interpreter at school board meetings and other district events. Mark was praised by his colleagues for always being a professional who appreciated the importance of his role and held himself to a high standard.
Ellie Sanchez, paraeducator, 1985-2018: Ellie has been a fixture in Pasco Schools for more than 30 years. She worked as a substitute classroom aide for several years before landing a full-time job as a bilingual teacher’s aide at Frost Elementary. She spent nearly a decade at Frost before moving over to Livingston where she worked as a paraeducator in the special education program. In 2006, Ellie received a Staff Achievement Award.
Guadalupe Santiago, paraeducator, 1999-2018: Guadalupe spent her first five years working as a substitute classroom aide at several schools. In 2004, she found a home at McLoughlin Middle School as a paraeducator. In 2007, she moved to Frost Elementary to work as a bilingual paraeducator, and she would spend the next 11 years there. One teacher called Guadalupe “the best paraeducator a teacher could ever have.”
Valerie Smith, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, 2005-2017: For 12 years, it was Valerie’s responsibility to keep the chaotic stream of information, meeting requests, phone messages, parent questions and employee concerns that are directed at the Superintendent’s office every day, as organized as possible. Valerie tackled it all with a smile on her face, and was often praised for her ability to interact with patrons, even the ones who weren’t so friendly.
David Spray, teacher/coach, 1996-2018: David was a longtime assistant coach under Steve Graff, first at Pasco High where he helped lead the Bulldogs to three state championships in football, and then at Chiawana, where he helped the Riverhawks win a state title in 2013. Off the field, David taught social studies classes at Pasco High, before moving to Chiawana to teach PE and health classes.
Kathleen Stordahl, teacher, 1999-2018: Kathleen is a longtime Ochoa Rocket, spending the last 16 years as a technology teacher there. For several years, she served as an advisor for Ochoa’s yearbook club, guiding her students as they captured many middle school moments. Kathleen has always been highly respected by her colleagues for creating a classroom that valued learning and set high expectations for students.
Sally Thompson, paraeducator, 1996-2018: Sally was the ultimate multi-tasker at Stevens Middle School, where she served as a lunchroom supervisor, bus duty and paraeducator. With those three jobs, it’s quite possible that Sally made contact with every single student at Stevens over the course of a day. Sally’s colleagues admired her patience, kindness and empathy for the students that she worked with on a daily basis.
Lynn Tourangeau, paraeducator, 1984-2018: Lynn’s career started at Captain Gray where she worked as a classroom aide, bus duty and playground monitor. She spent ten years with the Sharks before moving over to Frost Elementary where she worked with students in the resource room. In 2015, she helped to open the brand-new McClintock STEM Elementary, serving as a paraeducator, playground monitor and crossing guard there.
Kay Trainer, speech and language tutor, 1999-2018: Kay spent nearly two decades working as a speech and language tutor with PSD’s special education department. Over those years, she worked at several schools, including Frost, Captain Gray, McGee and Livingston Elementaries. In 2014, She helped to open Franklin STEM Elementary and worked with Franklin students up until her retirement this spring.
Vicki Wright, school nurse, 1974-2018: In 1974, Vicki accepted an offer to serve as the nurse for the King James Eastside preschool, and for many years, she was the district’s one and only nurse. Over the last four decades, Vicki has worked to expand the nursing program to provide school nurses at every school. In 2015, Vicki was named the Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year.
The Pasco School District honored 41 retiring employees at the Board of Directors study session on June 14. Those retirees represent a combined total of 964 years of service to Pasco students and families.
Cha Amack, custodian, 1991-2017: Keeping our schools clean and operating smoothly has been a top priority for Cha Amack for the last 26 years. She started her career with the Pasco School District in 1991 spending several years at Twain Elementary working as the night custodian. In 2001, she moved to Livingston Elementary and was a fixture there for 16 years.
Ina Ames, teacher, 1982-2016: Ina Ames spent 32 years as a math teacher at Pasco High School, long enough to teach a generation of students who were the sons and daughters of students she taught a generation before. Ames was proficient in all levels of high school math courses and often challenged her students to aspire to take and complete the high-level math courses like calculus, courses she truly enjoyed teaching.
James Arel, custodian, 2004-2016: James Arel came to the Pasco School District after a 25-year career in the U.S. army and several years in the world of retail sales. Arel worked as a custodian at Markham Elementary, Pasco High School, New Horizons High School and Ochoa Middle School. James was often earned praise for his years of experience, his easy-going nature, and his flexibility when it came to schedule adjustments or location assignments.
Diana Baker, teacher/librarian, 2006-2017: Diana Baker joined the Pasco School District in 2006 after a 14-year career in the U.S. Army, and several years as an adjunct professor for Regis University. Diana spent nine years at McLoughlin Middle School, teaching computer classes for 7th and 8th graders before transitioning into 8th grade English Language Arts and History classes. In 2015, Diana moved to McClintock STEM Elementary, where she served as a librarian and Tech teacher.
Rosalva Bogart, paraeducator/secretary, 1987-2017: Rosalva Bogart started her PSD career in 1987 as a bilingual paraeducator at Twain elementary. She spent three years there before finding her home at Pasco High School. At PHS, Bogart served as a guidance secretary and registrar, and later as the athletic department secretary. In 2012, Bogart moved to Chiawana High School where she served as the secretary to Assistant Principal Phil Koestner.
Randy Bjur, music teacher, 2009-2017: Randy Bjur has led the band program at Pasco High since his arrival in 2009 and has served as the chair of the visual and performing arts department for several years. He’s also been an active leader of the summer music program, and has helped to nurture blossoming young musicians at Robinson, McGee, Chess and Twain elementaries over the years. In 2015, Bjur was honored with a Crystal Apple Award.
Laurine Carey, secretary, 1986-2017: Laurine Carey’s career with the Pasco School District started in 1986. After spending some time at Twain Elementary and McLoughlin Middle School, Laurine discovered that her true calling was at the high school level. Laurine spent 18 years at Pasco High, serving as a vice-principal’s secretary. In 2009, she moved to Chiawana High School, where she has been a vital part of the B Wing student support team, working with Assistant Principal Brian Baker for the last eight years.
Judy Church, teacher, 1991-2017: Judy Church has spent the last 26 years teaching 3rd and 4th graders, the first nine years at Captain Gray Elementary and the last 17 years at Chess Elementary. Current Robinson Elementary principal Wendi Manthei once shared this thought about Judy. “Watching Judy teach is inspiring each and every time I see her. She is undoubtedly the most dedicated, enthusiastic and focused teacher I have ever worked with.”
Susan Clapper, paraeducator, 1988-2017: Susan Clapper has spent nearly three decades helping students in Pasco Schools. Clapper worked at McGee Elementary for 26 years and was praised for her work in the resource room and the care that she took with those students. She also spent several years helping out with playground duty and working as a crosswalk guard.
Glenda Cloud, Deputy Superintendent, 1986-2017: Doing what’s best for our students. That’s the guiding principle that Glenda Cloud has followed for the last 31 years here in the Pasco School District. From that very first class of first graders at Livingston Elementary, through her years as an assistant principal, and then through her two decades of service as a district administrator, doing what’s best for the students has always come first. Her strongest connections with her colleagues may have come when she took on the roles of Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and finally as Deputy Superintendent. In those roles, Glenda served as a supervisor and evaluator for many of the principals who now lead our elementary, middle and high schools.
Marilyn Davis, teacher, 1991-2017: Marilyn Davis is a Longfellow Longhorn through and through. Her career with the Pasco School District started in 1991, when she accepted an offer to teach 1st grade at Longfellow. Davis wound up spending 26 years at Longfellow, teaching 1st graders, 3rd graders, 4th graders and 5th graders along the way.
Kelleen Doyle, teacher, 1990-2017: For Kelleen Doyle, Pasco’s littlest learners have always been her top priority. Her tenure with the Pasco School District started in 1990 when she accepted an offer to teach kindergarten at Emerson. Over the years, she has also taught 1st and 2nd graders at Frost, Longfellow, Chess and Livingston elementary schools. She has spent the last two years as a Leveled Literacy Interventional specialist at Robinson Elementary.
Andy Eads, photography teacher, 2002-2017: Andy Eads has been teaching Pasco students the secrets behind capturing moments and documenting history for the last 15 years, after spending more than 20 years as a professional photographer. Over the years, Andy’s classes have always been popular and full of students. In fact, many of his students have entered photography contests and won big awards, a sure sign that Andy was definitely doing something right.
Hugh Fulton, teacher, 1995-2017: Hugh Fulton spent 20 years teaching students at McLoughlin Middle School before wrapping up his PSD career with two years teaching 6th graders at Livingston Elementary, alongside his wife, Lynn. Hugh and Lynn also spent several years coaching the tennis team at McLoughlin.
Lynn Fulton, teacher, 2004-2017: Lynn Fulton joined the Pasco School District in 2004, teaching 8th grade reading, language arts, and history at Stevens Middle School. She also taught 7th grade math and science at Stevens for a couple years before moving over to McLoughlin Middle School to teach math and science to students there. Lynn is wrapping up her PSD career by teaching 6th grade alongside her husband at Livingston elementary.
Cindy Gallegos, teacher, 2008-2017: Cindy Gallegos has spent her nine-year career with PSD teaching 6th graders, first at Ochoa Middle School, and then for the last two years at Twain Elementary. Cindy has been described by her colleagues as a life-long learner who is always eager and willing to share the new things she has learned with her teammates and other staff members.
Sarah Garth, bus driver/food service, 1999-2016: Sarah Garth has spent the last 17 years making sure Pasco Students get to school safely, and that they also get a well-balanced meal so they can focus on their learning. She’s been a bus driver during her entire PSD career. For nine years, she also worked as a food service assistant at Frost Elementary and Ochoa Middle School.
Rosa Gonzalez, translator/interpreter, 2001-2017: Rosa Gonzalez has always played a vital role in the district’s efforts to connect with our Hispanic community. She spent her first year working as a home visitor at Livingston Elementary, before moving to the Booth Administration building to serve as a translator and interpreter in the Special Programs department. Rosa stayed in that role for six years, until she took a similar role at Chiawana High School in 2009.
Linda Gragg, teacher, 2004-2017: Linda Gragg’s career with PSD started in 2004 when she signed on to teach kindergarten at McGee Elementary. Linda would continue teaching McGee’s littlest learners for the next eleven years. In 2015, Linda shifted gears a bit and transitioned into a new role as an English language development teacher. This year, she’s wrapping up her tenure at McGee, teaching 2nd graders.
Rosa Guajardo, bus driver, 1988-2016: For 28 years, Rosa Guajardo has spent her mornings and afternoons making sure that Pasco students get to school and back home again safely. For many years, Rosa drove one of the “country routes” which always meant a little more of an adventure when winter weather rolled into town. In 1998, she received a Pasco Pride award for helping to diffuse and resolve a student fight on her bus.
Diane Hart, teacher, 2004-2017: Diane Hart’s career with the Pasco School District is a two-part story. In part one, Diane spent nine years serving as a Chapter 1 aide and special services assistant. Part two began in 2004, after Diane spent four years teaching at St. Patrick’s private school. For the last 13 years, Hart has been teaching kindergartners and 1st graders, first at Angelou Elementary and later at Livingston Elementary.
Shannon Higgins, art teacher, 1998-2017: Over the last 19 years, Shannon Higgins has seen her fair share of young Picassos. She’s been an art teacher in the Pasco School District for the last 12 years, but her PSD career started as a first grade teacher at Whittier elementary. When she decided to focus specifically on art in 2005, she split her time between Whittier and Livingston elementary schools.
Pam Johnston, teacher, 1984-2017: Pam Johnston has touched the lives of thousands of Longfellow Longhorns over the last 33 years. She has spent time teaching 1st grade and 6th grade, and even helped with the Migrant Summer School in the 90’s. She’s spent the last few years at Longfellow teaching 4th graders.
Diane Kostoff, secretary, 1990-2017: Diane Kostoff has been a part of the PSD family since 1990, when she accepted a part-time position helping out on the playground at Livingston Elementary. Diane spent six years at Livingston, working as a paraprofessional and a playground supervisor. In 1996, Diane found a new home at the Booth Administration Building, joining the staff in the Special Services office. That’s where she’s been ever since.
Mary Lopez, teacher, 1987-2017: Mary Lopez’s PSD career has included several stops, including Markham Elementary and Longfellow Elementary where she worked with kindergartners, first graders and Reading Recovery students. In 2003, Mary moved to Ochoa Middle School to focus on English Language Arts and ESL classes. Mary spent seven years with the Rockets before moving to Pasco High where she’s worked with ESL students since 2011.
Margaret “Kay” Makin, food service/bus driver, 2011-2017: Kay Makin enjoyed two different successful stints with the district. From 1999 to 2008, she worked with nutrition services at Pasco High, McLoughlin Middle School, the MLK Head Start Center, Angelou Elementary and Ochoa Middle School. Makin left the district in 2008 but returned in 2011 to work as a bus driver. She’s spent the last six years transporting students to and from school every day.
Blanca Martinez, bilingual tutor/teacher, 2015-2017: Blanca Martinez has spent more than ten years working with Pasco kids over the last four decades. In the 80’s, Martinez spent five years as a bilingual tutor at Longfellow and Captain Gray. Martinez left the district for several years, but returned to teach first grade at Longfellow Elementary in 2003, and came back again to teach kindergarten at Emerson in 2015.
Nancy McKever, paraeducator, 1990-2016: Nancy McKever’s career with the district started in 1990 when she was hired on full-time as the crossing guard at Longfellow. From there, she became a special education teacher’s aide at Longfellow. In 2001, McKever moved to Stevens Middle School where she spent 15 years working with kids as a special services paraeducator.
Virginia McLeod, teacher, 2007-2017: Virginia McLeod joined the Pasco School District in 2007, after spending more than two decades teaching in the Moses Lake School District. During her tenure here in Pasco, she has taught language arts and history at Stevens Middle School. She’s also served as an English language development teacher at Stevens. She has spent the last four years working with ELD students at Chiawana High School.
Marcia Miller, teacher, 1977-2017: Over the last 40 years, Marcy Miller has focused much of her time on Pasco’s littlest learners. She has spent many, many years teaching kindergarten, first grade, and second grade at Captain Gray, Frost, Longfellow, Emerson and Angelou elementary schools. She has also worked as a reading recovery and leveled literacy intervention teacher at Angelou, and she wrapped up her PSD career holding that role this past year at Robinson Elementary.
Katherine O’Larey, teacher, 1988-2017: Katherine O’Larey started working with the Pasco School District in 1988. She spent that first year teaching 5th grade at Captain Gray. But the following year she moved to Emerson Elementary, a place where she would stay for 22 years. Kathy taught 4th grade at Emerson for five years but then moved down to teach the 2nd graders in 1994. She’s been a 2nd grade teacher ever since, a total of 22 years. Kathy has spent the last five years at Livingston Elementary.
Elizabeth Ortega, teacher, 1978-2017: Elizabeth Ortega has been a part of the PSD family for nearly four decades. Over the years, She has worked as a bilingual 1st grade teacher at McGee, a 2nd grade teacher at Captain Gray, and a reading recovery teacher at Longfellow. In 1998, Elizabeth found a home at Whittier, where she has stayed ever since. She spent several years as a bilingual 1st grade and 2nd grade teacher, and has also helped with the reading recovery program and as an ELA instructional coach.
Dick Powers, speech/language pathologist, 2008-2017: Dick Powers has worked with hundreds of Pasco students as a speech language pathologist. His PSD career started with a couple years at Longfellow Elementary, followed by a year at Angelou Elementary, and then a year where he split time between Frost Elementary, Whittier Elementary, Ochoa Middle School and Chiawana High School. For the last two years, he has focused entirely on students at CHS.
Sharae Reeser, bus driver, 1989-2017: Making sure that Pasco students made it from their doorstep to the classroom safely has been Sharae Reeser’s top priority for the last 28 years. Sharae started working as a bus driver in 1989, and since then she’s traveled several thousand miles over Pasco’s city streets, as well as the county’s rural roads, safely transporting students to school and then back home every morning and afternoon.
Robin Ryan, teacher, 1997-2017: Robin Ryan has been a part of the fabric that makes up Pasco High School for the last two decades. She has spent 20 years as a special education teacher at PHS and also served as the department’s chair. Her commitment to her students has been evident since day one. One of her supervisors offered this praise: “It is a pleasure to see so many special education students actively engaged in productive learning in one room at one time, during a single instructional period.”
Scott Salisbury, teacher, 1980-2017: Scott Salisbury has been a fixture at Pasco High for the last 37 years. He’s served as the chair of the industrial arts department, and helped to establish the Direct Credit automotive agreement with CBC. He has also been a soccer coach and a master teacher, mentoring many new teachers over the years. His program was also recognized as the regional program of the year in 2003 by the Washington Technology Education Association.
Sandra Smith, teacher, 1996-2017: Sandi Smith’s tenure with the Pasco School District started in 1996, but she’s been involved in the teaching profession for more than 45 years. She started her PSD career at Stevens Middle School before moving over to New Horizons High School to teach vocational education and applied math. Over the years, Sandi has played a vital role in helping New Horizons students meet their math requirements for graduation.
Karen Van Klaveren, teacher, 1979-2017: Karen Van Klaveren has been a family and consumer science teacher since 1979, back when they still called it ‘Home Ec’. For 20 years, she taught financial literacy, foods and interior design classes at Pasco High School, before moving to Chiawana in 2010 to teach the similar classes there. She has also been a National Honor Society advisor, she’s been involved with Junior Achievement, and she has also been part of the TPEP committee and helped to create training modules for staff members.
Lindalee Vancil, teacher, 1990-2017: Over the last 27 years, Lindalee Vancil has held teaching positions at McLoughlin Middle School, New Horizons High School, Pasco High School and Chiawana High School. For the last two years, she has been in charge of the AVENTA program at New Horizons High School, helping students earn their credits through online classes.
Pam Wheatley, music teacher, 1983-2017: Pam Wheatley’s career as a music teacher at Livingston elementary started way back in 1983. Since then, she has organized hundreds of exceptional performances for assemblies, special events and concerts. She has also helped thousands of students find the inner musician inside of them.
Linda Woodall, teacher, 1990-2017: Linda Woodall’s PSD career started in 1992. She spent the first six years bouncing between Twain and Longfellow, before settling down and spending six years at Whittier Elementary. In 2005, she made one last move to Robinson elementary, where she has stayed for the last 12 years. She has been a teacher for 1st graders, 2nd graders and 3rd graders over the years. She has also spent time as a reading recovery and leveled literacy intervention specialist.
Debra Ayde, bus driver, 1996-2016: For 20 years Debra has been a consistent and dependable bus driver and a valued member of the Transportation team. She has always been willing to step up to help another driver. She does her work with a smile on her face that is infectious. Her positive attitude shines through when she communicates on the radio. Perhaps the most telling fact about Debra is that every year she has written to her supervisor, “I love my job and my coworkers.”
Linda Maxwell, nutrition services, 2010-2016: As a Nutrition Services helper Linda quickly proved to be a good worker who got along well with her coworkers and built positive relationships with students and staff. She was also described as a valuable asset to the Pasco High School kitchen, where she did oven and kettle cooking. Her knowledge and experience proved invaluable as she helped PHS through a staffing shortage.
Karen Nevious, teacher, 1978-2016: Karen began her teaching career at Twain where she was helpful and cooperative. Her principal said, “Please keep smiling! Your enthusiasm is contagious.” Some things never change, as this veteran teacher retires from Twain this year. Karen is a champion of literacy. She started a writer’s workshop and used her experience and knowledge to train her peers. Her classroom is alive with writing. She uses short stories, magazines, books, novels and even pictures to help students develop an understanding of literary traits and genres.
Kathy Parks, teacher, 1993-2016: Kathy started as a long-term substitute for the district before finding a permanent home as the art teacher at Emerson Elementary. With patience and kindness, Kathy developed lessons so interesting that her students were always on task. She also had an amazing ability to adapt lessons for special needs students. Her principal noted, “Your special gift for working with special needs students is pretty spectacular.”
Linda Prudhomme, secretary, 1977-2016: Linda worked for the Pasco School District for 39 years. Linda began as the Special Services secretary where she increased efficiency and brought a positive attitude to her work. But we all know that all Bulldogs go home, and this PHS grad did the same when she became the Special Programs secretary at Pasco High School. She completed her career as a library clerk at PHS where she maintained a quiet, but well used library.
Luis Ramos, bus driver, 2000-2016: Making sure that Pasco students made it from their doorstep to the classroom safely was Luis’ top priority for the last 16 years. He started working as a bus driver in 2000, and he’s traveled several thousand miles over Pasco’s city streets, safely transporting students to school and then back home. Luis also worked as a custodian for the district during the summer and helped out in the bus maintenance shop. He also helped with many extra bus trips and was always a favorite with teams and coaches.
Carmen Rodriguez, paraeducator, 1991-2016: Carmen’s career in education spans more than 35 years. She joined the district in 1991 and quickly found a home helping students in the ESL program. Carmen truly loved working with younger students and spent more than two decades working with bilingual and ESL students at Twain, Whittier, Robinson and Chess elementaries.
John Sapp, teacher, 1992-2015: When John joined the team at McLoughlin, he was already a seasoned teacher who brought a passion for history and clear expectations for his students. John established himself as a hard worker and was described by his supervisors as a great storyteller with a vast knowledge of historical details who has the ability to tell the story in a colorful way that engages students. His students always enjoyed seeing the big picture of history.
Nancy Sawyer, bus driver, 1987-2015: In Nancy’s first year as a bus driver for the Pasco School District her supervisor noted that she had a difficult run that could go from relative calm to boisterous in seconds. Nancy continued to provide quality transportation, primarily for special needs students, for the next 28 years. Nancy always kept her sense of humor and, as her supervisor noted, always had a smile in her voice on the radio.
Betty Scott, bus attendant, 2005-2016: As a special needs bus attendant Betty helped some of Pasco’s most vulnerable students get safely from home to school and back each day. From the start she worked well with the bus driver and gained high praise for her ability to work well with students. Betty and her driver were described as a strong and quiet team.
Francisco Segura, teacher, 1986-2016: As an English as a Second Language teacher at McLoughlin, Francisco’s professional preparation and instructional skills improved the quality of the ESL department. He also worked as a history and civics teacher at Pasco High School where he kept his students interested and motivated. Francisco was one of the original faculty members of Chiawana High School, where he completes his exemplary career. He’s been described as a teacher who has the courage to openly analyze and reflect deeply about historical and related current issues with his students.
Judi Yearout, teacher, 1975-2016: For 41 years Judi has provided quality instruction to the students of Pasco. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher at Emerson, and then moved to Captain Gray. She worked hard to establish and meet the needs of her students and to provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences. Judi’s final assignment has been as a Reading Recovery and Leveled Literacy teacher at Robinson. As Principal Wendi Manthei noted, Judi expects the best of her students and when given those kinds of expectations students rise to them every time.
Dr. Vida Zuljevic, teacher, 2000-2016: Before coming to Pasco, Vida worked as teacher in the former Yugoslavia, tutored refugees in Munich and taught preschool in Texas. She began her career in Pasco as a Russian kindergarten teacher at Frost, where she used puppetry to help children develop oral language skills. She went on to earn her doctorate in education. At Franklin, she continued to use puppetry and poetry contests to engage students. As Principal Deidre Holmberg said, “Dr. Zuljevic brings excitement and passion to her students with her many motivating projects focused on the spoken word, peace and the environment.”