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Celebrating Our Education Support Professionals!

March 11-15, have we celebrated Education Support Professionals Week in Shoreline Schools. Please join us in thanking them for all that they do for our students!

photo of Taryn Shelley

"My role at Syre is working one on one with a student in kindergarten! Although I am with him for most of the day, I have had the opportunity to build relationships with other students and staff over the course of the school year. I am really grateful to be a part of this community and to continue making connections with those around me."

- Taryn Shelley, Paraeducator, Syre Elementary School

Kathie Schindler photo

"I’ve always felt that being part of an organization that’s core mission is to educate young people is a great place to be! I have been working in Shoreline for many decades now and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Even though my job doesn’t include seeing our students every day, it is so rewarding knowing that what we do here in the central office is all for them. Many years ago, Shoreline staff adopted a motto for the school year during our late summer opening day celebration. It was: “It’s all about kids. It’s about all kids.” Still.So.True.

I’ve also been able to work with incredibly smart, talented, thoughtful, and caring staff whom I consider lifelong friends. As a district we’ve had ups, we’ve had downs but we are “still going” and it has been a great ride.

In honor of spring training (go Mariners), I just have to say that working in the Shoreline School District, for me, has been like hitting a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of game seven of that ever elusive (for Seattle fans) World Series."

- Kathie Schindler, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent/School Board

"I absolutely love my job as a preschool aide here at Edwin Pratt! I started working with preschoolers here in 1991 when it was the Shoreline Children's Center. My favorite part of working here are the random hugs and big smiles I get from the kids daily. That lets me know they feel safe and are happy at school, which in turn helps them to learn and get ready for kindergarten. I am glad I can be there for them to give them additional support in the classroom."

- Judie Menz, Preschool Aide, Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center

"When you love what you do, you know your 'why'! When I was growing up, school was hard--I didn't know I had ADHD until I was 33 years old. I want to make sure that the kids that I work with get the opportunity to understand their brains (whether they have a neurodivergent brain or not)."

- Shannon Spurgeon, Paraeducator, Ridgecrest Elementary School

"I started working for Head Start in 2016, with a small cafe at Meridian Park. In January 2019, we moved into a brand new school, Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center.

I have grown and learned a lot. I'm the kitchen lead of our own beautiful kitchen and I now have two amazing co-workers! My favorite part of the day is seeing the students, and I love it when they call me 'Kitchen Debbie' or 'Chef Debbie.'"

Shares Echo Lake Principal Andrew Lohman about support professional Maryam Razaghzadeh:

"Maryam supports our kindergarten classes, is a recess supervisor, and is our lunch supervisor. Helping more than 400 students to have a successful and enjoyable lunch isn't always easy! Maryam works closely with our school staff and teachers to help establish positive expectations for the lunch room. She also collaborates with our students to support our efforts to clean up, recycle and sort lunch waste."

"In my six hours a day, I wear many hats. From Crossing Guard to Kindergarten Para as well as supervising the lunchroom and recess. No matter the job I'm doing during my day, it comes down to the love I have for each student. Calling them by name, sharing a passing smile and acknowledging success are all deeply important to me each day. I'm lucky to have many roles allowing me to see every student, everyday. There's never a dull moment in an elementary school.

Hanging out with students each day is my jam and the perfect environment for me to watch our students grow their brains, overcome their fears, and take on new challenges. The icing on the cake is working with my HT staff! Every staff member brings something to the table allowing for positive collaboration! I feel support in every area of my job and appreciate all that we do together for our HT community."

- Kristin Wilhite, Education Support Professional, Highland Terrace Elementary School

"I've had two passions my whole life: kids and writing. I'm delighted to have landed at Kellogg, where I get to help students and families (alongside my other extraordinary office colleagues) and where I get to connect with student writers and support their work."

- Candy Sunick, Registrar, Kellogg Middle School

Shares Kellogg Principal Becca Whitney about Candy:

"There are an endless number of ways we could share praise for Candy! Her kindness, heart for people, passion for writing, deep knowledge of her work, and willingness to jump in and provide support just barely scratch the surface. Candy not only does a phenomenal job as our Kellogg Registrar and supporting our Main Office team, she has invested herself into our ASB processes, helping create and sustain systems, and she started our Kellogg Writing Club, sharing her remarkable love of writing with our students. Candy is truly a gem here at Kellogg! We are so, so grateful for her!"

Shares Meridian Park Principal Aram Osterlye about Support Professional Jane Seslar:

"Jane does it all at Meridian Park and has established positive relationships with so many students during her time at MP. Jane helps maintain a safe and welcoming campus environment as a recess supervisor and crossing guard. Additionally, she supports our youngest learners (Kindergarten) as a classroom aide.

Jane has such a caring, kind and professional energy. We are so lucky to have her support and our school community looks forward to her warm greetings and positive energy each and every day."

"I have worked at Briarcrest for the past 10 years. I love my current role as Resource Room Para because I am able to build 1:1 relationships with students and watch their personal growth as they go through the academic year.

I am so thankful to be able to work with an incredible team! We all have a common goal of making a difference in the lives of our students. I value the student relationships that I have developed at Briarcrest. They motivate me to be the best that I can be each day to help our students grow to be amazing contributors to our Briarcrest community."

- Carolyn Lane, Paraeducator, Briarcrest Elementary School

Shares Interim Transportation Director Sue Skorjanc about Bus Driver Kevin Welfringer and Mobility Aide Monica Martinez:

"Bus driver Kevin Welfringer is a go-getter who will help out anywhere you ask. He will transport students all over the district, jump in and help any driver on any route, wash, clean, and fuel buses for other drivers. He always has a positive attitude and is just a fun, fun person to be around.

Monica Martinez works very hard for any driver she rides with. She really works with the students for the best bus rides, taking care of their individual needs with grace and a smile."

We are wrapping up Education Support Professionals Week with a group recognition post!

The team members of maintenance and operations came running at a moment's notice during the cold snap in January that led to multiple burst pipes and sprinkler heads at four of our elementary schools.

Over a three-day weekend, this hardworking team investigated, repaired, cleaned, problem solved, and pitched in for long hours and in less-than-ideal conditions to restore our schools with as little disruption to the instructional process as possible. And all this work was approached with positive attitudes, laughter, and a can-do spirit of camaraderie during an event that was neither quick nor easy.

The staff who deserve gratitude are:

  • Andrew Ostergaard, Grounds Foreman
  • Arturo Geronimo, Head Day Custodian, Lake Forest Park
  • Challew Gebrhiwot, General Custodian, Shorecrest
  • David Kuenzi, Electrician
  • Don Davis, Carpenter
  • Gary Hobart, General Custodian, Meridian Park
  • Genet Gebreselassie, Head Night Custodian, Meridian Park
  • Gerard Ventus, Head Day Custodian, Briarcrest
  • Jim Newton, Warehouse Lead
  • Jordan Heighway, HVAC Technician
  • Julius Ordonez, Head Night Custodian, Einstein
  • Laxmi Devkota, Assistant Head Day Custodian, Shorecrest
  • Nathan Jugas, Plumber
  • Rob Gudmestad, Head Day Custodian, Syre
  • Shawn Martin, Head Day Custodian, Einstein
  • Toan Hao, Head Day Custodian, Meridian Park
  • Tony Pham, Head Day Custodian, SLC
  • Vien Nguyen, Head Night Custodian, Syre

And if you've made it this far, while this is an #ESPAppreciationWeek post, we'd be remiss if we didn't thank the building principals who came to help and dedicated large portions of their weekends to restoring their buildings as well:

- Aimee Miner, Lake Forest Park

- Aram Osterlye, Meridian Park

- Derek Dalasta, Briarcrest

- Michelle Carroll, Syre

Last but not least, Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Capital Projects Dan Stevens showed that no task was too big or too small for this leader who coordinated, communicated, and even some spent time in ceilings to serve our schools.

LFP custodian cleaning water out of classroom carpet

Thank you for helping us celebrate Education Support Professionals Week in Shoreline Schools!