Return to Headlines

The first batch of BISD STRONG Award Winners for 2018-19 were announced!

During the week of Dec. 17, 2018, Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen surprised the winners of the BISD STRONG Award for the fall quarter. Congratulations! To watch the winners receive their awards, click here.  NOTE: There is an issue with the audio and the voices do not properly sync with the video. We are working on figuring out what went wrong.

Do you know someone who exemplifies BISD's motto of having a strong mind, strong heart and strong (sense of) community? Nominate them today by clicking on this form. 


Rebekah Balmer


Rebekah Ballmer (Special Education at Wilkes Elementary):

  • Rebekah is an unfailing advocate for children with learning challenges.
  • Rebekah brings her years of experience as an early childhood and special needs expert to assist our students, and her efforts make a difference on a daily basis.
  • She works long hours teaching during the school day and helping kids with learning and social struggles, as well as supervising her staff. She then remains long after school to facilitate or attend meetings, respond to parent communications, and craft IEPs and create lessons for her students.
  • Rebekah follows through steadfastly on her strong belief in the calling of her profession.
  • Words used to describe Rebekah: compassionate, dedicated, hard-working, experienced, skilled, wise

Ben Muehlenkamp


Ben Muehlenkamp (11th-grader at Bainbridge High School):

  • After walking to Bainbridge High School, I needed to rest before going into the school. Ben saw me and stopped to chat and to see if I was OK. He was polite, concerned and offered to help. When I said I was all right, he wished me a great day.
  • He is always polite and is a very diligent student.
  • Ben’s warmth and offer to assist me touched my heart.
  • Words used to describe Ben: thoughtful, kind and caring


Sawyer Blair


Sawyer Blair (12th-grader at Bainbridge High School):

  • Sawyer is one of the brightest lights at Bainbridge High School. He is ALWAYS smiling, saying hello, making friendly conversation, and offering help to not only his peers, but to anyone who needs it.
  • He is a captain on the cross country team and is a natural leader. He leads by example. Sawyer is concerned and caring about all of his teammates and he will go out of his way to make each one feel included and relevant. At a recent BIXC home meet, after he finished running the 5k race, he didn't just go hang out with his buddies. Instead, Sawyer stood at the chute as all the remaining runners came in from all seven teams and he cheered each person on, if not by name then by school, as they came in one by one.
  • He is kind and empathetic; he is intelligent and funny. He surely has positively impacted more people than he is even aware of.
  • Words used to describe Sawyer: honest, kind, trustworthy, compassionate, empathetic, funny, smart, intelligent, aware, optimistic, hopeful, enthusiastic, generous, patient

Bobby Coulter

Bobby Coulter (7th-grader at Woodward Middle School):

  • Bobby shows incredible kindness to fellow students, and shows leadership and the ability to accept and work with differences in peers.
  • He has consistently gone out of his way to make our Family and Consumer Science classroom environment accessible to his team mate and seeks out opportunities for her to be fully involved in their work as lab partners.
  • It is an honor and a pleasure to see Bobby be so kind to others in class, especially to students who need a bit of extra help to be included. Bobby is a great example for other students to follow in this area. He is a student that makes BISD strong.
  • Words used to describe Bobby: patient, inclusive, honest, brave, passionate, caring, curious, hardworking and kind.

Karaline Eckert

Karaline Eckert (8th-grader at Woodward Middle School):

  • Karaline is honest and stands up to inequities. She is not afraid to call out inappropriate hateful behavior. She takes action. She's compassionate and cares. She has great integrity.
  • Karaline is a champion for the marginalized. She is an ally that is willing to act. She is not afraid.
  • Words used to describe Karaline: courageous, honest, action oriented, integrity, caring, peaceful

Mr. Harris

Tim Harris (Woodward Middle School Technology Education):

  • Tim is an outstanding educator who builds relationships like no teacher I have ever seen.
  • Tim cares about the kids in this community -- all of them. Not just WMS students. Tim also knows the names of almost all parents, and all kids in the school. By heart. It's amazing. He has an absolute incredible memory. It makes a difference when he says a student's name who may otherwise feel invisible. In just an instant, Tim lets that student know they matter!
  • I have never met a teacher like Tim. I've heard of them. I know they exist. But to actually meet one, it's like seeing a unicorn. He is TOP NOTCH in every way; building relationships, differentiating for kids that need a different way, helpful, and willing to sacrifice for the good of the whole.
  • Words used to describe Tim: loyal, caring, reflective, hardworking, motivated, people-oriented, loves students, loves learning


Michele McCallum-Moore (3rd-grader at Blakely Elementary):

  • Michele likes to make friends and doesn't like people feeling left out so she goes out of her way to make sure people are included in activities.
  • She is very caring.
  • Words used to describe Michele : understanding and compassionate


Denise Corso (Eagle Harbor High School Study Skills & Integrated Math):

  • Denise knows and works with all EHHS students regardless of whether they are on her student load. She is generous with her time and lavish with her attention. When a need is identified, she finds a way to fill it.
  • Denise truly cares about our students and finds creative solutions to issues.  Denise has kept food in her classroom for when a student had forgotten to eat breakfast. This led to a suggestion of a snack table which led to a PTO sponsored snack table.
  • Over the summer, Denise became CTE certified so that she would be able to offer an IT essentials class to her tech team. These 7 students are now getting a professional certification and while obtaining high school credit.
  • Denise is always willing to support teachers and students. She frequently helps teachers learn new tech programs. Denise organizes events for the community big and small.
  • Words used to describe Denise: generous, flexible, helpful, high standards for students

Sean Walker

Sean Walker (Transportation Department):

  • Sean is a caring bus driver who does a phenomenal job keeping his charges safe and balancing the needs of the community. Particularly, as he drives down Sunrise each day, he will look for opportunities to let cars that queue up behind him safely pass, as he offers a friendly wave.
  • He also always has a greeting or kind word for both students and parents. And he does this while maintaining a safe and positive environment on the bus for his students. He is an asset to the community and a great example of someone who goes above and beyond meeting the needs of the kids, parents, and the greater community.
  • Words used to describe Sean: friendly, looks out for other people, conscientious, goes above and beyond what's expected

Mr. Hannon

Jim Hannon (Custodian at Blakely Elementary School):

  • Jim goes way above and beyond to make sure that the staff are supported and have everything they need so that they can focus all of their attention on the students. I have never worked with a custodian who took the time to ask the staff what they need, and then he works extremely hard to do whatever needs to be done.
  • Jim always has a positive attitude and helps cheer people up. He takes the time to do the small things like empty the pencil sharpeners, and hunts for random recycle bins tucked under teacher desks so that they can be emptied. He takes the student chairs down in the morning. He makes sure that all of our classrooms are open, lights on, and heated so that we come into a welcoming space each morning. He does ALL of this with a smile and a "can do" attitude that makes our building a friendlier and more supportive place all around.
  • Words used to describe Jim: extremely hard-working, cheerful, supportive, warm, generous, a team player