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BISD STRONG Awards for Winter 2019 were awarded!

It's always a happy day when it's BISD STRONG Award Day! Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen surprised the Winter 2019 recipients and as always, the day was filled with lots of smiles and some tears of joy. Congratulations to all the winners!

View the surprise award ceremonies here:

We are now accepting BISD STRONG nominations for Spring 2019. It only takes a moment to complete the application and your nomination(s) will make someone's day! Nominate by clicking here:



Peter Bang-Knudsen and Dave Mueller

Dave Mueller (Transportation): 

  • Every day Bus Driver Dave thinks about the individual riders. He encourages good behavior while skillfully redirecting poor bus rider behavior. He speaks slowly, clearly and directly to the kids.
  • Dave is thoughtful about how the bus ride can be a positive part of the day and takes special effort to do so. His strong heart is felt with his genuine care of the students’ well being.  He asks questions to encourage a positive interaction and repeats positive school messages to the parent so the child can hear praise.
  • He is always looking out for safety and gives a hand when needed.  
  • His positivity helps my child feel encouraged and happy when she walks off the bus and into the rest of her day. He’s realized that she enjoys fist bumps and high fives and he remembers to do that as she gets off the bus, leaving her completely delighted.   
  • Words used to describe Dave: Thoughtful, considerate, attentive, kind

BISD STRONG Award Winner Amy Friedman

Amy Friedman (Ordway Preschool):

  • Ms. Friedman cares about and follows through with each and every student and makes a point to get to know the families.
  • Ms. Friedman goes out of her way (even on days off!) to check on how my child is doing.
  • Ms. Friedman is simply amazing!
  • Words used to describe Ms. Friedman: Kind, fun, loving, caring, positive, hopeful

BISD STRONG Award Winner Cade Miller

Cade Miller (6th-grader at Sakai):

  • Cade has an extraordinary level of compassion that he shows in his daily interactions with students and staff.  
  • He has made a tremendous difference in the lives of students through his acts of kindness and inclusion.  
  • He is a role model for others and is admired and respected for his genuine acts of compassion and warmth.
  • Cade is incredibly polite and respectful to everyone.  The genuineness with which he speaks to others is noticed by so many staff members at Sakai.  It is refreshing to see someone go out of their way for others on a daily basis, and that is exactly what Cade does.
  • Words used to describe Cade: Kind, humble, compassionate, caring, funny, helpful, respectful, responsible

Karen Keller

Karen Keller (Blakely Kindergarten):

  • Ms. Keller truly embodies the beauty of character, wit, humour, and grace that we all hope for in a teacher. She is zany and funny, supportive and loving, and has that uncanny ability to walk the line of relaxed good humour while maintaining high standards and rigor.
  • She took the little pack of kindergarten bear cubs from their gleeful wrestling and cavorting as they entered kindergarten, to happily transitioning in a plethora of learning tasks.
  • Ms. Keller is a wonderful gift to our community.
  • Words used to describe Ms. Keller: Joyful, sassy, clear headed, authentic, witty, loving

BISD STRONG Winner Marci Collins

Marci Collins (Nurse at Blakely Elementary):

  • Nurse Marci goes above and beyond to take care of all the children at Blakely.
  • Nurse Marci is very compassionate and thorough with her care of the children at Blakely.  Nurse Marci goes above and beyond to provide a safe place for everyone at Blakely. She has excellent communication skills and has far exceeded what we could have only imagined.  
  • We couldn’t wish for better care for our daughter and are so grateful for all that Marci does.  
  • Words used to describe Nurse Marci: Kind, compassionate, friendly, empathetic, understanding, an amazing communicator, an advocate for children with special needs

BISD STRONG Winner Amy Jernigan

Amy Jernigan (Reading Specialist at Wilkes Elementary):

  • Ms. Jernigan’s  work with the Reading Club positively impacts students' self confidence and love of learning.
  • Learning to read opens your mind, and the world up to you. Ms. Jernigan’s efforts working with students in the Reading Club builds strong hearts, strong minds and strong community.  
  • Words used to describe Ms. Jernigan: Helpful, professional, knowledgeable, supportive, caring

BISD STRONG Winner Melissa Dupree

Melissa Dupree (English Teacher Bainbridge High School):

  • Ms. Dupre has many students to teach in her classes, yet is able to give specialized attention to students.  
  • Ms. Dupre recognizes students’ potential for success
  • Ms. Dupre approaches students with heart and compassion, trying to find what makes them tick so that she can help motivate them to succeed.
  • Her strong mind makes students think.Words used to describe Ms. Dupre: Compassionate, curious, thoughtful, inventive, dedicated

BISD STRONG Award Winner Ella Arvish

Ella Arvish (8th Grader at Woodward Middle School):

  • Ella is a wonderful person. If everyone was like Ella everyone one would fit in and no one would be judged.
  • Ella is always happy and positive. I've never once seen her without a smile on her face. Her smile and happiness are contagious and it's something I hope she never loses.
  • Whenever I walk by Ella in the hallway or see her at school she always says "Hi", and compliments me before I even see her.  If you ever look upset Ella is always there to put a smile on your face.
  • Words used to describe Ella: Encouraging, uplifting, positive, complimentary, kind, happy, bright, accepting

BISD STRONG Award Winner Dave Walker

Dave Walker (Woodward Middle School PE Teacher):

  • Dave Walker, a beloved PE teacher, has coached the same middle school boys' basketball team two years in a row. 
  • He uses a great amount of patience, love and direction. He is a great coach, working on life skills of perseverance and grit.
  • Mr. Walker is a strong coach and mentor. He has known how to push just hard enough, but used great empathy and understanding with the team.
  • Words used to describe Mr. Walker: Hard working, dedicated to youth, competitive and fun

Madie Medina

Madie Medina (11th grader at Bainbridge High School)

  • Madie volunteers her time with GoRun after school at Sakai and always asks and checks to see if we're okay when we're running.
  • Madie comes prepared with a "question of the day" to ask us so we're not thinking about being tired.  She also gives us tips for not getting tired like when I get side cramps, she says I should take a deep breath and put pressure on my side where it hurts.  It helps!
  • Madie is always including other girls, by saying things like "let's slow down so ______ can catch up."
  • Madie is a good leader, if the adults are busy, she starts stretches and games with us.  
  • Words used to describe Madie: leader, inclusive, athletic, fun