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BISD STRONG Awards: Spring 2019

The final round of BISD STRONG Awards for the 2019-20 school year were handed out. Congratulations to all the winners! Your strong minds, strong hearts and strong sense of community make a tremendous impact on BISD.

Do you know someone who is BISD STRONG? Nominate them today!

Introducing the BISD STRONG Spring 2019 Winners

Addie Carleton

Name: Addie Carleton

Grade: 6th grade at Sakai


  • Addie goes out of her way to help with various things in the classroom.  Every day she asks me how she can help me with something. She is also kind and helpful to other students.  If a fellow student is struggling to understand or move forward with something, Addie kindly explains and helps that student.  She is never condescending and is very patient.
  • Addie is one-of-a-kind, and a model student.
  • Addie helps build community by making everyone feel included.  She is patient and kind to everyone she meets.
  • Addie has a strong and empathetic heart, seeing the needs of others and being willing to take time to help.
  • Addie also has a strong mind, she is able to help others without making them feel bad or like they are beneath her - she is encouraging and supportive.
  • Words used to describe you: Intuitive, sensitive, patient, empathetic, loyal, reliable, friendly, respectful, generous, welcoming and supportive

Jan Colby

Name: Jan Colby

Location: Blakely Elementary, kindergarten teacher


  • She is a nice teacher. She taught me how to spell. She is super kind. I want to give her a big pawsitive paw.  She is always reasonable, responsible and respectful.
  • She always helps us with our hard things to open at lunch.  She helped us plant tulips for the school and do a can food drive for people that don’t have enough to eat.
  • Mrs. Colby is an incredible teacher, leader and shaper of our kindergartners. Every day she brings energy, love and fun to learning - with a perfect balance of holding firm boundaries that prevents chaos in the classroom. She is so talented in keeping this balance.
  • Mrs. Colby is teaching our children to be kind, considerate community members and thoughtful, creative students.
  • Words used to describe you: beautiful, kind, generous, creative and wise

Kathy Ellison

Name: Kathy Ellison

Location: Bainbridge High School, librarian


  • Ms. Ellison goes out of her way to make a connection with every student who enters her library.
  • I went to Sakai in 5th grade (for part of the year only and then left the school district until 9th grade.) Ms. Ellison was the librarian at Sakai when I was in 5th grade. When I went to the library at BHS . . . roughly 4 years after the last time I saw her . . . I was shocked when she greeted me by name!  By remembering my name after so long and after so many students since the last time she saw me, it showed that she cared and paid attention to every individual student, including me, and that felt good.
  • Words used to describe you: caring, attentive, passionate

Aidan Wagner

Name: Aidan Wagner

Grade: 12th grade at Bainbridge High School


  • Aidan is an exemplary volunteer committed to Helpline House and volunteers during his free period because he wants to do something to help fight homelessness.
  • Aidan felt compelled to do something about the homeless that he sees in Seattle.  This prompted him to volunteer at Helpline House. Aidan where he shows up to Helpline working to make a difference.
  • Words used to describe you: compassionate, responsible, extremely positive, willing to lend a hand, efficient, polite, agreeable and timely

Michelle Hope

Name: Michelle Hope

Location: Commodore Options School, office manager


  • Michelle is the glue that holds our school together. If I ever have a question about the school, I always go to Michelle. Michelle is always ready for conversation and has great social skills.
  • Michelle has a strong heart in which she always is ready to talk to me and sympathize. Michelle has a strong mind in which she knows where everything is and has the answer to every question.
  • Michelle is someone I trust greatly; She can handle any challenge thrown at her
  • Words used to describe you: awesome, kind, smart, quick-acting, calm, great social skills, trustworthy, mellow, rad, super, delightful, generous, hopeful

Pamela Sloan

Name: Pamela Sloan

Location: District Office, Payroll Officer


  • Pamela constantly juggles a million questions, interruptions and challenges. Despite all of that, her cheerful personality and grade-A sense of humor shines through.
  • Pamela's job affects everyone where it matters most --- their pocketbooks! Because of the sensitivity of her work, she is asked a zillion (yes, I counted!) questions a day. She responds to the questions with a deep knowledge and a true desire to provide help and find solutions.
  • Pamela is a joy to be around and her laughter is contagious.
  • Words used to describe you: fabulous, fun, wickedly smart, delightful, compassionate and authentic

Ash Hamlin

Name: Ash Hamlin

Grade: 4th grade at Wilkes Elementary


  • Ash deserves recognition for his positive attitude. Ash seems to be a natural helper and sensitive to including all students.
  • Ash always reaches out to include others. Recently in PE class he said the most important thing was that his partner in the activity was having fun. He was not concerned with winning.
  • As a member of 4th grade leadership, Ash was a participant in promoting a school-wide initiative to raise money for  water deprived communities.
  • At recess, Ash volunteers to help put away equipment and always touches base with recess staff in a friendly manner.
  • Words used to describe you: kind, respectful, creative, responsible

Marcia Millican

Name: Marcia Millican

Location: Wilkes Elementary, paraeducator


  • Marcia is involved in making the whole district great!  She is an exceptional paraeducator in the classroom, as well as being an excellent recess monitor.
  • She is also an officer and committee member for BIESPA and does so much work on behalf of classified staff.  She knows the classified contract inside and out and participates in state and regional meetings.
  • At Wilkes, she is always on the look-out for anything potentially dangerous or procedures that could be better.  
  • She is quick to volunteer to fill any gap such as riding the buses when an adult is needed.  
  • She serves on the building Leadership team.
  • Strong Heart- Volunteers for numerous things throughout the year from organizing care baskets, to riding buses.  
  • Strong Minds- Marcia set up learning tasks so students develop independence and have success.  
  • Strong Community-Marcia advocates for strong schools and the local and state level through her union.  
  • Words used to describe you: meticulous, fun, professional, team-player

Kim Mejia

Name: Kim Mejia

Location: Ordway Elementary, custodian


  • We are nominating Ms. Kim because she is thoughtful, kind, and puts effort into all of her work. Everyday, thanks to Ms. Kim, we can come into a clean and amazing classroom. She also plays with our potato heads and makes them creative in every way. We don’t know how she comes up with all of her ideas! She often leaves a nice note on the class board for us, too. We are nominating Ms. Kim because we want her to know how much we appreciate her!
  • Strong Heart: Ms. Kim has a strong heart because she cares about the students that she works with. She connects with us by making scenes with our class potato heads or leaving us a compliment on the board. She does this silently and sweetly.
  • Strong Mind: Ms. Kim has a strong mind because she never complains about a tough task. She is determined to help Ordway in anyway she can. She is also creative by making new poses with our potato heads.
  • Strong Community: Ms. Kim builds a strong community by staying late to clean all of the classrooms and rooms at Ordway. We appreciate her work because a messy classroom would be distracting for students. She is also helping to build a strong community by making leaving us special notes of encouragement and her creative designs with the potato heads. It is a kind way for her to communicate with us even though we don’t always see her. She’s letting us know that she is there and that she cares about us.
  • Ms. Kim always works hard at night, and she has to take care of a lot of people. She is nice to everybody, has a unique personality, and has a lot of creativity. She never complains about her job. She gets creative in ways to interact with our class and she is always willing to help. We know that she works in the evening, so she doesn’t always get to spend time with her family or interact with her friends. We appreciate her so much!
  • Words used to describe you: Ms. Kim Mejia is joyful, enthusiastic, energetic, fantastic, kind, creative, well-loved, unique, strong, honest, hard-working, caring, hopeful, responsible, respectful, focused, friendly, fabulous, nice, helpful, and loving.

Karen Olson

Name: Karen Olson

Location: Transportation


  • Karen is a hard worker who wakes up early to drive the bus and do the other important parts of her job. She even gets up extra early when roads might be icy, and she drives the roads before students, students' parents, and school district employees leave for school, checking the roads to make sure they're safe.
  • Karen really cares about the students, and it shows. She greets each one warmly every day, and she's kind and supportive while safely transporting the children.
  • Words used to describe you: hard-working, dedicated, kind, cheery, safety-conscious, caring