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Final BISD STRONG Awards for the 20-21 School Year

Hip-hip-hooray! The following people received a BISD STRONG Award for Spring 2021. Please join us in congratulating these individuals for their strong minds, strong hearts and strong (sense of) community. 

Nominations are always open. Submit yours today! 


Sean Eaton

Sean Eaton, Career Technology Education Director

  • Sean is a good leader who is compassionate and hard-working and makes us all better through his leadership. It’s impossible to do your job entirely on your own, and Sean’s leadership, reliability and inspiring attitude are what coworkers and students depend on for support, guidance, and inspiration. 
  • Sean is personally invested in our school and students and enjoys helping it to succeed. His unmatched sense of humor especially makes everything more enjoyable.  It's hard to feel grumpy about starting a new week when the colleague alongside you does everything with a smile on his face. 
  • Sean encourages growth and creativity and can spot the way out of a problem. Like a superhero, Sean is always willing to help out with a project when you need it most!
  • He spends countless hours problem solving, checking in with students, staff, and community members.  His leadership has motivated and inspired me to be the best possible teacher I can be.  He is able to achieve this by his incredible work ethic, knowledge, and rapport with all of the people he serves.  
  • Words used to describe you include: compassionate, hard-working, good sense of humor, friendly, jack-of-all-trades, dependable, motivating, compassionate, intelligent, problem solver, and kind

Nicole Wescott

Nicole Wescott, Counselor

  • Through course requests, college planning, scholarships, and general counseling, Mrs. Wescott is always there to help me along the way. She took the time to get to know me as an individual student even when she has hundreds of students to worry about. She has helped me through all of my last-minute planning and is always willing to meet with me. She takes the time to push me towards my goals and always encourages me. She has gone out of her way to connect with all her students, even in a year that had been very hectic- especially for counselors. Thank you for all that you do!
  • She always follows up with any questions or requests from my daughter and me. She thinks outside the box with student requests and always is doing it with a smile on her face and in her heart. 
  • She truly goes above and beyond and always has the best interest of the students in her mind. 
  • Words used to describe you include: dedicated, understanding, compassionate, upbeat, sincere, patient, caring, helpful and persistent.

Sarah Bulllock

Sarah Bullock, Athletic Secretary 

  • Sarah is the glue that holds BHS Athletics together.  She is responsive and communicative to coaches when they need her, and she is wholeheartedly committed to the success and health of our athletes.  She has the ability to make both staff and students feel seen, supported, and cared for.  As a colleague, she is the first to text another coach with congratulations on successes, and she is always available to answer questions or provide a supportive word of encouragement or a listening ear.
  • I can't think of anyone who represents BISD strong better than Sarah Bullock.  She has a heart of gold, constantly demonstrating her deep care and commitment to her community. She is the HEART of our athletics program, and I would love to see her commitment recognized and honored.
  • Sarah's competence and commitment to her job literally make it possible for me to continue to do my job.  Without her, I would not be able to commit to serving our student-athletes in the way that I do.  When I compliment her or express my gratitude, she is always humble, simply responding, "I'm just doing my job!"  
  • Sarah is always willing to help and give answers.  As athletic secretary, she has so much work to do: keeping sports organized, registering students, checking for physicals and concussion protocol. She never says she can't help you. she's willing to go above and beyond.
  • Words used to describe you include: committed, caring, competent, supportive, available, encouraging, helpful, cheerful

Burton Shields

Burton Shields, Math Teacher & Baseball Coach

  • Burton Shields has spent his adult life in the service of others.  He is an outstanding teacher and the best baseball coach my son ever had.
  • Burton stands out - especially - as a baseball coach who leads by example.  He is a person of integrity and behaves in a responsible and respectful way REGARDLESS of whether he agrees with the calls of umpires, the actions of other coaches or the score of the game.
  • He gives all players an opportunity and seems to have every player’s best interest in mind.  He is a perfect example of a coach representing a strong heart who is interested in building strong minds and a strong community for the kids he coaches and teaches.
  • I am thankful that my son had the opportunity to have Burton as a coach and a teacher.  I know when he looks back on his high school experience - Burton's example will be one he remembers and one that will influence and inspire him to be a person of integrity.
  • Words used to describe you include: integrity, person of strong character, role model, humble, kind and speaks with actions rather than words



Barry Hoonan, 5/6 Teacher

  • Mr. Hoonan's clear love of teaching, outside-the-box thinking and willingness to listen, wonder and improve, set the bar for excellence in teaching.
  • Barry is a delightful person whom it is a pleasure to know. He treats his students with respect and care while inspiring them to learn and laughing a lot along the way. He has been working so hard to support all the students and their families during the pandemic and keep up morale.
  • Barry has shown so much kindness to his students over the last tough year.  He repeatedly tells them (and their parents) that is in awe of them and their strength, humor, and resilience.  To have a positive role model like this outside of the house has been invaluable for these students.  He is constantly laughing and showing delight in his students and the material at hand, even in the most challenging of circumstances.  
  • Mr. Hoonan takes the time to figure out, and celebrate each student's learning strengths.  He finds the kid who loves to read and asks him to lead a book club.  He finds the kid who is a natural leader and asks her to run class meetings.  He reads the room and understands when kids need to turn to each other to engage in questioning (and teaching each other) and then knows when they need to tune into his lessons.  And his lessons are engaging with cartoons and colorful lists and vibrant diagrams.
  • He reads out loud to his class and it is a magical thing to see a full class of 5th and 6th graders so completely engrossed that they groan and beg for more when it's time to wrap it up.   
  • Barry has the biggest heart of any teacher I've ever met. He has room for all kids and whatever solutions they need. He thinks so deeply about teaching and is proactive. His kids are lucky to be part of the community that he weaves and, at this age when they're growing and trying to find out where they are in the world, he makes a place for them, their opinions, and talents.
  • Words used to describe you; Full of wonder. Joyful. Good listener. Outside-the-box thinker. Advocate. Curious.  Always learning.  Always seeking to improve. Strength-finder. Super-human, genuine, incredible, phenomenal, creative, brilliant, passionate


Meghan Berg

Meghan Berg, Kindergarten Teacher

  • Ms. Berg has been a rockstar dealing with kindergarteners in a pandemic. Her kindness, patience, and humor have made this year incredible even with all the unusual hardships. Plus, my child is learning so much!! 
  • She’s so kind and encouraging with the kids and the curriculum and various learning opportunities implemented from apps, to worksheets, to videos, to in-classroom and book club, have been so impressive. She’s definitely helped to inspire a love of learning and community for my child. 
  • Ms. Berg has been so committed to teaching our young kids during the hardest of times and kept them engaged on Zoom and left messages on their work to encourage their growth. I really appreciate her dedication to the youth. 
  • Acknowledging and creating units/lessons around MLK Jr day, Intl Women’s Day, Earth Day, and even just time spent with their classmates on Zoom; my son really started to get a sense of the world and community around him this year.
  • She has remained strong in her purpose for the classroom. Enabled our kids to be confident learners, confident family members, and confident compassionate neighbors.
  • She’s just an amazing person. So thankful to have her as our teacher.
  • Words used to describe you include: kind, funny, engaging, thoughtful, talented, patient, encouraging, thoughtful, organized, hard-working, caring, responsive

Carrie Holloway

Carrie Holloway, 2nd Grade

  • Mrs. Holloway has been the backbone of our success this year. Her ability to connect with the children has created an everlasting bond with this group of children. 
  • She challenges their minds while nurturing their social/emotional growth. 
  • When we haven’t been able to attend class, she has shown a great deal of flexibility and has done all that she can to ensure my son is able to complete his schoolwork. 
  • She has created an online and in-person routine that is easy for her students, and the parents, to understand and navigate. 
  • Mrs. Holloway has made this year a success on many levels. She had held the students accountable while understanding the struggles of this year.
  • Words used to describe you include: resourceful, kind, perseverant


Bill Covert

Bill Covert, 4th Grade 

  • Bill Covert is such an outstanding teacher!  Bill has done an outstanding job, both on Zoom earlier this year and now in the classroom by keeping his students engaged, thriving and developing a love of learning.
  • He is friendly, welcoming, engaging, funny, organized and cares for all of his students.  
  • Bill did not miss a beat when school was on Zoom during the first half of the year. He kept his students engaged and having fun while learning asynchronously.  Bill always shows up each day with a positive attitude, is very organized, cares deeply for his students and loves to teach.  
  • He brings so much joy to the classroom. Bill meets his students where they are and is ready to provide challenging assignments if needed or valuable feedback on ways to improve their work.  Bill is an integral part of the wonderful Wilkes Community!  
  • Words used to describe you include: kind, organized, funny, compassionate, caring, kind-hearted, dedicated, patient, positive


Sandra Dreiling, Kindergarten

  • Ms. Dreiling knows each of her students extremely well- even after a year of only teaching them on zoom! She tailors her lessons to encourage connection and empathy, she holds high expectations for her students and provides many opportunities for them to be successful and show what they know and she engages them minute-by-minute with zany ideas, dances, choral responses, and a caring that emerges from the zoom screen right through to each of her students.
  • She organizes social Zooms for her kindergarteners to connect and encourage empathy.  
  • Ms. Dreiling is one of the most dedicated, creative, and talented teachers I have ever had the pleasure to know and observe. From building a rocket ship in her home to popping out of (and teaching from) her recycling bin on Earth Day, she has consistently gone above and beyond on a daily basis to keep her online kindergarten class engaging. Despite this strange year having kindergarten on zoom Ms. Dreiling's students are learning, growing, and flourishing! Her daily lessons incorporate frequent movement, student interaction, and (of course!) silly hats and costumes. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of Ms. Dreiling's classes even for short periods. Her joy and her love for children and learning are palpable and contagious!
  • Words used to describe you include: genuinely caring, super creative, resourceful, enthusiastic, empathetic, energetic, kind, patient, warm, Creative, whimsical, positive, talented, happy, caring

Rebecca Dawson

Rebecca Dawson, Speech and Language Pathologist

  • Rebecca is a tireless advocate for students. She is warm, affectionate, and thoughtful. She is an irreplaceable coworker.
  • The preschoolers and elementary students that she works with love her. She goes above and beyond in her job as a speech therapist to support children in all areas of education. 
  • Parents and families have told me many times how comfortable and informed they feel when they communicate with her. 
  • Rebecca has worked for many years at BISD from the preschool to the adult living level and has been an incredibly valued member of every team she has supported.
  • Words used to describe you include: kind, thoughtful, smart, team leader, advocate



Gina Stecher, Volunteer

  • Gina has given so much of her unpaid time to planning free, educational, virtual activities like assemblies, "field trips," and coordinated events with Bainbridge businesses for the Ordway students during this crazy year.
  • Even though their family was new to the Island, Gina joined our PTO last year as our Enrichment Coordinator and basically began to systematically meet every single person in a 20-mile radius that could teach, mentor, and inspire the children in our community.  Not even a global pandemic could slow her down!  When in-person opportunities became impossible, Gina looked for contact-free solutions.  She is unstoppable and irresistibly friendly.  
  • Gina organized a Martin Luther King Walk that families could do together, she sought opportunities at Islandwood where families could safely get outside, she connected with a local author and planned a Mason jar beehive lesson, and, most recently, she danced her heart out on Madison Avenue in a stifling otter costume to help the PTO raise much-needed funds.  
  • Her strong heart had her calling all over our community to find virtual enrichment programs at no cost for the Ordway community. She has done so much to try and bring a bit of the larger Bainbridge community to Ordway to share what they can to help the next generation learn. 
  • Words used to describe you include: dedicated, tenacious, generous, big ole Texas personality, inspirational, positive, innovative, hardworking, resourceful, energetic, dependable, and does all of this with a full giving heart and soul


Mary Howes

  • Mary has done an amazing job in her first year+ as Transportation Supervisor, especially coming into the position just prior to the Covid Pandemic.
  • Mary cares about her staff. She tells us so AND she shows us. She’s a straight shooter and tries to support us, but is honest about challenges and realistic about solutions. If she makes a mistake, she owns it and apologizes. If we make mistakes, she shows compassion and fairness. She’s a thoughtful communicator and is always quick with a smile. She’s a fantastic leader!
  • Mary came into her new position just prior to the pandemic hitting. She was still learning the ropes when the ropes all changed dramatically. As a fairly new bus driver, I was one of the few that was kept on to provide meal deliveries to students. I witnessed the obstacles and stress she was dealing with on a daily basis. Every day was something different as information and guidance changed. Mary worked hard to keep us as informed as possible. She worked to make sure we were provided appropriate safety gear and protection. Each morning she held staff meetings with the half dozen of us to provide encouragement and support
  • Sometimes it is just the little things: Positive poems on the message board each morning; words of encouragement and support there as well.
  • She understands what the bus drivers are going through and calls specials to help us.
  • What a doozy of a first-year! If anyone can survive that crucible, they’re going to lead us well into a new and BETTER future. I feel lucky to have Mary steering this ship!
  • Words used to describe you include: even-tempered, patient, positive attitude, humorous, sensitive (in a positive way), honest, real, encouraging, caring



Theo Roesch, 7th Grade

  • Theo has a passion for learning. and asks excellent questions. He researches, learns and shares information with the class.
  • He is always respectful and polite to staff and his peers.

  • Inquisitive and compassionate. He works to understand world history, the environment, and the impacts that affect people today. He works to improve his understanding and make changes for the better.

  • Theo understands the history behind global conflicts.  I appreciate the way he has been learning about the struggles of various groups of Americans this year, which was revealed to me again in his report about Brown vs. Board of Education.  I appreciate that he reads so much that he can quote famous Americans in different contexts.  When looking at climate change, I was impressed to see a 7th grader able to understand geographic bias with regards to impact on communities.

  • Words used to describe you include: respectful, responsible, mature thinker