Top row: Lisa Pepple; middle row, left to right: Cindy Cole, Christine Kenyon and Karla Rimmer; bottom row, left to right: Lynn Lawrence, Whitney Swope and Joe Gonzalez. Photos courtesy of the Mercer Island School District

Top row: Lisa Pepple; middle row, left to right: Cindy Cole, Christine Kenyon and Karla Rimmer; bottom row, left to right: Lynn Lawrence, Whitney Swope and Joe Gonzalez. Photos courtesy of the Mercer Island School District

Seven Mercer Island School District employees receive honors

  • Tuesday, June 1, 2021 3:30pm
  • News

The Mercer Island School District honored its 2020-21 Employees of the Year at the May 27 School Board meeting.

Here’s the honorees, followed by quotes from the nominations of the employees:

Classified Employees of the Year

* Cindy Cole, Islander Middle School paraprofessional: “Beyond her extreme dedication to our students, she motivates everyone around her to be a better version of themselves.”

* Joe Gonzalez, custodial foreman, Maintenance and Operations: “Joe has been a true professional teacher and custodian in our schools for well over 30 years. He anticipates and looks for problems to solve even before they arise.”

* Lynn Lawrence, administrative assistant, West Mercer Elementary: “This year has been a challenge for everyone and Lynn has shown herself to be an outstanding employee in spite of the challenges. She was one of the first staff members who came in person regularly this year, she has helped to safely manage the many in-person expansions, and she is an important voice on the West Mercer team.”

Certificated Employees of the Year

* Elementary Teacher of the Year – Lisa Pepple, Lakeridge: “Lisa is an outstanding educator who has a unique ability to see every student’s potential and who they are and then tailor her caring, kindness, instruction and support to guide students in realizing their true and best potential.”

* Islander Middle School Teacher of the Year – Whitney Swope: “In all her years at IMS, Whitney has established herself as a master curriculum and lesson designer — always rooted in empathy and equity; a leader among her colleagues — eager to collaborate and share new and innovative ideas; and above all else, a champion of students —seeing the whole child and empowering leaders within and beyond the classroom.”

* Mercer Island High School Teacher of the Year – Christine Kenyon: “Christy Kenyon is a tireless advocate for students with disabilities. When passing by her classroom you will often hear students laughing and dancing. A coworker recently described the noise as JOYOUS. She is a strong, caring and passionate educator who always puts the needs of her students first.”

* COVID-19 Leadership Award – Karla Rimmer, Islander Middle School school nurse: “Karla has worked incredibly hard this year to make sure that all members of the MISD community have stayed safe as we have experienced remote, return of small groups, and finally full hybrid. She has spent countless hours with the bargaining team, advocating for all the mitigation necessary to not follow politics, media hype or rumors, but to make sure we follow the science and use common sense.”


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