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It’s teacher appreciation week! With 1,400 certificated employees supporting over 20,000 students, we have a lot of Exceptional Staff to be thankful for! Thank you to all of you for providing High Quality Instruction and focusing on Student Well-Being to help affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.

Have a teacher story you want to share? Use #BSDTeacherAppreciation on Facebook and Twitter to help us celebrate the amazing things our teachers do!

a student and their teacher smiling

Annisa Huang is in her second year of teaching as a 4th grade teacher at Phantom Lake Elementary School. Phantom Lake’s principal, Erin King, assistant principal, Chhoun Mey and ITCL, Kris Hagan, had nothing but wonderful things to say about her! They explained how when you walk in her classroom, you walk into a family environment. The students in her classroom see themselves as a family unit, and that comes from how they interact with each other. Annisa is culturally responsive to her students’ needs, takes time to talk to individual students and is proactive in communicating student needs to their parents.

Thanks Annisa – for all that you do to help our students learn and thrive!

Susy Wakkuri teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Chinook Middle School. When asked about Susy, her colleague Carolyn Ponder said, “What do I say of an exceptional colleague who has been a positive influence in my professional experience and personal life? I would need a decade to elaborate. I appreciate her willingness to work with me and other peers through collaboration that incorporates her seasoned experiences in teaching. I appreciate seeing Susy’s influence on lives past and present. Students young and old will return to thank her for her guidance, knowledge, challenging lessons, rigor and fun-loving attitude that shows Language Arts CAN be fun”.

Thank you Susy – for providing a rigorous and relevant education for our students!

a photo of Susy Wakkuri, 6th grade language arts teacher

Dawn teaches 1st grade at Sherwood Forest Elementary School. She is appreciated for her collaboration in partnering with families and colleagues. Her principal, Danelle Edwards, appreciates Dawn’s “commitment to students and families. Dawn models lifelong learning and incorporates new strategies into her teaching practice”.

This year, Dawn developed a unit of study called “Who I am” to support each of her students’ positive racial and linguistic identity. She taught her first-graders about the concept of windows and mirrors so they are able to reflect and determine if a text is a window or a mirror for themselves. Her students are creating a classroom book that recognizes and celebrates their differences. The repeating message in the book is: The most important thing about me, is I am proud of who I am. I am unique. I am special. I am me.

Thank you Dawn – for strengthening our community that values one another’s humanity!

The Puesta del Sol community is incredibly grateful for the twenty years of leadership that librarian Stacey Brody has provided to their school! Principal, Jonathan Shearer, appreciates “Sra. Brody’s timeless passion for reading, for developing the richest Spanish book collection in King County, and for leading in the design of our future school building are treasures to our students, staff and entire school community! Each spring, Puesta del Sol grads and Newport seniors return as academic coaches and speak often of the positive, indelible impact that Sra. Brody on their education and love of reading!”

Thanks Stacey – for helping to provide an equitable and exceptional education for all students!

a photo of Puesta del Sol librarian, Stacey Brody
a profile of a teacher

Students in Hector McCormick’s 5th grade class understand that he sets high expectations for their growth in reading, and they work hard every day to reach those expectations and most often, surpass them. This week Hector was honored as a 180 Educator Award winner for infusing rigorous, culturally-relevant instruction, paired with strong social emotional support.

Hector makes learning authentic through the implementation of buddy classroom visits where older students mentor younger students, helping them to build self-confidence, literacy skills and community involvement. Colleagues describe Hector as an incredibly dedicated teacher who works hard to know each of his students, including their academic and personal needs.

Thank you Hector – for providing courageous support to help our students learn and thrive!

Stephanie Hazen is the music teacher at both Phantom Lake and Wilburton! Erin King, principal at Phantom Lake, explained what makes Stephanie so amazing is that she’s not at the school full time, but it feels like she is. Erin appreciates how she gets to know all of her students. “Stephanie doesn’t just know their names, but knows what they’re into and will bring that into her music class if they’re struggling. Stephanie also does after-school choir for 50 students. Kids will give up recess to practice with her, she’s magic! All her students know that she loves them and will never give up on them”.

Thank you Stephanie – for affirming and inspiring each and every student!

a music teacher pointing at her students as they dance

Appreciation abounds for Puesta del Sol 2nd grade teacher Debbie Hinton! This is Sra. Hinton’s 29th year teaching at Puesta del Sol and 36th year of teaching overall. Her principal, Jonathan Shearer, said that “whether it is her passion for language learning, affirmation of student achievement through rigorous expectations, or simply her morning handshakes and checking in with each of her students upon their arrival, we are forever grateful for her years of service to our students and community!”

Thanks Debbie – for serving each and every student academically, socially and emotionally!