Board approves new teachers for 2002-03

Teachers recognized for excellence

Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2002

In 1996, Kalifornsky Beach Elementary teacher Terri Carter was heralded as a promising first-year teacher to watch when she won the Sally Mae Teacher of the Year award.

Monday night, Carter fulfilled that promise as the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education honored her as one of five district employees selected as BP Teachers of Excellence.

Other teachers recognized with the award included Gayle Buben, Elizabeth Kirby, Joe Rizzo and Vernel Schneider.

Buben joined the district in 1988, teaching at Sterling Elementary, then Mountain View Elementary and now Soldotna Elementary. Kirby is a 17-year veteran kindergarten teacher at Paul Banks Elementary. Rizzo has been teaching language arts and drama at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School since 1998 and is the adviser for Nikiski's state champion debate team. Schneider joined the district in 1990 as a traveling music teacher and now leads the band at Soldotna High School.

The award-winners were selected by parents, students and co-workers through BP's third Teacher of Excellence program on the peninsula.

"It's always exciting to see someone outside the district honor the work teachers do," said school board member Debra Mullins.

"Thank you for your tremendous work with the students," added school board member Margaret Gilman.

The board also recognized Nikiski Middle-Senior High parent volunteer Mary Kennedy and the Soldotna High School PTSA executive board for their contributions to district education.

"If we did not have you, we would not have the schools," Gilman said.

"We appreciate all the parents who come out to do this work for the district and the children," Mullins said.

In other school board news:

The board approved 11 new teachers for the 2002-03 schools year, including Clayton D. Kramer of Riverside, Calif., districtwide high school special education specialist; Linda E. Hampson of Anchorage, Homer High counselor; Debra Rose Blossom of Clam Gulch, K-Beach Elementary fifth-grade teacher; Dawn M. Brighton of Kenai, Kenai Central High School English teacher; Christopher A. Jenness of Nikiski, Nikiski Middle-Senior High generalist; M. Jayne McFarland of Dillingham, Redoubt Elementary speech pathologist; Julianna R. DeBoard of Seward, temporary Title I reading teacher at Seward Elementary; Teresa A. Coward of Kasilof, Tustumena Elementary temporary sixth-grade teacher; Janet L. Szyjkowski of Homer, Connections generalist; Ed C. Frink of Kalskag, Kachemak-Selo School generalist; and Susan R. Rorrison of Kenai, Sears Elementary temporary kindergarten, first- or second-grade teacher.

Nine nontenure teachers were tentatively assigned for the 2002-03 school year, including Don R. Drury, third-grade at Aurora Borealis Charter School; Sally A. Burns, Title I reading at Kachemak-Selo; Carol A. Boehmler, third-grade at K-Beach Elementary; Lisa M. Chamber, Title I reading at K-Beach Elementary; Christopher Towne, elementary music at Paul Banks Elementary; Katrina A. Adamson, grades four and five at Redoubt Elementary; Matthew J. Faris, grades two and three at Redoubt Elementary; Cindy J. Hurst, grades kindergarten, one and two at Sears Elementary; and Teri L. Haddeland, upper elementary at Seward Elementary.

Contracts for three long-term substitutes -- Rita Pfeniger, math, Homer Middle; Matthew Fischer, PE and health, Soldotna High; and JoAnn McClain, math, social studies and language arts, Seward Middle -- were approved.

Liana Bigman, KCHS social studies teacher; L. Joseph Trujillo, Skyview High Spanish teacher; Penny Tinker, Sterling Elementary special education teacher; Etta Mae Near, Skyview High vocational education tutor; and Johnnie Standifer, Tebughna custodian, were approved for one-year unpaid leaves of absence.

Eight district teachers were approved for tenure, including Kristy Schmeizenbach, Kenai Middle School; Kristin Morrow, Nikiski Elementary; Tara Rosin, Redoubt Elementary; Cindy Thomas, Sears Elementary; Janet Boyce, Soldotna Elementary; Douglas Gordon, Soldotna High; Andrea Eggleston, Soldotna Middle; and Virginia Morgan, Soldotna Middle.

Resignations were accepted from: Celia Anderson, Mountain View art specialist; Amy Golloway, Voznesenka generalist; Margaret Brewster, Homer High librarian; Brenda Dolma, Homer Middle School science; JoEllen Fowler, Tustumena grades four and five; Michelle Garnto, KCHS special education; Margaret Ladd, West Homer Elementary Quest teacher and librarian; Heather Pancratz, Homer Middle School coordinator; Anne Pfitzner, Soldotna Elementary grade six; Richard Putney, human resources director; Kathy Sandoval, Seward Middle-Senior High special education; Laurie Esp, Connections grades kindergarten, one and two; and Janet Shepard, Susan B. English special education.

Five new administrator appointments were approved, including Dennis Dunn, KCHS principal; Lori Manion, North Star Elementary principal; Sharon Moock, Kenai Middle School assistant principal; Sharon Conley, Razdolna principal and teacher; and Sean Dusek, Soldotna High principal.

Based on confirmed state funding, revisions were accepted to balance the 2002-03 school district budget. The district's tentative general operating budget will be $76,509,530, with another $15,527,609 in specifically-designated grant and program money.

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