Residents honored by school board

Posted: Monday, December 08, 2003

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education honored five area residents last week for their contributions to education.

Among the award recipients were three school district employees, one school volunteer and one student.

Connie Jung, secretary at Kenai Central High School; Connie Meyer, speech pathologist at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School; and Lassie Nelson, central office administrative secretary, earned Golden Apple awards for their outstanding service to the district.

Jung, who has worked for the district for 26 years, began her service at E.L. Bartlett School in Tyonek then moved to the central peninsula, where she worked in the special services office. She joined the KCHS staff in 1994.

"Her commitment to excellence and her wealth of information ... are among her chief assets to KCHS," said board member Debra Mullins.

While she was honored for her efficiency and dedication in her routine job duties, Mullins said it is the little things that Jung does on a daily basis that make her truly exceptional. She provides refreshments for meetings, remembers special occasions and "even knows how to keep score for all the sports," Mullins said.

"As we all know, the little things mean a lot."

Meyer, who has worked for the district since 1985, started out at Chapman School in Anchor Point before moving to Redoubt and finally K-Beach Elementary in 1987, said board member Margaret Gilman.

"Her continuous high energy allows her to provide a classroom setting that is open and inviting to all students," Gilman said.

Meyer is a resource for the staff, an outstanding contributor to special education and has a perpetual "can-do" attitude, Gilman said. She also is the school's unofficial technology expert.

"Principal Sylvia Reynolds said, at times, Connie can be found knee-deep in computer and printer parts attempting to avert a technological disaster," Gilman said.

Nelson has been with the district for eight years, starting as the head secretary at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School in 1996 and transferring to the central office in 2001. She serves as secretary to district chief financial officer Melody Douglas and assistant superintendent Gary Whiteley.

"The impact of her work can be felt far and wide," said board President Deb Germano. "Lassie is a great human being, considerate, sharing and quite the practical joker."

She also was honored for her daily service, as well as her work above and beyond the call of duty, Germano said.

"Melody Douglas said Lassie is as good as gold on any given day," Germano said. She added that Nelson recently went beyond her job duties to review and analyze district information manually in order to apply for extra grant money for the district.

The board also recognized retired Judge Charles Cranston for his commitment to students. Cranston serves as president of the KCHS site council and works with Youth Court. He and his wife have taken in several foreign exchange students, and Cranston is a longtime member of the KCHS band program, according to board member Dr. Nels Anderson.

"His work ethic and commitment are excellent examples for students," Anderson said. "We recognize him as a class act."

Finally, Germano presented board student representative Patrick Tilbury with a certificate recognizing his completion of the Alaska Association of School Boards Youth Leadership Institute.

"(This is to) certify that Patrick has completed the Youth Leader-ship Institute to our great satisfaction," Germano said. "He is now ready to change the world, making it a better place for all.

"Go forth and do good."

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