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School District Honors 77 Employees for Excellence

Awards ceremony recognizes outstanding educators and support staff members

Article Date: Jun 01, 2023

Bend-La Pine Schools is recognizing staff members from across the district who have distinguished themselves this school year with their leadership, innovation, outstanding professional practice, and positive contributions at work and in the community.

The 77 honorees are being recognized at the annual Excellence in Education Awards this evening (June 1) at Summit High School. They include custodians, counselors, kitchen managers, classroom teachers, educational assistants, office managers, bus drivers and others who have had a positive impact on students.

“This is truly a highlight of each school year as we gather to celebrate these wonderful employees, each nominated by their supervisors,” Superintendent Steven Cook said. “This is a talented, dedicated and caring group of educators and support staff, and our students and families benefit from having them as part of our district team.”

At the end of the program, the district will name 14 finalists for the certified employee of the year and the support staff employee of the year. Those two honors will be announced next fall.

Excellence in Education honorees for 2023 are:


Amity Creek Magnet School — Ray Page

Bear Creek Elementary — Patty Stephens, Teressa Deschweinitz

Buckingham Elementary — Rebecca Morales, Teresa Duvalle

Elk Meadow Elementary — Heather Korman, Denise Morrell

Ensworth Elementary — Melissa Merritt, Jennifer Gow

High Lakes Elementary — Katy Colt, Amy Porter

Highland Magnet School — Cat Harju, Doug Hermanson

Juniper Elementary — Jackie Vance, Joey Donohue

La Pine Elementary — Jennifer Trout, Lucretia Gamez

Lava Ridge Elementary — Robin Sanderson, Amber Wadsworth

North Star Elementary School — Kate Tibbitts, Patti Brinkley Widmer

Pine Ridge Elementary — Heather Dunn, Nisha Ferrante

Ponderosa Elementary — Kim Storey, Darci Meier

R.E. Jewell Elementary — Jen Norman, Araceli Rigney

Rosland Elementary — Momi Honda, Angie Dixson

Silver Rail Elementary — Sydney Murphy, Becky Drury

Three Rivers K-8 School — Steven Gleason, Ashleigh Martinez

Westside Village Magnet School — Jill Moore, Jeff Shaffer

William E. Miller Elementary — Stephanie Rodgers, Laura Home Kaiser


Cascade Middle School — Matt Faurot, Gail Edwards

High Desert Middle School — Craig Olson, Kerri Green

La Pine Middle School — Matt Elmore, Mikki Morris

Pacific Crest Middle School — Ami Zepnewski, Christina Johansen

Pilot Butte Middle School — Jackson Blackburn, Heather Finley

Realms Middle/High School — Laurie Rice, Kathie Spencer

Sky View Middle School — Dawn Roberts, Riley Henegar

Three Rivers K-8 School — Steven Gleason, Ashleigh Martinez

Westside Village Magnet School — Jill Moore, Jeff Shaffer


Bend Senior High School — Jim Bright, Anita Moore

Bend Tech Academy — Andrew Johnson, Brittany Barrett

Caldera High School — Bekki Tucker, Kindra Maestas

La Pine High School — Lindsey Spring, Jeff Sawyers

Mountain View High School — Amy Romero, Cory Saling

Realms Middle/High School — Laurie Rice, Kathie Spencer

Summit High School — Lara Okamoto, Catherine Blue


Nutrition Services — TJ Bennett

Maintenance — Greg Rider

Custodial Department — Walt Angle, Ken Hill

Information Technology — Brian Davis

Teaching & Learning — Michele Clements, Tracy Howk

Special Programs — Tana Lopez, Jessica Malinowski, Brian Sharp

Bend Transportation — Mike Grijalva

La Pine Transportation — Melissa Sullivan

Business Office — Matt GaymanBend-La Pine Online — Chris Ross