Four employees were selected for the February 2016 recognition. They were honored at the Feb. 23 school board meeting. Pictured from left to right are:

  • Steve Bratt, director, IT infrastructure and operations, ITS
  • Robin Campbell, clerk, Columbia River High School
  • Jackie Edmonds, administrative assistant, teaching and learning department
  • Bess Colpron, safe and supportive schools coach, special services department

The Excellence Award is given to two to four employees and/or small teams from October to May each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.

Sometimes, good management begins with a fist bump. It’s this gesture—or perhaps a greeting, a joke or a compliment—that has endeared Steve to his co-workers. According to them, he makes the ITS department a pleasant place to be every day. Said one nominator, “He clearly communicates expectations and leaves room to complete them in whatever way is best for each employee’s skill set.” Added another, “He is always there when one of us runs into a problem, and he always helps find a solution.” They’ve made it clear: Steve is a true servant leader and steadfast supporter of his department.
What might be called “going the extra mile” is simply all in a day’s work for Robin. She’s a model of competence and efficiency when it comes to the requirements of her position. But it’s the way in which she willingly takes on the informal role of student advocate that has distinguished her in the eyes of her colleagues. They’ll tell you that Robin is quick to support students who need guidance. On more than one occasion, her efforts have even helped students get back on track and graduate. Yes, Robin is a clerk—and more. She is an invaluable asset to River.
Jackie is a problem-solver. Whether speaking with parents or assisting principals, she is calm, attentive and tactful. In an emergency, she’s quick to act and judicious with details. And as good as she is in a professional capacity, she’s equally talented at cultivating personal relationships. Said a former principal, “Jackie’s sincere interest in each of us as individuals has always been a welcome kindness. … For principals in the midst of testing, budgets and bus duty, imagine the stress-relieving power of hearing these words spoken on the other end of the phone line: ‘What can I do for you, Sweet Pea?’”
Bess is fearless when it comes to supporting schools’ work in Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and restorative practices. Well-liked by both students and colleagues, she never hesitates to collaborate with teachers, model classroom practices and help provide high-quality instruction. “She has impressed me as an inspired, passionate, effective educator,” said a principal. “She has spent many hours at our school working with kids and teachers, and in her gentle, charming she way lets us know we are headed in the right direction.” Thanks to Bess for sharing her knowledge and showing incredible compassion to the VPS staff and students.

Congratulations to these staff members! They join the many VPS employees who have received Excellence Awards since 2007.