Winners of the March 2018 Excellence Award

The following employees were selected for the March 2018 Excellence Award recognition. They were honored at the March 27 school board meeting. Pictured from left to right are:

  • Molly Davenport, teacher, Marshall Elementary
  • Debra Beaulieu, certified occupational therapy assistant, Walnut Grove Elementary
  • Marika Wilkerson, clerk, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Betsy Haywood, Imagine Learning and Learning Assistance Program teacher, Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Candi Walker, paraeducator, Washington Elementary

The Excellence Award is given to five 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.

Debra’s encouragement and deep expertise empower kids to learn new skills and gain confidence. When students need to boost their fine motor skills in order to write or use scissors, for example, she is quick to help them build muscle strength and coordination. Debra works closely with teachers to develop strategies and incorporate materials that lift students’ abilities. Her enthusiasm powers them to meet their goals, and every child leaves Debra’s lesson with a smile.

With patience and the ability to make each student feel special, Molly helped a student experiencing changes at home this year. In the process, she also united the student’s family and helped the student gain stability. Finding ways to provide individualized support is a gift that she is able to apply to her entire class as she adapts to every child’s unique needs and strengths. Parents say that she is a wonderful introduction to schooling for kindergartners and their families.

“Betsy’s energy and efforts have helped to catapult Hazel Dell’s growth scores,” said her nominator. In just two years, she has created a system to support teachers and paraeducators while helping students meet ever-increasing goals. She also took on a leadership role in coaching educators through their evaluation program. Teachers say she removed the stress associated with the process and helped them improve their practice. Added her nominator, “She pushes my thinking every day.”

Candi has an upbeat attitude that warms everyone with whom she comes into contact. Candi makes sure that kids have breakfast in the morning and has been known to pay library fines with her own money so that students can continue to check out books. Teachers love having her in their classrooms because of her classroom management and work ethic. She is essential to the school’s culture of caring and positivity.

Though her work doesn’t take place on a field or court, Marika is invaluable to the athletic department at Fort. Schedules, fees, records, ticket-taking, concessions, clearances—Marika is involved in nearly every operational facet of the department. But her hard work doesn’t stop where her job description ends. She also feeds many of the student-athletes, for example, sometimes paying for food out of her own pocket. With Marika’s support, students can compete at their peak level.

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