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April 2022 NIB Awards

March 2022 NIB Awards - Nurturing Growth, Inspiring Achievement, Building Community - South Kitsap School District

April NIB Awards


NIB is any school district employee, student, volunteer, or community member who exhibits the characteristics of the South Kitsap School District vision of Nurturing growth, Inspiring achievement, and Building community

April NIB Awards - Holly Hurn - Office of Special Services

Holly Hurn
Office of Special Services

Holly is the school psychologist for our developmental preschool program.  She is committed to building an inclusive early childhood community with families, staff and community partners.  Holly is one of the first South Kitsap School District representatives to meet with families through the ChildFind process. Thanks for all you do, Holly!

April NIB Awards - Lauren Kluver - Explorer Academy

Lauren Kluver
Explorer Academy

She is a kind and compassionate teacher who loves our program and all of the students and their families!

She’s an amazing team player who volunteers to help out with her peers! She guided me as her para and even encouraged me to go back to finish my own teaching degree !

April NIB Awards - Nathan Chien - Student at SKHS

Nathan Chien
Student at South Kitsap High School

Nathan has been going out of his way to step up with Japanese National Honors Society when other elected officials couldn't attend. He has led our upcoming fundraiser preparations as a true leader, encouraging his peers to find their strengths and interests and then put those towards them participating in the fundraising process. He also plans activities at the drop of a hat! All this to make sure his peers are having fun and learning about Japanese language and culture.

Nathan does this for Chinese Club as well. Thanks for all you do, Nathan!


April NIB Awards - Anne Pontius - Sunnyslope

Anne Pontius

Sunnyslope was in need of substitutes earlier this school year. Anne stepped up and took on working in the lunchroom and in any position. We are very lucky to have Anne as part of our Sunnyslope Team!

April NIB Awards - Carla Olson - Sunnyslope

Carla Olson

Carla stepped up to help in the lunchroom when substitutes were needed at Sunnyslope. She has such a positive attitude and willingness to help wherever and whenever needed. We are very lucky to have Carla as part of our Sunnyslope Team!

April NIB Award - Brandy Chermak - John Sedgwick

Brandy Chermak
John Sedgwick

Brandy through her role as COVID Support Specialist, is building a strong sense of community at JSMS. She is a pillar of professionalism and service, and her polite manner brings a sense of comfort for staff, parents, and students as we navigate the pandemic.

April NIB Award - Gretchen Matthews - Sidney Glen

Gretchen Matthews
Sidney Glen

Gretchen has her student's best interests at heart at all times. When student behavior becomes escalated, Gretchen has been such a positive force in helping them return to a calm baseline state. When the student is at baseline, she takes the time to build a positive relationship with the student and illustrates in her words and actions just how much she cares. This relationship is the reason that the student can manage to work through their escalation cycle safely. The amount of effort and care she puts in to building a strong human connection with her students is admirable.

April NIB Award - Keira Merwine - South Kitsap High School

Keira Merwine
Marcus Whitman & SKHS

Keira Merwine goes above and beyond for our arts department, the orchestra program, and as a colleague in the music department. Since joining our district, she's grown the orchestra program, helped us navigate all the COVID regulations, advocated for new programs and curriculum, and supports her department in all things.

April NIB Award - Kymberli Ross - Office of Special Services

Kymberli Ross
Office of Special Services

Kymberli can be called upon for anything.  She is ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile.  Her attitude at work is... what's next. She is a fast worker who provides quality work with a wonderful attitude. She's the best!

April NIB Award - Melinda Kaplafka - Manchester & East Port Orchard

Melinda Kaplafka
Manchester & East Port Orchard

Melinda has always been so great at assisting me at anytime whether it be in the health room while she is here or me calling her while at the other school. I appreciate her so much.

April NIB Award - Elle Matheson - Student at SKHS

Elle Matheson
Student at South Kitsap High School

Elle Matheson is a student at South Kitsap High School.  Each week, she spends several hours helping our 5th graders with the rigorous math curriculum and helping them gain confidence in their skills. In addition to working with our students each day, Elle is taking advanced classes at the high school, and is also a varsity cheerleader.  We are so proud of Elle, and we don't know what we would do without her help this year.

April NIB Award - Chris Meeker - Health Services

Chris Meeker
Health Services

Chris has gone above and beyond in supporting our health services team throughout the pandemic. She has been extremely flexible with her routine, work duties and schedule, always willing to go wherever her help is most needed. She has played an integral role in our COVID-19 testing program including solely serving upwards of 60 staff and students in a single day at our drive thru testing site. Thank you for keeping our district safe!

April NIB Award - Rebecca Raney - Community Member

Rebecca Raney
Community Member

Rebecca has been building a community here in South Kitsap within her business Yes Please! Coffee  This business really honors and appreciates school employees!  Rebecca offers a 10% discount for all school employees and has since she opened her business. 

During Classified Appreciation week, she allowed our chapter to give members a coupon for a free drink over a duration of two weeks, paying at the end of that time.  Last year when PSE did a pop-up event to celebrate our members and say thank you for all the hard work everyone did last year, Rebecca donated the free drinks for everyone who attended and got the coupon!

I am honored to not only know Rebecca, but to have worked with her over the years!


April NIB Award - Emily Fogel - Marcus Whitman

Emily Fogel
Marcus Whitman

It is difficult to come up with words to describe how valuable Emily Fogel is to MWMS.  She gives of herself daily to students and staff in so many ways!  Emily is a driving force of connectedness – she reaches out to others, sees needs and fills them, and is a constant example of kindness and caring. We are lucky to have her as a vital part of our MW team. Emily, you are appreciated!

April NIB Award - Theresa Johnson - Hidden Creek

Theresa Johnson
Hidden Creek

Theresa is a Tech Liaison at HC and works hard to support staff and students. She has made home visits to collect Chromebooks, is conscientious of each family's unique situation, and considerate to their technology needs. She is a forever learner and teacher. Her deep desire to learn how tech works and how to fix it gives her the tools to support the classrooms confidently. Thank you for being a NIB.

April NIB Award - Deanna Bush and Jenn Sandvig- Marcus Whitman

Deanna Bush & Jenn Sandvig
Marcus Whitman

For seeing our most vulnerable students and making them feel safe, loved, and connected---all while still holding them to a high standard.

April NIB Award - Shasta Foreman- Marcus Whitman

Shasta Foreman
Marcus Whitman

Shasta is absolutely remarkable in what she does in the student drop off and pick up lot at Marcus.  In the mornings, despite weather conditions, she greets each student (and parent) with an energetic smile and wave.  In the afternoons, she directs the overwhelming number of cars and safely gets students through the car lanes to their waiting area. She represents us well and our parking lot would not be nearly as efficient without her.

April NIB Award - Gene Gerard - Marcus Whitman

Gene Gerard
Marcus Whitman

Nearly every Friday, Gene volunteers his time to help with the daunting task of cleaning up all of the cones in the Marcus drop off/pick up lot.  He helps the entire process go much quicker and easier.  His willingness to pitch in and help is very much appreciated!

April NIB Award - Courtney Thresher, Heather Tarr, Sasha Puckett - Orchard Heights

Courtney Thresher, Heather Tarr, Sasha Puckett
Orchard Heights

The Primary EBSP program staff at Orchard Heights Elementary is exemplary in all areas.  They are incredibly encouraging to their students and motivate them to be their best selves.  They approach supporting their students with high levels of organization, communication, collaboration, and consistency.  They have graduated multiple students from the program so far this year and continue to celebrate the successes of all students in their program. Their diverse sets of experiences integrate together to provide an optimal environment for some of our most vulnerable learners, and we are so fortunate to have them in their positions and as part of our Shark Family at Orchard Heights.

April NIB Award - Michael Bertrand - Orchard Heights

Michael Bertrand
Orchard Heights

Michael is a new SKSD student at Orchard Heights this year as a 5th grader.  He has quickly become an integral part of our Shark Family.  He engages with a variety of teachers across the school and has formed close bonds with our staff and students.  Michael is an eager and respectful learner.  He is incredibly supportive of his peers both inside and outside of the classroom.  He manages a busy schedule of expectations between home, multiple different classes/classrooms, and his baseball team.  Michael is never afraid to try something new and always willing to work hard at it.  He asks great questions to connect with others and really cares about how you're doing, on top of giving some of the best hugs.  He is the student who sets an example for others, even when no one is looking.  Way to be wonderful Michael!

April NIB Award - Monte Blanco, Karl Crocker, Kathy Harmon, Mark Jackson, Johnny McClure, Melanie Monagle, and Alex Torres Le

Monte Blanco, Karl Crocker, Kathy Harmon, Mark "Jax" Jackson, John Lackey, Johnny McClure, Melanie Monagle, and Alex Torres Lee
Transportation Maintenance Team

The Transportation Maintenance Team exemplifies the "SK WAY", they provide support and a solid foundation for the District's goal of industry excellence and safety.

The Team recently completed the WSP Mandatory Fleet inspection for 2022. During the intense and stressful presentation of our fleet to the inspectors, 119 vehicles were evaluated and out of the entire group only 1 vehicle was pulled from service, it was repaired within 30 seconds due to a very minor issue and this resulted in a nearly flawless inspection performance. Not only is this a spectacular showing, they did it with a minimal crew.

The professionalism and dedication that is pouring out of the mechanics group is unparalleled. They provide timely and exceptional service to entire District and do so without complaint. Their willingness to extend, shift and alter their schedules and (lives) for the betterment of the District is truly admirable.


Thank you Transportation Maintenance!

April NIB Award - Danielle Fuller - Manchester

Danielle Fuller

Danielle has done a great job not only as a para educator but also as an assistant to Mr. Stork in the library, creating ways to organize books for younger students to find and help the kindergarten classes to learn library behaviors.

April NIB Award - Marianne Brandal - Human Resources

Marianne Brandal
Human Resources

Sub coverage has been one of the biggest battles we have faced this year. Marianne works wonders, made miracles happen and has done so with the friendliest most positive attitude. She is wonderful.

April NIB Award - Jerry Moses - John Sedgwick

Jerry Moses
John Sedgwick

Mr. Moses is the Art Teacher at John Sedgwick and I am an Academic Adaptive teacher. He has been a strong supporter of my arts integration plans. He has allowed us to use the art room on his plan and has supported other Academic Adaptive students by leading them in elaborate projects on his plan. Mr. Moses has gone out of his way to support art beyond his classroom duties and to support a population of students who don't always have access to electives.

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