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November NIB Awards

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

November 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

Owen Bizak - South Kitsap High School Student

Owen Bizak
SKHS Student

Owen was on his way home late on Friday afternoon and took the time to help one of our SKHS custodians and classified staff to carry some large/heavy equipment upstairs. This was really something he easily could have avoided, especially so late after school. He took a little of his time to make their lives a little easier and demonstrated some really kind and upstanding behavior.

Luke Fenton & Isaiah Masaniai - South Kitsap High School Students

Luke Fenton & Isaiah Masaniai
SKHS Students

Luke and Isaiah are students in my Physical Science class at SKHS.  We had a new student, Nolan, join our class who needed seating accommodations and daily assistance with obtaining/returning items from his backpack. From day one, both Luke and Isaiah stepped up to make Nolan’s in-class experience productive and inclusive. Our classroom is at capacity and the best seats are at a premium. Without hesitation, Luke volunteered to give up his seat so Nolan can have easy access into and out of class. Isaiah helps Nolan set up for class and pack up at the end of class. I am so proud of these two young men who are an example of what it means to be altruistic and put others before themselves. This is why I love working in SK – our students are amazing!

Jerry Bigler - SKSD Safety, Security & Emergency Management

Jerry Bigler
Safety, Security, &
Emergency Management

Lead District Security Officer Jerry Bigler exemplifies what is means to be a NIB. It isn’t just one act or accomplishment; it is his dedication and daily work ethic that makes him stand out.  Jerry shows up to work ready to do whatever needs to be done. He represents himself, the SSEM team, and the entire SKSD in a positive light.  Anytime he takes on a task, he does so with a positive can-do attitude, which is an "inspiring achievement". Jerry is well-liked and respected by his co-workers and staff across the district. No matter the challenge presented to him, he is always willing to collaborate and find a solution. Jerry is worthy of this recognition and a great example of how to do it the #SKWay!

Lorette Mehs - SKSD Transportation

Loretta Mehs

Loretta Mehs is an outstanding South Kitsap employee!  She fosters a positive, welcoming environment on her school bus.  She leads chants and cheers, and kids enjoy their transportation experience.  On top of being an exemplary bus driver, she has volunteered countless hours to beautify the Sunnyslope playground.  Most recently, she revitalized our United States map and painted a colorful foursquare spot for students to play.  Loretta does this volunteer work on weekends and after long days of driving her bus routes.  Loretta is a true inspiration to those around her. 

Andrea Keller - SKSD Social Worker

Andrea Keller
SKSD Social worker

Andrea Keller's grit and guidance are the caliber of a CEO or Five-Star General. She spends her days dedicated to students and staff of the South Kitsap School District who are experiencing hardship and crisis. She is regularly exposed to vicarious trauma in order to find ways to care for people, yet she remains resilient and always shows up. She is a true professional who loves her job and the humans she serves; leading by example through times of uncertainty and inspiring everyone she meets to keep going. She has improved the lives of countless people and is certain to improve the lives of infinitely more.  The South Kitsap community is truly a better place with Andrea in it.

Mary Anne Van Doornik - Marcus Whitman Middle School

Mary Anne Van Doornik
Marcus Whitman

Mary Anne is constantly providing staff with heartfelt notes of encouragement and appreciation. She makes everyone in the building feel important and supported. If others are struggling, she gathers volunteers to take things off of their plates. She makes our Marcus Whitman staff feel like a team.

Emily Gantuangco - Manchester Elementary

Emily Gantuangco

Mrs. Gantuangco goes above and beyond her duties as 1:1 paraeducator in my 4th-grade classroom at Manchester Elementary. She helps other students when she sees I am occupied and helps to maintain my classroom without being asked (e.g. cleaning books, passing out papers, etc) My students absolutely adore her calm and supportive presence. Our classroom would not be the same without her. Thank you, Mrs. G!

Kim Robison - Sidney Glen Elementary

Kim Robison
Sidney Glen

Kim is a paraeducator at Sidney Glen who goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She is patient, kind, and works well with students needing extra guidance and support. She advocates and puts the needs of the students first. Kim is a leader, someone I look up to, and the person I go to for advice. She is irreplaceable and I am lucky enough to call her not only a co-worker but also a friend. Thank you, Kim, for your dedication and hard work!

Sarah Long - SKS Health Services

Sarah Long
Health Services

Sarah continues to go above and beyond daily working as a valued nurse for our district.  She is always flexible and willing to help where needed. This year at South Colby and EPO she has been essential in caring for students, assisting with COVID protocols and contact tracing.  We are lucky to have Sarah working in our district!

Liz Martin - East Port Orchard Elementary

Liz Martin
East Port Orchard

Liz is an amazing para for East Port Orchard's Social Communication Classroom. She started the year off working very closely with one of my students who had only ever done Online schooling. Liz not only helped him adjust to in-person learning, but she also helped all of the students in my classroom settle into norms and work on routine.  She is always ready, willing, and able to help at a moment's notice, always doing what she knows is best for all our students (not just the ones she works with). She is truly helping our school community do its best and stepping up to any challenge she faces.

Heather Tarr Orchard Heights Elementary

Heather Tarr
Orchard Heights

Heather goes above and beyond everyday for her students. Her students can count on her to be consistent and fair while holding them to their expectations. She is dependable and flexible and will fill in wherever she is needed. Heather is a joy to work with at Orchard Heights and is an asset to our school. Thank you, Ms. Heather.

Bridget Gronberg - Sidney Glen Elementary

Bridget Gronberg
Sidney Glen

Mrs. Bridget Gronberg goes over and beyond with her students. She is the kind of teacher that advocates for her students and always does what is best for the Sidney Glen students.

Jeannette Sandoval - Orchard Heights Elementary

Jeannette Sandoval
Orchard Heights

Jeannette Sandoval has only been teaching about 6 years; but she has established herself as one of outstanding teachers in her building and her district. Year after year, her classrooms have been a place where her students know they are safe, are loved, and have high expectations. Mrs. Sandoval has established herself as a leader in the Orchard Heights community. She has become one of the experts in our building for the Google Suite, having earned the Google Educator Level 1 certification. This year, Jeannette has volunteered to serve as the building tech representative. Because of her dedication to that responsibility, all our students have access to Chrome Books that are working properly. And because of that dedication, her colleagues' tech issues are solved quickly. Mrs. Sandoval has been involved with the Orchard Heights PTSO, Girl Scouts, and community sports teams with her children. Jeannette Sandoval is a picture of balance between personal life and professional life and deserves to be recognized by the entire District.

Jennifer Blowers - Burley Glenwood Elementary

Jennifer Blowers
Burley Glenwood

Jennifer Blowers has shown excellence this school year and has demonstrated what it means to Nurture growth, Inspire Achievement, and Build community. After student teaching this fall, she stepped into a long-term substitute position and has exceeded expectations from all. Her commitment to student care and parent connection has shown in every interaction. Pulling from her experience as a Paraeducator, Jennifer makes learning individualized for students while simultaneously engaging students in making connections as they learn as a whole class. Jennifer embodies the SK Way and is a gift to the Burley Glenwood community!

The Sunshine Team - Orchard Heights Elementary

The Sunshine Team
Orchard Heights

Jessica Ames, Alicia Bennett-Veitch, Jessie Jones, Kate Noble – Sunshine Team

While we undeniably find great meaning and joy in the work we do in schools, being an educator is hard.  Right now, more than ever, supporting and celebrating our colleagues in our building is a crucial element that helps educators sustain the energy and well-being to meet the needs of our students. 

At Orchard Heights the Sunshine Team spreads light and love throughout the long school year.   Whether they are organizing meal trains for a staff member in  need, coordinating events – even virtually – to celebrate new babies, or just placing thoughtful notes in mailboxes at the right moment, with gratitude we celebrate these fantastic women who lift up their colleagues and make our school environment brighter for kids.

  • BG
  • EPO
  • MAN
  • MWMS
  • NIB Awards
  • OH
  • SG
  • SKHS
  • SKSD