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Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | 0 comments

Awarding the best in SPS

Working to improve public education in Seattle isn’t always the most inspiring job. It’s rewarding, but change is slow, education is political, and it seems like every piece of good news is met by two pieces of bad news.

Occasionally, though, we get to host events that remind us why we choose to pursue this difficult, demanding work.

Last week, the Alliance for Education hosted the annual Awards Reception. It’s an evening where we get to celebrate the joy in our schools – the hard work, the accomplishments, and the people who work every day to ensure that kids are learning and reaching their full potential.

We presented five awards to 12 outstanding educators and students, most of which came with cash prizes or scholarships.

Congratulations to these winners!

Three students were awarded the Naramore Arts Scholarship and its $1,000 prize.

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Euel Ayichew of Rainier Beach High School

Vivian Chuang of Nathan Hale High School

Vivian Chuang of Nathan Hale High School

Madalynne Reilly of Ballard High School

Madalynne Reilly of Ballard High School

The Margaret Covey Award is given on an annual basis to a Seattle Public Schools library that exemplifies the qualities and values that distinguished Margaret Covey’s teaching career. Award winners Linda Nakagawa and Mary Thompson were lauded for nurturing a love of reading for the kids in their schools and received $1,500 stipends to use at their discretion.

Maple Elementary School Principal Elena Sanchez and Covey Award winner Linda Nakagawa

Maple Elementary School Principal Elena Sanchez and Covey Award winner Linda Nakagawa

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Beacon Hill International Elementary School Principal Dr. Susie Murphy and Covey Award winner Mary Thompson

The Philip B. Swain Excellence in Teaching Award is historically given to up to six educators in Seattle Public Schools who exemplify the qualities and values that distinguished Mr. Philip B. Swain’s years of community stewardship.Five teachers were awarded the Philip B. Swain Award this year and teach at Beach High School, Chief Sealth High School, Denny International Middle School, and Mercer International Middle School. Each teacher received $1,000 as a part of the Award.

Aida Fraser Hammer of Chief Sealth High School presented Swain Award to Lori Douglas and Paul Fischburg.

Aida Fraser Hammer of Chief Sealth High School presented Swain Award to Lori Douglas and Paul Fischburg.

Mercer Middle School Principal Chris Carter presents the Swain Award to Jim (Karl) Meyer.

Mercer Middle School Principal Chris Carter presents the Swain Award to Jim (Karl) Meyer.

Denny Middle School Principal Jeff Clark (left) presented the Swain Award to Gary Lai (center)

Denny Middle School Principal Jeff Clark (left) presented the Swain Award to Gary Lai (center)

Rainier Beach High School Swain Award winner Adam Christopulos was unable to attend the event.

Nihi Nguyen, winner of The Nicholas Sherburne Scholarship Fund, was also unable to attend the event. This scholarship fund awards $1,000 to a graduate of Franklin High School that has been involved in the Academy of Finance and commemorates the too-short life of Nicholas Sherburne, a Franklin student who was killed in 1995.

Debbie Nelsen, who was surprised with the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence earlier this year, closed the evening’s program with some words about leadership.

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Hazel Wolf K-8 ESTEM Principal and Foster Award winner Debbie Nelsen speaks.

Congratulations to all of the incredible students and educators that joined us last week, and more importantly – THANK YOU. Your hard work and dedication to education in our city is an inspiration to everyone here at the Alliance.

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