Who is this week’s new Everyday Hero?

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Sue Shivnen, Helpdesk Technician, Technology

Sue, I want to thank you so much for all that you do, by working on the Helpdesk. It makes it so much easier to do my job assisting teachers and students in the schools I work in. You are always eager and happy to help staff either on the phone or in person.

Submitted by Monique Farland, IT Field Technician, Technology Department

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.

We can’t wait to hear about all of our Everyday Heroes, because we know that every day our teachers, bus drivers, child nutrition staff, custodial employees, paraeducators, school and district office staff, and others are doing amazing work on behalf of students.

Staff and families invited to view ‘Screenagers’ at no cost

A group of about a dozen teenagers sit on the steps in front of a school looking down at mobile phones. The headline above them says "Screenagers"As part of the district’s commitment to providing awareness and education around digital citizenship and digital health and well-being, OSD families and staff are invited to watch ‘Screenagers’, a film about the impact of the digital age on children and strategies to find balance within it. This film follows a Seattle doctor and her teenage daughter as they navigate their way into and through the digital age.

The film is appropriate for students in grades 6-12 and is approximately 50 minutes long. There will be an opportunity for a short discussion after the film ends.

Viewing Schedule:

  • Tuesday, December 4: 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Capital HS Performing Arts Center
  • Tuesday, December 11:  6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Knox Administrative Center Board Room

All of the screenings are open to OSD staff and families at no cost.

Read about our newest Everyday Hero!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Matthew Murdock, Electrician, Support Service Center

A few weeks ago, a few first- and second-grade teachers had their students ceramic Halloween pumpkins explode in our school kiln. I mean, every one of them blew up! So, the children made more pumpkins and this time put a hole in them to let the gasses escape. Talk about perseverance!

Unfortunately, after the catastrophe, the kiln wouldn’t work right. It wouldn’t keep its temperature and would shut off early. So, I asked Brendon (Chertok) to put in a work order and within two days, electrician Matthew Murdock contacted me.

Not only did he tear apart the kiln electrical box and explain the components to me, he researched our particular kiln and found some answers since the electrical components were in working order and not the cause of the problem. He even came back to the school and took some pictures and sent them to me of how to set the kiln and how not to set the kiln. I love visuals!

Besides being a very nice man, he went far and above what he had to do to help our children produce ceramic Thanksgiving pumpkins…just in time for Thanksgiving!

It just goes to show that every single employee in our district touches children’s lives in some way.

Matthew, in my book, is amazing!

Submitted by Jason Finney, Teacher, Garfield ES

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.

We can’t wait to hear about all of our Everyday Heroes, because we know that every day our teachers, bus drivers, child nutrition staff, custodial employees, paraeducators, school and district office staff, and others are doing amazing work on behalf of students.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Posting documents online

Laptop computer, paper with various pie charts and metrix charts, notepad, and hand with pen as if taking notes

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares tips and resources for posting documents online.

When preparing to post content to SchoolMessenger or Schoology, it is important to consider the document format. From a broad perspective, a document may be posted as on-page content (HTML), or as an attachment.

On-Page Content (HTML)

Posting directly on the page is the simplest and most accessible way to publish content, and thus, is the preferred method. This is because HTML provides a programmatic accompaniment to the text, allowing all users to easily perceive and interact with the content. More complex elements, such as tables or images, require some minor additional markup, but text alone can simply be pasted onto the page. The district’s Website Accessibility Resources page offers quick-start guides on how to post accessible on-page content to both Schoology or SchoolMessenger.

Attachments

Beyond posting on-page content, a document may also be posted as an external attachment. PDFs are the preferred format for attachments, as a PDF contains a similar programmatic accompaniment as HTML, and is therefore highly accessible.

While other document types, such as Word or PowerPoint files may contain accessibility features, they should be exported to PDF to ensure they can be perceived by the largest possible audience. The district Website Accessibility Resources page offers guides on creating accessible documents in these software suites, as well as a guide on how to correctly export to PDF.

By posting documents as on-page content or accessible PDFs, we can ensure the largest possible segment of our community is able to fully enjoy our services. If working with unique file types not covered on the Website Accessibility Resources page, please reach out to Robert Hardy at Ext. 6105 in the Communications Department with questions.

Is retirement a long way off? Learn about your future at a free DRS benefits summit

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penIs retirement a long way off? Attend a free Department of Retirement System’s Benefits Summit to learn more about your future plans.

Although DRS Benefits Summits are open to all employees, they are designed to encourage retirement planning for employees who are in the early- to middle-stages of their careers.

For more information and to register, see the attached flier or visit the Benefits Summits page of the DRS website. Employees may also access the Benefits Summits page of the DRS website.  Location information will be provided at the time of registration.

If you have questions about registration or need to cancel a reservation, please email register@drs.wa.gov.

Congratulations OSD Classified School Employees of the Year

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Denise Pigue, behavior technician at Garfield Elementary School

Congratulations to three Olympia School District employees selected to receive this year’s OSD Classified School Employee of the Year award.

The employees learned of the honor during surprise announcements at impromptu morning staff meetings. The news was greeted with applause, standing ovations and hugs.

This year’s honorees are:

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Travis King, behavior technician at Centennial Elementary School

Travis King, paraeducator at Centennial Elementary School. This is King’s fifth year at Centennial Elementary, where he works as a behavior technician.

Denise Pigue, paraeducator at Garfield Elementary School. Pigue is in her fourth year at Garfield Elementary School, where she works as a behavior technician. She has worked for the district since 2008.

Todd Thornton, head custodian at Roosevelt Elementary School. Todd has worked as head custodian at Roosevelt for four years and for the district since 2006.

All three will be honored at a special recognition ceremony during the December 10, 2018 Olympia School Board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

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Todd Thornton, head custodian at Roosevelt Elementary School

The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration.

In September, the Olympia School District opened nominations for Classified School Employee of the Year. The district invited staff, students, parents and community members to submit nominations.

A screening committee made up of OSD employees and community members reviewed the submissions and recommended the three names to Superintendent Patrick Murphy.

Murphy, Assistant Superintendent Nancy Faaren, School Board President Frank Wilson, Board Vice President Joellen Wilhelm and school leaders announced the winners and presented them with flowers.

Classified School Employee of the Year is an annual statewide awards program through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. It begins with local nominations from school districts throughout Washington. Those individuals have a chance of then being named a regional Classified School Employee of the Year, which allows them to advance to the state competition.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction recognizes the regional finalists and announces the state Classified School Employee of the Year at the annual spring award ceremony at the Old Capitol Building in Olympia.

The state award winner and regional finalists are invited to several annual recognition events including the Governor’s Reception for Exceptional Educators.

Kudos to our two newest Everyday Heroes!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here are our newest honorees:

Everyday Hero
Camille Nunez, Behavior Technician, Boston Harbor ES

We are so fortunate to have Camille Nunez as our Behavior Tech at Boston Harbor Elementary School. She is the perfect mix of calm, care and clear expectations we want for all children, and she is so funny. Ms. C, as she is lovingly referred to around here, finds the fun and good in everything. She’s flexible, adaptable, kind and has a keen awareness of others and their needs. There have been many times when Ms. C has saved my day, or taught me something new by her example. She adeptly runs reading and intervention groups, manages a lunchroom packed with kids, supports preschool children in their classroom, keeps kids safe and happy at recess, and works on individual and specific behavior goals. Camille is a creative educator, and a really important part of our staff at BHES.  Thank you, Camille, for all you do for our kids and for being a wonderful colleague.
Submitted by Beth Wilson, Teacher, Boston Harbor ES

Everyday Hero
Breanne Keys, Restorative Center Specialist, Olympia HS

Breanne Keys is the Restorative Center (RC) Specialist at Olympia High School.  In merely eight months since her arrival at OHS last year second semester, she has developed a responsive system for students experiencing all levels of behavior concerns.  She proactively works with all stakeholders and continues to develop services in the RC based on feedback, evidence based practice, and outcomes. She monitors discipline data to sharpen our schoolwide systems of support, as well as, identify areas needing more prevention or re-teaching of behavior expectations. Her passion for Restorative Practice is off the charts! She extends her reach to staff by Focus group facilitation, trainings at staff meetings, facilitation of classroom circles, and restorative meetings between staff and students. She continually impresses me with her constant reflection to improve services to students and professional practice. Her development of the RC and ability to connect with staff and students has decreased the number of students serving their suspensions at home. She is a change agent for improved culture and climate at OHS!
Submitted by the Olympia HS Administrative Team

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.

We can’t wait to hear about all of our Everyday Heroes, because we know that every day our teachers, bus drivers, child nutrition staff, custodial employees, paraeducators, school and district office staff, and others are doing amazing work on behalf of students.