BEND, Ore. - The 2013-14 school year officially kicked off Tuesday with a staff celebration, led by Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson, in a packed Bend Senior High auditorium.
"Our staff does incredible work each and every day for our students," said Wilkinson. "Getting everyone together to celebrate accomplishments – big and small – that come from their hard work really sets the tone for a great school year."
Wilkinson shared his State of the District during the event and said that this is an amazing time to be in public education.
"Student achievement is at the highest levels ever, the focus on all students is paying dividends in closing the achievement gap, teachers and administrators are collaborating like never before in focusing on student achievement, and more students are graduating and prepared for their futures," he said.
One of the highlights of the annual event was the announcement of Jennifer Anderson as Bend-La Pine Schools Teacher of the Year, Becky Rehwalt as Support Person of the Year and Bend Senior High's HD Weddel as Distinguished Administrator.
"These three exemplify the great work taking place to ensure that every student is a thriving citizen," Wilkinson said. "They are among the best of the best in making decisions based on what is ideal for students, they have expectations of high achievement for all and have positive relationships with staff, students, parents and the community."
The 2013 finalists for Teacher of the Year included Jennifer Anderson, Sky View Middle School science teacher; Christie Boen, La Pine High School librarian; Collin Brooks, R.E. Jewell Elementary School, physical education teacher; Josh Hayden, Buckingham Elementary School, 2nd grade teacher; Maria Madden, Juniper Elementary School, student services; Luke MacSween, Bend Senior High School, music teacher; Christine McCormick, Summit High School, English teacher; and Kerry Morton, Pine Ridge Elementary School, Kindergarten teacher.
Wilkinson also recognized the finalists for Support Person of the Year on stage at the event. The finalists included Glenn Beyer, printing specialist and graphic designer; Monica Bogue, Cascade Middle School, media manager; Taylor Drew, Lava Ridge Elementary School, educational assistant; Loni Pence, Human Resources, licensed specialist and Becky Rehwalt, Internet Technology, project manager.