2018 Crystal Apple awards recognize outstanding Salem-Keizer educators

2018 Crystal Apple Award winners pose following the awards ceremony on Nov. 1, 2018 (Courtesy/Salem-Keizer Education Foundation)

The Salem-Keizer Education Foundation recognized twelve teachers, administrators and support staff with Crystal Apple awards Thursday evening.

The foundation selected those staff from 61 nominations submitted by parents, students and fellow educators. The 2018 winners are listed below with a quote from the award presentation.

Chris Lieder, Registrar, Blanchet Catholic School

“Chris treats each student like they are her own and they embrace her as their ‘school mom,’ often asking her advice, coming to her with their worries and leaving her office feeling empowered to focus on school.”

Brad Dixon, Social Studies and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Teacher, Claggett Creek Middle School

Brad “spends his time making sure that through the content he is delivering, students are learning lifelong lessons to build character. He uses his own experiences traveling, teaching and learning around the globe to help his students better understand other people, cultures, communities and traditions.”

Barb Bamford, AVID Coordinator, Salem-Keizer Public Schools

“Barb consistently takes every opportunity to encourage teachers and students to see their potential and uses what she has learned with AVID in other interactions she has with the distirct. Her passion for instruction, literacy and college readiness has been an asset for the district.”

Alyssa Darnell, Bilingual Math/Spanish Teacher, Parrish Middle School

“One of the students who wrote in support of her nomination stated, ‘Mrs. Darnell made me like math in some ways, and love engineering and science. Now, today I am looking forward to studying as an aeronautical engineer or computer and information system manager…I accomplished what I am today because of Mrs. Darnell.’ While Alyssa is excited to talk about the success of her students, she is quick to deflect the praise and give all of the credit to her students.”

Phil Decker, Principal, Four Corners Elementary School

“During the school day, Phil makes time to connect with the students. He rewards their successes with Jenga games and lunch in his office, or by donning a silly hat and leading a conga line through the classroom. After school, you may find him involved in a scooter race with the night custodian or engaged in a rousing game of four square with the office staff.”

Laura Hoagland, Bilingual Instructional Assistant, Kennedy Elementary School

“Laura is described by colleagues as a woman of action and impact. Her acts of leadership and service to others, as well as her tireless efforts to reach every student and interrupt the cycle of poverty in families is remarkable.”

Katrina Hull, Math/CTE Teacher, McKay High School

“Understanding that for engineering students to really learn how something works, they must take it apart to see what is inside, she will wrap packages of items such as used cell phones and electronic toothbrushes that have been donated by friends for students to unwrap and then take apart. Through dismantling these items, they learn how they work and what needs to be done to make improvements.”

Mike Melting, Automotive Teacher, McNary High School

“A former student who is now a senior in college and working for one of the leading aerospace manufacturing companies in the world remarked, “My knowledge of auto mechanics and lessons from Mr. Melting helped get me where I am today … He has a way of teaching that helps students mature into good people. I saw Mike as a mentor while I was in his class and still value his guidance today.”

Beth Tinseth, First Grade Bilingual Teacher, Myers Elementary School

“To support the cultural diversity of her classroom, Beth coordinated dual language nights where she brings in a variety of cultural performers to bring together all of the students and families in the Myers community. She uses her guitar and singing in the classroom to teach and reinforce vocabulary and cultural facts with her students.”

Jacqueline Benavides, Community School Outreach Coordinator, North Salem High School

“Jacqueline is key to the ultimate vision for their parents: having them see the school not just as a school, but as a community center. Every time a parent steps into her office, they feel encouraged as Jacqueline guides and connects them to a variety of resources to meet even their most basic needs.”

Lisa McIntyre, Assistant Principal, Roberts High School

“When staff members come to Lisa with an idea to improve student engagement or success, she immediately becomes their cheerleader and the resource person to make it happen. And when success happens, she is the first one there shaking hands, giving high-fives and celebrating with both students and staff.”

Lee King, Custodian, Walker Middle School

“Lee always has a smile on his face and goes out of his way to get to know the students. He takes time to build positive relationships with the students and encourages them to make the right choices. He is not afraid to hold students accountable for their actions and will point out the expectation signs to them in the hallways or take time to teach them to do the task at hand.”

Reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.