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District honors Classified School Employees of the Year
Meet Puyallup's Classified School Employees of the Year
Posted on 01/24/2018
Meet Puyallup's Classified School Employees of the Year

Three classified staff members were surprised recently in front of their peers when Superintendent Tim Yeomans announced they were selected as 2017-18 Puyallup School District Classified School Employees of the Year.

This year’s classified honorees are Regional Transportation Supervisor Rene Bierds; Fruitland Elementary Custodian Lola McNair; and Education Technology Web Services Analyst Evan Windsor.

Nominations for classified employees were accepted during the month of December. The nomination process looks for classified staff members who have made a positive difference in their profession. Characteristics for the award includes an outstanding contribution to student success, professional leadership qualities, and number of years of service.

Bierds, McNair, and Windsor were recognized at the Puyallup School Board meeting on January 22 at Ballou Junior High. Family, friends, and staff members were on hand to congratulate them.

As Classified School Employee of the Year they each receive a plant basket, certificate for professional development, and a plaque.

Rene Bierds, Regional Transportation Supervisor

Rene BierdsRene is described as a person who handles both small and large issues with care and kindness.

As a Regional Transportation Supervisor, Bierds day begins at 5:30 a.m. She supports 51 bus drivers who transport students with special needs to school each day.

She was nominated for the recognition by the Special Services Department and was complemented for having a collaborative style, patience, listening skills, and promoting student safety and success.

“Her work with her colleagues within the transportation department as well as across the district is unparalleled. Rene’s work has made a positive impact on thousands of students and families.” 
Executive Director, Special Education Karen Mool

A 30-year district employee, Bierds was a bus driver for 14 years before becoming a supervisor. She says every day in her position at transportation is different and complements the staff for pulling together during challenging issues such as a shortage of bus drivers.

“I work with a very professional and caring staff at Special Services. We have students that begin in preschool at three years old and stay until they are 21. I have been able to form a good relationship and trust with a lot of parents through the years,” says Bierds.

She has seen many changes in the transportation department and says technology and growth are the major ones. When she started in 1987 there were 69 bus drivers, and bus routes were written on sheets of paper. Now there are 139 drivers and an electronic routing system.

As she plans to retire in the near future, Bierds professionalism, kindness, and commitment will be missed. She is credited with making a positive impact on thousands of students and families throughout her career.

In her spare time Bierds enjoys working in the garden and kayaking.

Lola McNair, Fruitland Elementary Custodian

Lola McNair leads by example with her positive attitude and her ‘above and beyond’ work ethic, according to her operations supervisors.

Lola McNairAs a district custodian for nearly 20 years McNair spent the past 12 years as the evening custodian at Fruitland Elementary. She has also worked at Firgrove, Sunrise, and Stewart elementary schools, Kalles Junior High, and the district print shop.

In addition to working for the Puyallup School District, McNair has a second full-time job. She begins her day as a building specialist at the University of Puget Sound before arriving at Fruitland for the evening shift.

As the night custodian McNair is responsible for making sure the school is ready for 580 students and more than 60 staff as they return to school each day. To name a few her duties include cleaning all classrooms and bathrooms, making sure floors are clean, washing windows, and picking up and removing the trash.

“She sets a great example for students, staff, and community through her interactions that are always fun, light-hearted, and supportive of all who she comes in contact with.” 
Director of Operations Bryson Bickler

With all of the work to be done after hours, McNair’s favorite part of her job is the people. “We are a family here at Fruitland. The staff is here for the kids and we all work together,” she says. McNair has many opportunities to serve the public during after school events and community use of the facilities in the evening.

Originally from Texas, Lola enjoys bowling and spending time with family.

Evan Windsor, Web Services Analyst

Evan WindsorEvan Windsor is described as highly skilled, self-directed, positive, problem-solver who is persistent in the work he does. He has been responsible for all district website upgrades over the past six years.

He began his career with the district in 2004 as a junior at Puyallup High School. He was hired part-time along with other students to design websites for schools. After graduating from high school he became a permanent member of the district technology center.

Windsor is self-taught when it comes to developing and maintaining website tools and services for the district. He says, “Programming is mostly just problem solving. You take a very big problem and then break it down into a series of tiny single steps a computer knows how to execute. Basically there wasn’t any big concerted moment of self-teaching, just 14 years of consistently pushing myself to tackle problems just beyond my capabilities.”

As a Web Services Analyst Windsor is responsible for creating several systems which support teaching and learning throughout the district. He created an online evaluation system tailored to the needs of Puyallup teachers and administrators.

“Simply put, Evan is a department of one person who is tasked with keeping our online present secure and operational. Ultimately, he interacts with so many groups in a supportive and friendly manner so that our work moves forward.”
Mark Knight, executive director digital educational platforms

I was a student in the Puyallup School District my whole childhood. It’s nice to be in a position to give back to the district. Also it’s nice to work somewhere that you can see your work have obvious, tangible, positive results rather than being one tiny cog in a massive corporation.

In his spare time Windsor enjoys spending time with his wife and three year old son. He says he is a lifelong fan of the TV show Survivor.

“I am truly honored. I really feel like I was just doing my job.”
Evan Windsor