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District honors Classified School Employees of the Year
District honors Classified School Employees of the Year
Posted on 02/24/2017
District honors Classified School Employees of the Year

Three classified staff members were surprised recently during staff meetings where Superintendent Yeomans announced they were selected as 2016-17 Puyallup School District Classified School Employees of the Year.

This year’s classified honorees are Hunt Elementary Paraeducator Kristin Brands; Kalles Junior High Paraeducator Laura Allen; and Puyallup High Attendance Secretary Bev Vesey.

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 program include an outstanding contribution to student success, professional leadership qualities, and the number of years of service.

Brands, Allen, and Vesey will be recognized at the Puyallup School Board meeting on March 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Edgemont Junior High.

Kristin Brands, Hunt Elementary

Krisin Brands“It was such a great surprise. The best day ever!” said Brands when asked about being selected as Classified Employee of the Year.

This is her tenth year as a paraeducator in the district—all of her time spent at Hunt Elementary. Her duties include recess supervisor, paraeducator, and building support.

“She can literally do it all—and she does it with a smile! She is a game changer on our staff—she is positive with a ‘can do’ attitude and she inspires others to see the good in all kids, in all adults, and in all situations,” said Hunt Principal Rebecca Williams.

Brands said she feels lucky to work with students in the classroom where she helps out in small groups and she enjoys being outside during recess with them. “I enjoy building relationships with the students and watching them grow. I really do care about all students at Hunt,” she said.

In her spare time Brands enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons. She enjoys yoga, photography, camping and road trips through small towns. Two of her sons currently attend Emerald Ridge High School.

Laura Allen, Kalles Junior High

Laura AllenSupport Center paraeducator Laura Allen is described by Kalles Principal Guy Kovacs as incredibly skilled in supporting students and a team member with leadership qualities.

“The Puyallup School District is fortunate to have such a committed and capable person working with our students with special needs. Laura is able to move students to new heights with their learning, their confidence, and their living skills,” said Kovacs.

Allen has been a Paraeducator in Puyallup working in Support Center classrooms for the past 20 years. She has worked at Pope and Woodland elementary schools and spent the last 17 years at Kalles.

Allen shared that she enjoys working at Kalles and loves her job. “The staff here at Kalles are like family. They would do anything for you! I have seen it countless times when there is a celebration, a struggle or loss within our staff, student, or in the community,” said Allen.

Her husband, sister, and brother-in-law were on hand to surprise her during the announcement that she was Classified Employee of the Year. Allen’s hobbies include archery, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and boating with her husband.

“I learn so much from the students I work with,” she said. One of her favorite moments when working with students is seeing the excitement when something they have been working so hard on or struggling with, finally makes sense.

Bev Vesey, Puyallup High School

Bev VeseyWhen longtime Puyallup native and district employee Bev Vesey learned she had been selected as Classified School Employee of the Year she received a second surprise. In attendance to congratulate her were her family members, including her son from California who flew in to surprise her. “I had no idea. It was exciting—I just really couldn’t believe that he came up,” she said.

Vesey, a Puyallup High graduate, has worked as the Attendance Secretary at the high school for 32 years. She was a long-term substitute in the district for five years before that. Her husband was also a graduate and was an art teacher at Puyallup High for 30 years. She has three sons who attended school there and currently has a grandson who is a senior.

Puyallup High Principal David Sunich described her as a person who shows kindness to students, staff, and parents. “She wins the hearts of every student and staff member. Bev builds relationships with students and has made a difference for our students by being the first friendly face they see, while holding them accountable,” said Sunich.

Vesey said she truly enjoys the staff that she works with and the students she encounters every day.

“Every day is a different day. I always look at the bright side and I’m never negative. I think it shows in my work. I chat with them and they give me a nice smile. You’d be surprised how many kids say to me ‘have a nice day, you sure do look nice’,” she said.

The public is invited to attend the school board meeting to honor the Classified Employees of the Year on March 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Edgemont Junior High.