Teachers Are Heroes Too! Nominate Today

Reward an Amazing Educator

In times like these we have an opportunity to encourage and support those around us. We may be looking at our teachers with a renewed respect.

Would you like to give an amazing teacher a special reward. Show them how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Thank them for what they are doing for your kids and acknowledge the effort that they pour into their students. 

Attorney Rick Merrill has two ways to reward that special teacher in Snohomish County.  

Rick’s Book Brigade

We want to promote reading for the Elementary Students of Snohomish County. We are going to donate books to a classroom.

Twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall, we will select an Elementary classroom to donate books.  There will be books for each child to take home and a selection to remain in the classroom for continued use.

Please nominate a classroom who would benefit from some reading material.

Educator of the Month

Attorney Rick Merrill is accepting nominations for the Educator of the Month.  We select an educator for each month of the school year.

The winner will receive $500 to use for the classroom, and a plaque to commemorate the award. 

Please nominate an educator today.

Nominate today 

We even have little gifts for you too!  We know that your time is valuable and we want to say thank you for sharing these great educators with us.

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Rick’s Book Brigade

Rick’s Book Brigade  

We want to promote reading for the Elementary Students of Snohomish County.

We are going to donate books to a classroom.

Twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall, we will select an Elementary classroom to donate books. There will be books for each child to take home and a selection to remain in the classroom for continued use.

Please nominate a classroom who would benefit from some reading material.

Want To Hear More From Rick…

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

Edifying Excellent Educators

Why I Honor Educators

“There was a time in my life when I was not doing real well in school, in a lot of things and there was this teacher who did not give up on me. His name was Monte Culver.  I know he helped many, many children.”

When the Bell Rings

Teachers everywhere are ready to greet their students. Prepared to share with their students a love of learning and an eagerness to achieve in greater ways.

We are surrounded by incredible educators who demonstrate their care and commitment to  each generation of children. We know that they spend countless hours, working above and beyond to help each and every student achieve greatness.  

We know how difficult it is to be an educator.  Most educators spend their own hard earned money to create positive learning environments for our local students.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. 

Rick Merrill presents an Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

We are accepting nominations of local educators.

If you know a local educator who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding dedication and commitment to their students educational growth, please Click Here to Nominate.

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The Winners of the Rick Merrill Attorney Dream Scholarship

The Attorney Rick Merrill Dream Scholarship was started in 2016 to help support the dreams of a current high school or college student looking to make a difference through the pursuit of their passion.

The Attorney Rick Merrill Dream Scholarship exists to support the dreams of a current high school or college student looking to make a difference through the pursuit of their passion.  

Applicants were asked to submit a picture with a caption that in combination shares their dream and shows how it makes a difference.

Each year we present a $1500 scholarship to applicant who provides the most creative photo or image with a caption to  explain their dream.

2019 Winners

My name is Jack Gardner, and my dream is to write children’s books that inspire kids to think differently about the world, to let their imaginations fly beyond where our “grownup” minds can take us.   I realized that I had the ability to incite this feeling in other people through my writing.

When I was 12 years old my teacher gave us an assignment to write and illustrate a picture book to be presented in class. I entitled mine The Biggelow. 

I’m currently a student at EVCC in the running start program. I’m excited to take English and Literature classes that will help me a better writer. 

Runner Up Winners

Isabel Hulme: Dentist

We are ecstatic to support our Runner up winner Isabel Hulme with her dream of becoming a Dentist!

My dream is to have a pediatric dental practice kids will love coming to. I want to create positive dental experiences, so as they grow up they aren’t afraid to see a dentist.

Natalie Grimm: Nurse

We are ecstatic to support our Runner up winner Natalie Grimm with her dream of becoming a  Nurse!

That nurse who advocated. That nurse who went the extra mile. I met that nurse in the Swedish ICU. I strive to be that nurse. With every exam, lecture, paper, and clinical experience I move closer to my dream.

Alexa Kazen: Speech Pathologist

We are ecstatic to support our Runner up winner Alexa Kazen with her  dream of becoming a Speech Pathologist!

My dream of becoming a speech pathologist is important to me because I see the chance to make a difference in children’s confidence and communication skills. I look forward to being a part of children’s lives as they learn to communicate more clearly and easily!

McKenzie Allinson: Physician

We are ecstatic to support our Runner up winner MacKenzie Allinson with her  dream of becoming a Physician!

I’ve always been interested in how the human body works. It is my goal to become a physician who treats others with respect and assists in providing effective treatment that improves people’s lives.    

2018 Winners

Casey Benson: Geneticist

We are ecstatic to support Casey Benson with her dream-Geneticist

Seeing people, like one of these children, suffer every day from disease inspires me to become a geneticist. Genetics has the potential to positively affect the quality of life in our society . This dream is important to me, because of the potential to cure diseases and perhaps destructive habits and addictions.  I am working to change the lives of all people through advancements in genetics.

June Chang: Psychology & Economics

We are ecstatic to support June Chang with her dream- Psychology and Economics

This statue shows a grandchild with his grandfather sitting on a bench, expressing feelings of love and familial bond represents what many are hoping for: love, acceptance, healing, and strength in times of adversity.

I want to help others discover their capabilities and potential. I hope to open my own private practice, find ways to end the marginalization of mental illnesses, better an individual’s life, and encourage resources that help those in need.

Runner up winners

Hannah Hitterdal: Criminal Justice & Sociology

We are ecstatic to support Hannah Hitterdal with her dream-Criminal Justice and Sociology

I have a passion to change the correctional facilities to help inmates. I believe that giving the inmates an education, a highschool diploma or a higher education degree, is an effective way of setting them up on the right foot. Animal Therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of rehabilitating inmates.  They train animals for many purposes and give them back to the community they hurt.  

Nora Dennelly: Harpist

We are ecstatic to support Nora Dennelly with her dream- Harpist

I am pursuing my dream not only because it is what I love.  I plan to attend Western Washington University in the Fall of 2018 where I will study under Jill Whitman and major in Music Performance on the harp.

Corrine Booth: Choir Teacher

We are ecstatic to support Corrine Booth with her dream- Choir Teacher

My dream is to go to college for the music education program to be a choir director. 

Nursing homes have always had a special place in my heart so at the end of every month, we go sing for them. Nothing makes me smile more than when an elder grabs my hand after performing and tells me how thankful they are.  Using my talents to brighten someone’s day brings me so much joy.

Ruth Culbertson: Music Teacher

We are ecstatic to support Ruth Culbertson with her dream- Music Teacher

My dream after college is to become a music teacher. I have a passion for music as well as for working with youth. Working with kids can be very rewarding and provides many fun moments that shape students’ lives in a positive and exciting way! This is just one of many examples.

Emma Raker: Music Teacher

We are ecstatic to support Emma Raker with her dream- Music Teacher

Dreams do come true and I cannot wait for those dreams to happen. As a Music Teacher, I want to make a lasting impact in my future student’s lives. I hope to inspire them to make the world a better place, while educating them on musicianship and the values that I have been taught through my music teachers

My ultimate goal is to take a group of students to play at Carnegie Hall, just as I had the opportunity to because playing there greatly fostered my passion of music. 

Kayla Sprague: Computer Science

We are ecstatic to support Kayla Sprague with her dream- Computer Science and Software Engineering

I stared at my dad’s computer monitor, an unplugged computer keyboard in my reach. From toddler to adulthood, video games have given me the opportunity to be an adventurer fueled by curiosity and the desire to learn.  I have embarked on my path with an insatiable fascination with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to motivate me.

If videogames have taught me anything, it is that where there is a will, there is a way.  I am fortunate enough to have learned that in a high chair.

2017 Winners

Megan LaVelle: Photographer

2017 Winner Megan LaVelle- Photographer

My dream is to be a photographer who travels the world. I have loved photography and traveling since I was a little kid. I have been accepted to Western Washington University to study photography, environmental studies, and cultural studies so that I can better be prepared for opportunities that will allow me to travel. I want to take photos that will make people want to change things in the world 

Our Runner-Up Winners

Joshua Allinson: Musical Theater

Joshua Allinson Dream- Musical Theater

Heels Can Be Dangerous! As a performer I hope to bring joy and entertainment into the lives of others. I feel that I can improve the lives of others through my life as a singer and theatrical artist. 

Loryn Casey: Anesthesiologist

Loryn Casey Dream-Anesthesiologist

My dream is important to me because, If people do not feel comfortable in a medical environment, they will not seek care, which could have devastating consequences.  I want to be like my anesthesiologist; not remembered for my name, but instead for how I made the patients feel when they were vulnerable. 

Sarah DeYoung: Genetics

Sarah DeYoung Dream- Genetics

In my hands, I hold my future, the link to get me the internships that will lead me into a genetics company. I wish to help improve the future of this species.  Feed the animal, and help feed the people. The time is now to start the change that will take a lifetime to grow.

First game of the Marysville YMCA Miracle Basketball League.

Kristen Nehring: Pediatric Nurse

Kristen Nehring Dream- Pediatric Nurse for children with disabilities and special needs. 

With a nursing degree, I have the ability to work in so many different specialties involving children who have special needs.  I can continue to have a great influence in the lives of these children who are often marginalized by society.

2016 Winners

We are pleased to announce the inaugural Attorney Rick Merrill Dream Scholarship Winner

Krista Calender: Teacher

Krista Calender who dreams of becoming a teacher after she attends WWU.

“A Dream in the Balance” This photo represents my dream in each little detail.

The textbooks are an example of her education as a Running Start Student.

The apple is a reminder to look after her health and well being.

The identification tag shows that she is working to support her education.

The application is to Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University.

The poster is evidence of her current volunteer work in a 5th grade classroom.

When it comes to teaching, there is no doubt in my mind that I was born to be an educator. It is my goal to inspire kindness, hope, and confidence in kids as their teacher.

2016 Runner up winners

Cassandra Pellet who dreams of becoming a wildlife rehabilitator in Eastern Africa
Jackson Hogan who dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist
Lauren Serl who dreams of becoming a psychologist, helping others find bliss in their lives:
Dylan Scanes who dreams of working as an orthodontist to help children be proud of their smiles

Want To Hear More From Rick…

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2020 Educators of the Month Winners

2020 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2020 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. Who demonstrate their care and commitment to each generation of children.  

Winners are presented a plaque donated by Awards Service, Inc., a great big check to display, and $500 to help defray miscellaneous costs for the classroom.

2020 January Educator of the Month Mike Schireman of Monte Cristo Elementary in the Granite Falls School District.

Mr. Schireman teaches a multi age class for grades 4-6. This amazing program offers so much more than the regular classroom curriculum.

A dedicated teacher who offers many opportunities for students to learn about nature, literature,and much more.

Our multi age saying is that we are all a family and Mr. Schireman and Mrs. Howell have made our classes just that, a family who learns and explores together.

Truly a very remarkable experience for all of the kids and our local community and couldn’t think of anyone more deserving.

2020 February Educator of the Month Suzanne Chickering of Hidden River Middle School in the Monroe School District.

With a love for band and the motivation to keep students involved, this teacher has gone above and beyond standards. Mrs. Chickering has been a teacher at Hidden River Middle School for quite a while, she has always had the motivation to encourage kids to find their dream instrument, stay involved in band and learn instruments that aren’t common.

Overall, this teacher works day in and day out with students to assure that they have an instrument to take home that is reasonable for the families, and can enjoy such a wonderful art.

Nominated by Aurora.

Congratulations to our 2020 March Educator of the Month Kandi Shouman of Stevens Creek Elementary School in the Lake Stevens School District.

Ms. Shouman is a wonderful teacher. Last year I had a really hard time with my son’s education. I feel that my son has grown a lot in her classroom.

She has been encouraging him to learn and be more prepared for the future. I applaud all of the hard working educators at Stevens Creek they are the best .

Nominated by Suaad.

Congratulations to our 2020 October Educator of the Month Amber McPartland of Lowell Elementary School in the Everett School District.

 I think that Ms. McPartland should be educator of the month because she is my son’s Kindergarten teacher. And with COVID19. She is teaching all her students online only. And she somehow keeps a huge smile on her face everyday, has so much patience and always has a positive attitude even when the kids get out of hand. She is so sweet, friendly and positive. Anytime I have a question. She always answers my calls and treats us very kindly. I love her. And do all her students

Nominated by  Elizabeth R.

Congratulations to our 2020 November Educator of the Month Sylvia Arteaga Marshall Elementary School of the Marysville School District.

Sylvia loves each and every one of her students. She strives to make a connection with students and their families. She works hard to make the learning accessible to all the different types of learners in the classroom. Sylvia differentiates the instruction given to help her learners feel successful and confident. She pushes her learners to think deeply and make connections to the learning.

She is fluent in both English and Spanish and is able to communicate to Spanish speaking learners in their own language as well as keep those families informed about their student’s progress in school. Sylvia is also able to help other teachers in the school communicate with the Spanish speaking families in their classes.

She takes on a leadership role within her grade level and this year has taken on a student teacher. Sylvia also volunteers at many of the after-school PTSA sponsored events. She cares about her coworkers and is an encouragement to them.

Nominated by  Karen P.

Congratulations to our 2020 December Educator of the Month Susan Seling of Sunnycrest Elementary School in the Lake Stevens School District.

Mrs. Seling is an amazing teacher. Her classroom is inviting for all her students, she works hard to make sure each student gets the attention they deserve.

Mrs. Seling also opened her door to myself as a Student teacher from the Careers in Education class from Lake Stevens High school. By doing this, it allowed for my to get an understanding of all the work that goes into being a teacher, and the passion and dedication it takes to mold young minds. I learned how to work with the students and still use many of these techniques in my everyday life.

The experience that I learned from being in her classroom and watching her interact with the students is unforgettable and the passion that Mrs. Seling has for her students is beyond words.

She also spends many hours before and after school working with children and encouraging many amazing students.

Nominated by  Aurora M.

Click Here to Return to the Educator of the Month Home Page

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2019 Educator of the Month Winners

2019 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2019 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. Who demonstrate their care and commitment to each generation of children.   Winners are presented a plaque donated by Awards Service, Inc., a great big check to display, and $500 to help defray miscellaneous costs for the classroom.

2019 January Educator of the Month Liz Panagos of Granite Falls School District.

Open Doors Program has been a solid place for Snohomish Counties homeless, and unengaged youth.  Liz and the rest of the staff with the help of the community help to shape and give second chances of success to students that we’re failed by traditional education systems, or had issues of homelessness, young parents, or abuse. 

Every Monday they have pancakes and play games, while they do their homework.  This reminds them about simple happiness and the fulfilled sense of accomplishment for completing educational goals. 

Nominated by Aaron

2019 February Educator of the Month Leslie Waldorf of Lake Stevens School District.

2019 February Educator of the Month Leslie Waldorf of Lake Stevens School District.

She is an incredible teacher that not only makes instructional decisions to support and include each student, but she creates genuine relationships that build classroom community and resilience in students. To this day she remains in contact with previous students giving them advice or even contributing to their college tuition.

This year has been incredibly challenging for her due to the loss of a student over the winter break. Not knowing what to do in this situation, she has gone above and beyond to ensure that her students are heard and get enough support to navigate this traumatic experience. Not only is she helping her students, but she continues to keep in touch with the family; even creating a memento book with letters from the students.

She is genuine, giving, and most of all, creates lifelong relationships with her students that positively impact them even after they exit her class.  

Nominated by Brianna

2019 March Educator of the Month Stacey Wartenbee of Everett School District.

2019 March Educator of the Month Stacey Wartenbee of Everett School District.

Mrs. Wartenbee teaches 2nd grade at Lowell Elementary in Everett and has done so for the past 10 years. She was my daughter’s first grade and second grade teacher. Now she is the 2nd grade teacher for my son.

Mrs. Wartenbee is kind, caring, dedicated, and supportive of all children in her classroom. She is always looking for resources for the kids, offering to give them classroom supplies, raised funds to purchase each child in the class a new book every month, reached out for a grant to get updated equipment for her students, and routinely reaches out to parents to check in and ensure kids needs are met at home as well.  Mrs. Wartenbee maintains good contact with parents and provides updates daily for the children.

This year she has a Russian speaking student. She continually engages with him using her phone translation services. That child has made progress in his spoken English that I think is mostly impacted by her patience, kindness, and dedication to that child.

Mrs. Wartenbee volunteers at each school event, helps coordinate the yearly play, and is involved in the PTA. She is always positive and takes on these tasks with grace.  I certainly feel she is an incredible human being with a heart of gold. She is well deserving of educator of the month. 

Nominated by Rachel

2019 April Educator of the Month Sheena York of Marshall Elementary School in the Marysville School District.

2019 April Educator of the Month Sheena York of Marshall Elementary School in the Marysville School District.

Sheena is a mother of two young children, who teaches 2nd grade. She recently completed her Masters in Science for Curriculum and Instruction, all while conducting a happy,healthy and exciting classroom. She will go the extra mile with her time and own expense to make sure her kids have the needed tools to succeed.

Ms. York is one of the most dedicated and caring teachers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She goes above and beyond for every student. She goes out of her way to not only know what each student needs but what she could be doing to better their education and experience.

She researched different chairs styles to accommodate the various learning styles children need.

Sheena has worked since she was 15 yrs old. Supported two kids while attending school. She has tutored college students on her own time. She always has time to help a friend. Never forgets birthdays or special occasions even if you are not an immediate family member. Also has obtained her master’s while raising her babies, purchasing a home and working.

Sheena is a compassionate and loving teacher. Her choices to teach the underprivileged youth have come as a cost to her own but she does not let that impede her desire to help offer support to those that need it most. This teacher is always there to greet you with a smile and her positive outlook is infectious.

Sheena demonstrates to students how to treat others fairly and is a friend to all. I admire her work and ethics in teaching students strong morals and how to make learning fun and interesting.

Sheena is a very dedicated teacher that loves her students and is always willing to put forth extra including out of her own pocket for the success of her students.

Sheena is very inspiring not only to her students but also other teachers. She strives to create an innovative classroom and learning environment. She is constantly searching for new ways to obtain the utmost in educating.

2019 April Educator of the Month Cheryl Anderton of the Twin City Elementary in the Stanwood School District.

2019 April Educator of the Month Cheryl Anderton of the Twin City Elementary in the Stanwood School District.

She is a highly capable 4/5th grade teacher and goes above and beyond to make sure these kids get a great education, have lots of field trips to put their learning into action.  They are all involved with helping the community doing park clean up. They also help college students that are doing internships with the parks department, to develop ratings for the hikes for people with kids to know the obstacles and difficulty level.

She spends her own money on books to make sure all the kids in her class have what they need to do the work. She has a school class web page that her and the class developed and she emails parents all the time to keep everyone engaged and on the same page.

She has the patience of a saint! Highly gifted kids can be overwhelming and she is always so calm.  I wish every kid had a chance to have a teacher like her to encourage them.

Nominated by Christina.

2019 May Educator of the Month Katy Trapp of Lakewood High School.

2019 May Educator of the Month Katy Trapp of Lakewood High School.

I am writing to nominate a very passionate music Director at Lakewood High school, Mrs. Katy Trapp for Educator of the Month. Mrs. Trapp has been the Lakewood High School Music Teacher since 2008 and she directs the Music Appreciation class/Piano Techniques, LHS Band, Concert Choir, the LHS Jazz Choir, ‘Swingbeat’, the LHS Jazz Band, ’11th Avenue’.

Mrs Trapp is an inspiration to her students, helping students feel successful with their instrument or vocal abilities. She increases everyone’s desire to continue with music throughout their high school career. She makes a positive difference in the lives of all her students while motivating, challenging and encouraging them to be more confident in the music they make.

For the past 10 years, she has managed to take LHS Band, Jazz Choir and recently the Jazz Band to trip Disneyland to perform in the park’s parade, perform on stage and have a 90-minute workshop with Disney professionals. She does all the planning and negotiations, arrangements for the transportation, hotel, and food while keeping the cost for each student under $1,000. Her dedication to this trip takes long hours and many months of planning.

Last year the 3-year-old LHS Jazz Band, ‘11th Avenue’ won the largest division at the International 44th Annual Pleasant Hill Jazz Festival in Springfield Oregon!

As students, we learn the value music and everything that goes into it, of striving to become better musicians and prepare ourselves for a high level of performance. She also teaches us how to perform with passion and commitment.

Mrs. Trapp helps spark a desire for students to continually improve their musical skills and at the same time, also make a positive environment by creating a family love within the music program.

Thank you,

Katelynn C. A student in the Wind Ensemble band, Jazz band, and Jazz Choir.

2019 November Educator of the Month Scott Miller of Centennial Middle School.

2019 November Educator of the Month Scott Miller of Centennial Middle School.

Scott Miller is a selfless individual who always puts his students first. 

A few years ago he and my youngest son, Conner started a gardening club and school garden at Centennial Middle School to bring to young students the ideas of healthy living and sustainability practices.  This fledgling idea has taken root and is growing to include outside community support. 

Mr. Miller inspires youth and adults to be more than they think they are and he is always giving of his time, energy and enthusiasm for his students!

Nominated by Kim M.

2019 December Educator of the Month Lucci Fonseca of Pinewood Elementary School.

2019 December Educator of the Month Lucci Fonseca of Pinewood Elementary School.

Ms. Fonseca has been teaching for more than 15 years in the district, assisting the English language learners students in the district. She also supports the Spanish speaking families at her school, supports the  staff and Principal with family events, interpreting and translating when she has a chance.

She also shares her talent with families in multicultural events, and encourages students to share their heritage, either dancing, singing or doing some kind of parent event.

She lives in Seattle and has been driving every day back and forth to Marysville to see her students and families.

She deserves to be the Educator of the month because she always gives more than her job description. She is well prepared and her expertise as a Teacher is gladly appreciated in our district.

Now Ms. Fonseca is coaching other new teachers that will be teaching to non English speaking students. She has a great personality, always happy and welcoming to all families. We love to have her in our district.

Nominated by Wendy M.

Click Here to Return to the Educator of the Month Home Page

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2018 Educator of the Month Winners

2018 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2018 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. Who demonstrate their care and commitment to each generation of children.   Winners are presented a plaque donated by Awards Service, Inc., a great big check to display, and $500 to help defray miscellaneous costs for the classroom.

2018 January Educator of the Month Winner Nick Brown of Arlington School District.

I nominate Nick Brown, an English teacher and Basketball coach at Arlington High School for 22 years.  I would like to recognize Nick for being a humble person. He demonstrates to others qualities of compassion, determination, and gratitude.

Mr. Brown has made an impact in the lives of 3,000+ kids who have been in his class over the years. Nick has helped many young men in the basketball program learn the fundamentals of basketball and how to be a better person. 

For the past 8 years Nick and the Arlington High School have hosted a “Coaches vs. Cancer” game to allow our community to come together to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. This has been an emotional event as it becomes evident to all attendees how cancer affects loved ones. 

Over the years Nick has become a mentor and counselor to many whose lives have been touched by a cancer diagnosis. He has been able to motivate others through his community service, teaching, and coaching. I am grateful for his continued efforts to inspire students to improve everyday.

Nominated by Caryn

2018 February Educator of the Month Esther Bak of Dutch Hill Elementary School.

My daughter was fortunate to be placed into Mrs. Bak’s fourth grade class this year! In this age of globalization, Mrs. Bak recognizes the importance of looking beyond our little town and teaching about other cultures and customs. In anticipation of the Olympics next winter, she has done a great job of educating her class on the cultures and customs of South Korea and has even taught some Korean vocabulary and songs to her students! My daughter is thrilled to be able to write her name in Korean and teaches us new words at the dinner table. My daughter looks forward to school each day and is thriving in Mrs. Bak’s supportive and encouraging classroom. We’re lucky to have her at Dutch Hill Elementary! Thank you for considering her for this honor!

Nominated by Molly O.

2018 March Educator of the Month Diane Meyer of the Lakewood Middle School.

The teacher I would like to nominate is Mrs. Diane Meyer, she teaches Algebra and Geometry, along with being a volleyball coach at Lakewood Middle School in Arlington for 19 years, she is wonderful, kind and supportive.

She is always available for advice or help which encourages us to try harder to be successful. Her favorite song to play before a test is “Eye of the Tiger” being that math is important for many aspects in life, she teaches the daily lessons with a style that we are able to understand the formulas to solve the problems, and to achieve well on the tests with high scores.

When I first entered her class I was nervous if I would be able to continue reaching my math competency, but thanks to Mrs. Meyer I have been successful in maintaining my academic grade of an A in this class.

I would appreciate your consideration for Mrs. Meyer as a recipient of your teacher of the month. I know this would bring great joy to her to know her gift of teaching has inspired us to always focus on success and to” rise to the challenge”.

Nominated by Katelynn C.

2018 April Educator of the Month Malysa Johnson, Life Skills Teacher at Lake Stevens High School

Malysa started working in our Life Skills class last September. In this short amount of time she has made a huge difference in the lives of our students and their families. She has been very proactive and successful at providing these students and their families with tools and resources they were unaware of, but so desperately needed. She spends her own money on extra classroom supplies, food, personal hygiene items etc. She also pushed for additional Para educator support in the room, which has proven to have made a very positive impact.

These students have flourished since she joined our room. Her calm, caring and positive demeanor helps the students feel safe, happy and comfortable so they can learn, grow and enjoy their days at school.

Malysa is an asset to the Lake Stevens School District and we feel grateful that she joined our team and is making such a positive difference in the lives of kids who live with such profound disabilities.

Educator of the Month Winner, Malysa Johnson is a Life Skills Teacher at Lake Stevens High School. Her class sent us this wonderful painting along with an update we would like to share.

Dear Mr. Merrill,

I just wanted to thank you again for the Educator award from last year. I want you to know that the money went towards art supplies, classroom decorations and a REALLY FUN Community Guest!

I attached some pictures to the back of our gift for you!

I hope you are well and you are doing great things 🙂

Sincerely, Malysa Johnson

You are Welcome!

Thank you for the photos. They shared with us the complete delight and excitement of the children as they enjoyed a visit from the Reptile Man. The photos shared a thousand words of thanks.

We are pleased to assist in education for Snohomish County Youth. We appreciate the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a teacher.

Nominated by Liz, Jen and Natalie  

2018 September Educator of the Month Jeremy Carter, of Totem Falls Elementary in the Snohomish School District.

2018 September Educator of the Month Jeremy Carter, of Totem Falls Elementary in the Snohomish School District.

He is the Elementary PE teacher at Totem Falls, Safety Patrol Leader and until this year a Student Council Adviser as well.  He recently completed his Masters Degree last summer and is very proud of this accomplishment while working full time. 

He goes out of his way to connect with his students so they ‘know him’ and prides himself on the fact that former students return to their elementary school to simply stop by and say “HI” to Mr. Carter.   

His break or planning period generally falls during lunch time which is held in the gym aka his classroom, it is not rare that you will instead find him sitting with the special education students.  He makes sure that others see him sitting there to set the example of building relationships with ALL students and encourages other kids to join him.

He encourages kids to build each other up and to always look out for each other.  When he sees a kid sitting by themselves, he makes sure to sit with them thus encouraging the other kids to maybe join and get to know the ‘lone’ student.   

He is going into his 7th year at Totem Falls Elementary.  He has been the only male teacher staff during that time,.  The relevance of that is nothing when it comes to teaching BUT when it comes to students makes him more or less the “popular” teacher. 

2018 October Educator of the Month Matthew Johnson, of Forest View Elementary in the Everett School District.

2018 October Educator of the Month Matthew Johnson, of Forest View Elementary in the Everett School District.

I think my teacher, Mr. Johnson, should be Teacher of the Month because he really “gets” us 5th graders. 

He tells us that people may think we can’t do things because we’re only 10, but he thinks we can do great things! Also, he allows us to work with our community. 

At the moment we are building a school garden.  We are using our math skills and growth mindsets to determine how to lay out the garden, how much soil and how many seeds we need, and what grows during this season. 

He has even helped our class to write a grant to the Mill Creek Garden Society to help fund our gardening project! 

Mr. Johnson allows us to do “Passion Projects”  where we come up with an idea that we are passionate about that will help our community or spark an interest in something we love. 

Not only is Mr. Johnson a really great teacher, but even better –  he is really funny and puts a smile on our faces everyday. Mr. Johnson makes learning exciting and inspiring!  I would love to see my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Johnson, be honored as your Educator of the Month! 

Nominated by Liana.

2018 November Educator of the Month William Stuflick, of the Everett Community College.

2018 November Educator of the Month William Stuflick, of the Everett Community College.

William and I met in June, 2018 while I was trying to network and find meaningful post-secondary opportunities for my high school students at Lake Stevens High School. I am a life skills teacher at Lake Stevens and had the opportunity to teach a work experience class to seniors during the 2018-2019 school year.

Although I was very excited, I had no budget or any real curriculum to hit the ground running. I wanted to make a difference, but didn’t know how. So as soon as summer started, I started looking to my community for help. I spent a lot of my summer meeting with people in Snohomish County to try and build partnerships that I could extend into my classroom.

One of these meetings was with William Stuflick at Everett Community College. William is a Dean there and spent time meeting with me so I could learn about, not only opportunities with Everett Community College, but opportunities outside of college as well. Many of my students are credit deficient and do not have college as an immediate goal in their future.

William took the time to listen to every unique story I told him about my students and gave me a chance to brainstorm ideas for gaps I was hoping to fill. Even though I had no specific requests, it was nice to have a partner in the community help me help these students. William and I met multiple times during the Summer and came up with a plan to support the kids once the school year officially started.

I had a tentative plan to have William come visit our classroom once a month, and was worried even that would be too much since he would be leaving EVCC to come see us at LSHS. Due to limited transportation funding, William was more than happy to come to us which made us even more excited since students would not miss extra class travelling. Not only did William want to come out once a month to our classroom, but he requested to come out every two weeks.

Every visit, he brings an engaging, hands-on lesson that captivates the students and makes them WANT to learn. They are drawn to his personality, his history, and the stories he has to tell so that they can learn from his past mistakes.

William has spent countless dollars bringing in supplies to make learning hands-on for my students. He has made fun lessons like replicating metal sheet work cutting and fluffy slime to mimic pouring a cast in the nursing field. He has even bought them all Wendy’s as well!

The kids have learned core academic concepts, but I am blown away with the social skills that they are learning. These key soft skills like communication, self-advocacy, flexibility and much more are authentic learning opportunities that William integrates into all of his lessons. I am simply grateful to be even in the same classroom with him when he teaches.

William is kind, he is genuine, and he wants to make a difference in people’s lives. He has devoted a lot of time outside of his own work and personal life to come and support students whom society will let fall through the cracks if someone doesn’t help them. I know this award would mean a lot to him, and hopefully be a small gesture from me to show him how much he means to us at Lake Stevens. 

Note from William…

 I wanted to send you another thank you for the award. I sincerely appreciate Mr. Merrill’s generosity in recognizing our efforts with the Lake Stevens kids. Each student is now on pace to graduate this year; with one student graduating in the winter semester.  

The funds awarded have been donated to the EvCC Center for Disability Services to help provide direct support to students with disabilities. These funds will go a long way to assisting students with achieving their academic goals! Once again thank you all so much for the award and the funding to assist our students of promise. 

Nominated by Lyla H.

2018 December Educator of the Month Heather Chadwick of the Snohomish County Fire District 7

2018 December Educator of the Month Heather Chadwick of the Snohomish County Fire District 7

Heather is a  dedicated educator who transitioned from public schools to our fire district.  She is committed to quality fire safety, injury and falls prevention for all ages from preschool to the elderly. 

She is also the public information officer for our district.  Her endless energy and tireless work habits ensure the citizens of District 7 and all of the school age students are informed to keep themselves safe.  She is always developing new and creative ways to present the best messages. 

Our District is lucky to have her working with our citizens and she should be recognized for all she does.

A Note from Heather…

I wanted to say thank you again for the special honor of being the Educator of the Month. I also wanted to let you know that with the generous donation I am able to purchase additional CPR mannequins for our CPR and First Aid program. Every year we certify around 350 people in CPR! Fire District 7 is committed to educating our communities through our fire and life safety programs so they can partner with us in creating a safer community. Through our CPR and First Aid classes people learn life saving techniques that helps us create a stronger Chain of Survival. 

Nominated by Gary Meeks

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2017 Educator of the Month Winners

2017 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2017 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. 

January 2017 Educator of the Month Tiffany Gorski of the Enchanted Little Forest Child Care Center in Everett.

As a new parent 7 years ago I enrolled my son Skyler into ELF as a way for both my wife and I to be able to carry on our careers. As more time went by we noticed huge advances in our child. As he got older into his toddler years we took great  pleasure in seeing how involved the staff was with our child which later became children. 

The effort put forth by Tiffany Gorski and her family was amazing. The education and early learning for children is so important and the ELF staff was above and beyond average. 

As time went by they opened a second facility and we were impressed by how much they care about early childhood development and education. They have increased their facility size and as of recent have increased again by adding another facility. They have been accredited by the state in many areas and currently have started a 1st grade program. 

I have become very good friends with this family and their ability and involvement as well as their passion for the growth and development of young children. These types of educators are often overlooked and they should not be. They went to great lengths and imagination to make early childhood development a priority for the children they have enrolled. 

I truly give them full credit to the advancements in my children especially my son whom is now in 1st grade in the Kent school district due to a divorce, but he is taking advanced reading, math, and has a great interest in science and I give ELF and their staff the credit because of all of the early learning activities they involve in their curriculum for ALL of the children that attend their facility. 

I am truly blessed to have met such a great family and group of people that care so much about children and how they prepare them for success in education at such a young and critical time for children. THEY DESERVE THIS AND SO MUCH MORE!!! I see great things for them and the progress and dedication, love, and desire they have for early childhood development.

Nomination from Jerod C.

February 2017 Educator of the Month Paul LaGrange of the Marysville Arts and Technology High school.

I am an alumni of the Arts and Technology high school.  I’m writing this 5 years after graduating. There is no way I would have graduated if it wasn’t for Mr. LaGrange.  In fact most students from our school would probably agree with that.  

He puts in a lot of effort to see as many graduates as possible.  He runs a class that helps people reclaim past classes and make up for missed credits.  He truly cares. He deserves to be recognized.  

I heard about this on 1520 KXA and he instantly came to mind.

Update from our Winner…

I would like to thank you very much for the recent honor of receiving the Educator of the Month reward. Additionally, I would like to inform you about how this money will be spent.

The $500 will be used to support supplies for a student created Computer repair lab. 

The lab brochure can be found here.

This year alone, students have:

-sent 12 Computers to a school in Tanzania

-sent  53 computers to 2 different schools in Haiti

-sent 10 to veterans throughout the US

-repaired more than 100 community member computers

-provided free training to more than 20 senior citizens.

I am extremely proud of the great work that my students are doing and this donation will go a long way in supporting them.

Sincerely, Paul LaGrange M.Ed Instructional Design

Nominated by Howard S. 

March 2017 Educator of the Month Don Ide of Lynnwood High School in the Edmonds School District.

I came to know Mr. Ide when my 2 daughters were in his class. It was a very stressful time in our lives for many reasons, and Mr. Ide always checked in with us to see if we needed anything.

 Mr Ide is one of those people who has dedicated his life to helping kids prepare to be the best they can be.  Mr Ide is the teacher for D.E.C.A., and is in charge of the student store. In addition to being an awesome teacher of marketing, he has done things above and beyond that have enriched the lives of the students who are in his classes.

 Mr Ide has been instrumental in transporting kids to various events, exposing kids to the success stories of other people, to show them what a successful future will look like for them.  Every summer, he arranges scholarships for several students to attend business camp in Eastern Washington. For many of these kids, it is the first time they get to experience life outside of Lynnwood.  My 2 daughters were invited to go for 4 years, and loved it!

 Every day, at the start of a class and again at the end, Mr Ide will stand at the door, shaking the hand of every student as they enter and exit the room, looking them in the eyes and asking a sincere question. It could be “What’s your favorite movie”, or “How are you today” and he listens as each kid answers the question.

 Over the 4 years that I had kids at Lynnwood High, I heard over and over the difference Mr Ide has made in lives, because, as more than one teenager said “Mr Ide is the only one that asks me how I am, and the only one who listens to my answers.”  He is truly a gem who can teach all of us how to be better people.

 Nominated by Patricia

April 2017 Educator of the Month Laura Breen of Evergreen Middle School in the Everett District.

Laura Breen, is an excellent Math educator for Grades 6-8 at Evergreen Middle School.  Ms.Breen also, goes out of her way to communicate with parents or in my case-Grandparent.  

She is the only teacher my Grandson has, that sends out “weekly updates” on the “details” that are going on in her classroom and what is expected, as the week ends along with direction in Math for the following week. 

She spends her lunch breaks in her room, just in case a student needs extra help or if they need one on one tutoring, or to catch up on assignments. She will give them the opportunity to retake a test within a couple weeks for final grade book scores.   Needless to say- this will improve their skills in Math and memorization. Benefiting the student in the long run by helping them retain the skills for success in their future. 

She takes what she does seriously and tries to make Math fun. Her calm demeanor of teaching her students, along with her caring communication skills with parents has already been proven. My student and many others- now enjoy Math and are now getting great grades in math because of her devotion.

This kind of devotion, along with going above and beyond to teach, secures our future for success and should this should never go unnoticed…

Laura Breen, lives her life daily, with the act of…”Leaving no child left behind”.

Nominated by Teresa.

September 2017 Educator of the Month Robynn Barth of Mountain Way Elementary in Granite Falls.

September 2017 Educator of the Month Robynn Barth of Mountain Way Elementary in Granite Falls. 

Robynn was new to our school last year, but has taken on the challenge of educating our kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students about everything from behavior to conflict resolution. She has brought a positive attitude to our school that helps up lift all and implement positive change. 

Aside from being a full time teacher, mother, and friend Robynn dedicates her time to work with our parents group and our backpack program. Our backpack program serves students who are in need of extra food for the weekend when they are unable to receive breakfast and lunch from school. 

Robynn gives herself 100% into loving and supporting not only the students of Mountain Way Elementary but the community of Granite Falls.

 Nominated by Jennifer.

October 2017 Educator of the Month Marissa Nilsen of Centennial Middle School in the Snohomish School District.

 Ms Marissa teaches 7/8 grade behavioral class. She never misses a day of school, even when she’s sick.

She puts the kids’ needs in front of hers everyday of the school year. She spends countless (non-paid) hours trying to make her classroom a successful place. Many days she comes to work in the dark, and leaves in the dark.

Many of the kids come to school without having eaten breakfast, or dinner the night before, she does what she can to make sure they get something. She realizes that they did not choose to live in a household with a destructive parent, live in unsuitable foster care and/or just choose to act up/out for no reason. She cares deeply about her kids.

Many extra things she needs in the class she gets (herself), but can’t get everything. A couple years ago, some of her kids joined the wrestling team, and she saw the need to be there for them, so she became an assistant wrestling coach (without knowing a thing about wrestling) to help them with this transition with all the other kids.

She has only been teaching a few years but is quite a remarkable, caring and committed teacher.

Nominated by Lisa.

November 2017 Educator of the Month Autumn Ipock of Mount Pilchuk Elementary in the Lake Stevens School District.

November 2017 Educator of the Month  Autumn Ipock of Mount Pilchuk Elementary in the Lake Stevens School District.

Autumn Ipock is a special needs teacher at Mt. Pilchuck Elementary in Lake Stevens. She works tirelessly with her students to help them learn the way only THEY can learn. She tailors every lesson to each individual child, whether they are at a 3rd grade reading level, or still learning to use the bathroom and feed themselves.

She never complains. She truly loves her job more than anyone I know loves their job. And her job is hard. She changes diapers, had children with feeding tubes, children who cannot speak, and still she enjoys what she does so much. When she speaks about her job, you can hear the pride and excitement in her voice. She genuinely loves what she does, and it shows.

Before she was a teacher, she volunteered at a special needs preschool in Granite Falls. She is simply amazing. The amount of grace and patience this woman has is stunning. She goes in on weekends and even went in during both of her maternity leaves to ensure that her students had the best possible lesson plans and materials ready for them each week.

Autumn is the mother of two small boys. She is not only teaching them compassion and understanding, she is touching the lives of every child in her classroom.. year after year. When former students run to her and hug her with pure joy and love on their faces, you know she had touched their lives forever.

Nominated by Golden.

December 2017 Educator of the Month Aminda Gonzales of Sky Valley Education Center in the Monroe School District.

Aminda doesn’t shy away from helping anyone. Everything about her glows in encouragement and a ‘Can Do’ attitude! Regardless of a child’s learning style or their own confidence in the ability to succeed, she works with them. And after a short time, their attitude improves and they start to believe in themselves again.

She makes complicated math concepts understandable through various means, like games, manipulatives, and the use of online tools.

She is also a wonderful person outside of school. There is no difference between Aminda the teacher and Aminda the neighbor. She is an angel to anyone who has the privilege of knowing her!

Nominated by Jill R.

Nominate Today…

If you know a local educator who deserves to be recognized for their outstanding commitment to education, their countless hours in the classroom spent going above and beyond, dedication to their students educational growth, please take a moment to let Rick Merrill know…

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

To our website www.rickmerrillattorney.com and nominate them today!

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2016 Educator of the Month Winners

2016 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2016 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. 

January 2016 Educator of the Month Is Carrie Frederickson of Fairmount Elementary in the Mukilteo School District

I am nominating my mother for this because she has always put every effort she has into her kids in her 3rd grade classes over the years and goes above and beyond to make learning a fun experience for the kids and spends her own money to create activities and learning games and holiday parties or classroom goal parties that the school cannot supply for her, so she goes that extra mile to make school something kids look forward to everyday.

This year she is transferring schools and will be transitioning to teaching 1st grade and I think she deserves this to help with a new start to the year for all her hard work during her teaching career.

February 2016 Educator of the Month is Jaqueline Erickson of Highland Elementary in the Lake Stevens School District

February 2016 Educator of the Month is Jaqueline Erickson of Highland Elementary in the Lake Stevens School District

Jaqueline has been teaching Kindergarten-5th grade special education students for the last 11 years. 

No one cares for her students more than she does; she will routinely come home late and be emotionally exhausted because one of her students had a tough day. The amount of empathy she has is unbelievable. She is the teacher that will have the “difficult” students stay in her room because other teachers are too overwhelmed by them. 

Because she is the resource room teacher, she does not have her student’s all day in her class, she pulls them out for specific groups/subjects. Due to this structure, she has had as many as 45 students on her caseload at one time. 

Every year she spends weeks designing and setting up a new theme in her classroom to try to make it more enjoyable for her students. She has had a movie theatre design, Cars, Dr. Suess and this year she has Never Say NeverLand based on Peter Pan. In her “free” time she started a Rubik’s Cube club for kids to learn and compete solving the cube.

March 2016 Educator of the Month is Chuck Nichols of Maryville School District.

March 2016 Educator of the Month is Chuck Nichols of Maryville School District.

Chuck Nichols has been the Automotive Program Instructor for 15 years in the Marysville School District. I share the same office as Chuck and have been privileged to watch him in action for the last three years.

Chuck has lasting impact on all the students who take his class or ask him about automotive career and technical advice. Not only does he guide students through the technical and administrative requirements of the technical trades, but is able to connect the need to do well in all their studies. He follows their performance in all their classes.

He connects his curriculum to reading, writing, mathematics and personal communication. His program has become a district program available to all high school students in the Marysville School District.

Many times I have seen him work 1 on 1 with students, talking about other classes and how the skills they learn here transfer to the outside world. Chuck prepares them with the soft skills they need for employment in any workplace. He is truly worthy of recognition as an Educator of the month.

April 2016 Educator of the Month is Christina Duff of Oak Heights Elementary in the Edmonds School District.

I asked each of my two sons to tell me which of their teachers would be deserving of being nominated as teacher of the month. Without hesitation, my son Nolan answered, “Ms. Austin!”  who is now Ms. Duff.

Mrs. Duff goes above and beyond to make sure that her students are learning and enjoying first grade every single day. She incorporates the necessary first grade standards in a way that creates a fun learning environment for her students. 

Mrs. Duff not only taught many interesting things during his first grade year, but also helped my (somewhat shy) son in connecting him with friends in his classroom that remain good friends still two years later. She cares about kids in a way that it is no wonder that so many first graders love her so much! 

My son says, “Ms. Austin (now Mrs. Duff) is the best teacher because she is very nice and cares about kids. We got to do cool science and learn about river otters. I really liked the writing workshop.” 

I highly recommend Ms. Austin to be a recipient of this award, she is definitely deserving!

Nominated by Jenica V.

May 2016 Educator of the Month is Band Director John Grabowski of Arlington High School.

May 2016 Educator of the Month is Band Director John Grabowski of Arlington High School.

Rick presented John Grabowski with a plaque, a great big check to display, and $500 to help defray miscellaneous costs for the classroom.

Nominations from his students.

He has inspired so many students to pursue music including myself. He convinced me to join the band in high school and I have been a wallet percussionist ever since. He is always there for any student that needs someone to talk to about life and such. He’s honestly one of the most caring and compassionate teachers I’ve ever had…make that the most caring and compassionate.

Mr. Grabowski deserves this award because he is so dedicated to his job and helping us to excel, not just in music but in everything. He gives us advice and helps us to be better people in school and for our community. He inspires us to help others and be the best we can be.

Mr. Grabowski deserves this award because he devotes all his time and effort into the music program. He arrives at school early and leaves late every day just to help kids succeed. He is also a very motivating person to me and everyone here.

Simply put there is nothing he wouldn’t do for one of his students. Every single day he arrives with great energy that we all thrive off of. Our whole band is one big supportive family full of individuals. All day, everyday we would all rather be with our band family, coming together to make beautiful and fun music.

He’s an intelligent, compassionate man who treats his students as his own kids. Being in his class really has shown everyone what the meaning of family is. He connects with everyone, and is always having conversations with all the students. I appreciate him for all the time and effort he has put into teaching us music. P.S. he has the biggest band in the school district.

Being a high school band director is a selfless, thankless job most of the time… He could be directing a band much more skilled than ours, but he chooses to spend a majority of every school day with high school players, some who don’t practice or don’t care as much as they should. just for the chance to inspire those who realize what an amazing place the Arlington High School Band really is.

I believe he deserves this award because he is constantly helping his students achieve their goals and reach new levels with their own talents. Helping them to strive to be better not just as individuals but as a whole.

The reason Grabowski should be nominated is that he’s always cheering us on when we are doing amazing or doing awful. He cares and sees this as more than a job. He sees it as his life, and we’re his family. He’s a great person and teacher. If anyone deserves this it is Grabowski.

He puts a ton of effort into each class. He also runs two jazz bands. One Jazz band meets zero period, every morning. The other twice a week at night. G is always there to talk to, which is great for students. He is an amazing person, musician and teacher.

G is the world’s most incredible teacher,director, and friend. He gives to every one of us and we need to thank him for his kindness and compassion. How many people can say their teacher is like their dad? Not many. He deserves it (Heart)

He is awesome, a hard worker and dedicates himself to his students. Plus he takes the time to make lifelong comments that enrich the students’ lives. Moreover, he never gives up on any of his students and although he is hard on all of us. He still just wants all of us to be our best. Mr. Grabowski has not only brought together all of his band members in a healthy way but, he has created lifelong friendships that will last a lifetime.

Grabowski is the best teacher at Arlington High School, mainly because he is the band teacher. He has the biggest class in almost the entire district and he puts us, the band, before himself. John Grabowski cares for us like his family and when we ever need help he is always there. It is for these reasons that John Grabowski should be teacher of the month.

He was the biggest class of the entire district and somehow manages to remember every single name and story. He takes time out of his day to make sure everyone’s alright. And if there’s any problems he does the best he is capable of to help. From 300 students a year who know him as “Dad”.

He’s the best teacher I’ve had. Pretty much Dad #2. He deserves it with all the kids he teaches. He would also need new equipment which is very expensive. Since he’s a band teacher. We love him and he needs it.

Mr. Grabowski deserves this award because he is like a dad to so many of us. He teaches us what it is like to work hard and supports all of his students and makes them feel loved. He also works incredibly hard to make leaders out of each and everyone of us.

He has boundless energy- no matter the situation he always brings positive energy. He’s always smiling and ready to help his students. He completely supports the band and the school.

John Grabowski is such a great teacher. He devotes his time and effort into spreading music with everyone which is one of the biggest sacrifices anyone can give. He has a love for music that is contagious. He is an amazing role to everyone and he deserves this award 🙂

September 2016 Educator of the Month Winner Deborah Gee of Pinewood Elementary in Marysville.

September 2016 Educator of the Month Winner Deborah Gee of Pinewood Elementary in Marysville.

Debbie Gee is the epitome of Kindergarten teachers. Gentle, soft spoken, fun and kind.

 She spends quite a bit of off work time to make her classroom fun with the resources available to her. Example, over the summer the chair reading pockets for the students were old and looked yucky. Debbie spent time cleaning them and painting them by hand. They look better than ever! 

She also set up a Kindergarten Earth Day project last year. She used her own money to purchase flowers, dirt and mulch for a “Earth Day Planter Project”. The project was very well received by the school and she is planning on making it a yearly event. She is very involved with the PTSA and is co-chair for the Teachers this year. 

Debbie Gee is amazing and is often referred to as a “favorite teacher”, and I cannot think of a better candidate for Teacher if the Month.

Nomination written by Melissa E.

October 2016 Educator of the Month Winner, Bradley Nelson of Lynnwood High School in the Edmonds School District.

October 2016 Educator of the Month Winner, Bradley Nelson of Lynnwood High School in the Edmonds School District.

Brad Nelson is an amazing teacher and robotics coach. He works tirelessly through the robotics season, putting in hundreds of hours outside of the school day to coach and mentor kids through the engineering process. During school hours, he teaches robotics and keeps the school IT systems on track. 

His goal is to teach the kids in such a way that they learn the CAD program, the engineering process, the building, the leadership, and can have a student-led team that trains the kids in all areas needed on the team. 

He has been coaching the robotics team for 8 years, and they have made it to the World Competition 4 of the last 5 years. I have had two sons under his teaching, and see the results in their lives. He also puts in hundreds of his own dollars for the class and the team. 

Thank you for considering this great teacher and coach.

Nomination written by Mary Johann

November 2016 Educator of the Month Winner Tracy Orr of Cross Roads High School in the Granite Falls School District.

November 2016 Educator of the Month Winner Tracy Orr of Cross Roads High School in the Granite Falls School District.

Please enjoy these nominations

Tracy Orr is such an amazing hard working educator. She does not only go above and beyond, but truly cares for her students. If it weren’t for her I know many others who would have given up.

She’s 110% for her students well being, always. No one more deserving. She actually helps you understand what you don’t get. She makes you want to strive to succeed. She is such a caring teacher. Mrs. Orr goes out of her way to make sure her students get the help they need. She never gives up on students and accepts each and every one of us for who we are.

I would not have graduated, let alone on time, without Mrs. Orr. She was the reason I didn’t give up on school.

Mrs. Orr goes above and beyond to make sure you understand the course material. Math is difficult for a lot of students and she will teach it to you in as many different ways as she knows, just so everyone can be on the same page and not be miserable. She also stays after school several days a week to help struggling students earn the math credits they didn’t get in previous years. Mrs. Orr is the best kind of teacher there is, she’s bubbly, intelligent, caring and above all, she takes pride in helping her students succeed and strive to be better at math and in life.

She goes above and beyond what is needed to ensure the success of her students. In my personal case, she is the only reason I graduated. She stayed on my case about my grade and would offer her own time to tutor me and make sure that I did what she believed possible for me to do. She’s more than just a teacher, she’s an amazing friend and an inspiration showing me that there are teachers who are in this field solely because they want to help the world blossom into a beautiful place.

December 2016 Educator of the Month Michelle McDermott of Skyline Elementary School in the Lake Stevens School District.

December 2016 Educator of the Month Michelle McDermott of Skyline Elementary School in the Lake Stevens School District.

My son has been a student in her class for the past year.  He was diagnosed with Autism in June 2015 and was really struggling in a general education class.  Since starting in her class, he has made so much progress!  

She is super friendly and welcoming to both parents and students.  She provides the students with learning activities that help them develop life skills that they can use as they get older including shopping trips to the grocery store to purchase items for class cooking projects.  

Her classroom environment is very organized which helps her special needs students be successful and responsible learners.  She is committed to furthering her education through attending workshops that help her provide her students with interesting and challenging learning experiences.  She wants the best for all of her students which shows in her interactions with them.  

She also shares what she learns in workshops with the parents of her students.  She does a great job of communicating with me the special little things my son does on a daily basis.  

I could go on and on with the list of reasons why she deserves to be teacher of the month but I think I can best sum it up by saying her care and compassion have changed my son’s outlook about going to school.  I am so thankful that she is part of our lives! During the summer, my son attended a Y magic camp and at the camp’s final performance of a magic show, she was able to come watch. When he saw her after the performance, he went running over to her and gave her a great big hug which brought tears to my eyes.  

Anyone can teach academic subjects, but it takes a special teacher, like Michelle, to touch a heart and help change a little boy’s life!

Nomination from Lauri

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2015 Educator of the Month Winners

January 2015 Educator of the Month Winner- Sarah Leighow of Northshore Christian Academy

2015 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2015 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. 

January 2015  Educator of the Month Winner- Sarah Leighow of Northshore Christian Academy 

Sarah Leighow is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Northshore Christian Academy in Everett. Mrs. Leighow goes above and beyond for the children and parents.  

Her love of the children and teaching shows in all the details such as correspondence with the parents and keeping them involved with the children’s lessons and day to day activities.  

She shows such respect and love for the children.  We think she is the best teacher out there!”

Ms. Leighow was nominated by a student. 

February 2015 Educator of the Month Winner is Kathleen Vigil of Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help

February 2015 Educator of the Month Winner is Kathleen Vigil of Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Kathleen Vigil is a 3rd grade teacher and is a credit to her profession.  She is willing to go the extra mile for her students. Her leadership of her students is a credit to her professionalism and her religion.  

She is willing to take extra steps to ensure that her students excel in life and academically.  Each Sunday she is a visible presence at the 10:00 mass at Immaculate Conception Church as an usher with her husband, and always has a smile on her face and an encouraging word for each of her students inside and outside the classroom. 

I am proud to say that she has been a positive influence on my daughter and each of the students that she has taught. 

Ms. Vigil was nominated by a parent.

March 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Kathleen Wilde of the Marysville School District

March 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Kathleen Wilde of the Marysville School District

Chief Kathleen Wilde, USN(RET) is in her third year of teaching as the Naval Science Instructor for the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (NJROTC) for the Marysville School District. 

Since her retirement from the U.S. Navy, she has been my teaching partner. In her first three years, she has established herself as a dynamic teacher and mentor for the students in our program as well as the rest of the students she comes in contact with. Chief Wilde inspires and challenges our students who represent all of the high schools in the Marysville School District. She is energetic and personable. Chief Wilde is very good at engaging students with critical thinking skills about course curriculum and current events. She provides sage advice and counseling to all students about career opportunities in the military services and civilian sector educating our students on skills needed for post high school endeavors.

In addition to her teaching duties, she coaches our extracurricular 3 drill teams and 2 color guards. Two of the drill teams and 1 color guard earned invitations to the NW JROTC Drill and Rifle Conference Regional Championships in March at MT Tahoma HS competing against other JROTC Programs representing all services from Oregon and Washington. Our color guards provide honor guard services throughout Snohomish County and the Puget Sound Area.


Chief Wilde has rapidly established herself in the district and NJROTC Program as a teacher and mentor. The last two years, Marysville NJROTC Unit has been designated a Distinguished Unit by the US Navy, an award reserved for the top 20% of the over 500 Navy JROTC Units around the world. Chief Wilde has my strongest recommendation for your Teacher of the Month Award.”

Ms. Wilde was nominated by a fellow colleague.

April 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Scott Moberly at Arlington High School

April 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Scott Moberly at Arlington High School

Mr. Moberly is the Drama teacher at Arlington High School. 

The ability of a teacher or coach to excite and encourage young people to greatness is what I want my kids to experience. Mr. Scott Moberly has done that and then some. 

I have a freshman daughter at Arlington High School who until this past September had never heard of Mr. Moberly. As an elective she took his Intro. to Drama class. Being 1 of only 2 freshman in the class had my 14 year old “nervous as hell”. With a push here, a nudge there, 1 month into the class Mr. Moberly had convinced her to try out for the spring musical. Well, as they say in show business, the rest is history. LOL!

The success is burning a fire of enjoyment. The enjoyment is fueling her confidence. Her new found confidence is pushing her to work and strive for more. She’s now looking for vocal lessons. Her and some cast mates are looking at summer theater groups. 

She received an A in the first drama class and is taking it again this semester. She’s already signed up for Advanced Drama next year.” 

My background may not be in the Arts. But as a retired Army Captain and helicopter pilot, and a basketball coach of almost 30 years I can tell when a leader has their “act” together. 

Mr. Moberly teaches 5 classes of drama/day, directs 2 huge productions/year, oversees a drama club recognized enough to take trips to New York and Ashland every other year, has kids banging down his door to get involved, coordinates the non casted” students in stage crafting and lighting and production. 

After minutes of being around him one can tell he does this for the love of theater…and the love of the kids.

Mr. Moberly was nominated by a parent.

May 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Dana Krsnadas of Marysville Getchell High School.

May 2015 Educator of the Month Winner  Dana Krsnadas of Marysville Getchell High School.

Ms. Krsnadas is a teacher of marketing classes along with the DECA advisor and helps students run the Charger Station. 

Below are the multiple entries that we received 

“Ms. Krsnadas runs our clubs and teaches us skills that will help us be successful in the future” Adie H.

“Ms. Krsnadas deserves this award because she’s always hard working and has classes that can help students find a better career.  She also runs the student store and an organization called DECA” Jackie H.

“Ms. K deserves this because she is the best DECA advisor and loves all of her students!  She gets to know everyone personally and genuinely cares about our future!” Kristin N.

“Ms. K deserves this because she is always there for her students and cares for all her students.  She is a great teacher” Kaitlin S.

September 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Lisa Curtis of Preschool Director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church

September 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Lisa Curtis of Preschool Director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church

Lisa Curtis is the Director & Teacher at Ebenezer.  She, as well as the other teachers, Anya & Tammy, have been keeping this wonderful school alive for many years.  Lisa makes a very low wage and they haven’t had raises in over 5 years. This is a not-profit Christian based school.  Lisa has worked hundreds of extra unpaid hours over the years. Her 3 boys & husband have also volunteered many hours. She also puts on summer camps at no pay for her.  The school has struggled financially for almost all years while still offering scholarships. She is a wonderful kind-hearted woman who really deserves this acknowledgement!”

October 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Jenny Granger of Emerson Elementary in Snohomish School District

October 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Jenny Granger of Emerson Elementary in Snohomish School District.

Jenny has taken her love of reading and kids and created a most successful summer reading program.  When it was clear that many of her students were not able to do summer reading because they lacked books, Jenny decided to create the Snohomish Book Cafe.  She collected books, wrote grants, and worked tirelessly to get books into the hands of kids. Each week, the book cafe bookmobile heads to different locations in Snohomish (trailer parks, Boys and Girls Club, etc) with the simple goal of getting books into the hands of kids.  The books are for the kids to keep and love.

Jenny works tirelessly to make sure that the book cafe runs smoothly.  While she is not doing the weekly runs this year, there is not a week that goes by that she does not find herself looking for books for kids (yes, she does take special requests), organizing the book donations, or looking for ways to connect more kids to books, simply put, she is my hero!  The thing is, though, that she is not doing anything that millions of teachers do day in and day out. She is putting her students first. Isn’t that what we look to them to do?

November 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Claire Baker, of Jackson Elementary in the Everett School District.

November 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Claire Baker, of Jackson Elementary in the Everett School District.

Claire Baker goes above and beyond with her students and community.

Claire taught her students to crochet for years with her mother’s help. In the last two years she and I started an after-school Fiber Arts Club to continue teaching the students crochet along with other ways to work with fiber.

She has also taken on a leading role in the summer reading challenge, sending postcards to students, encouraging staff to take pictures of themselves reading, and even asking her sons band to perform a concert if the school reaches their reading goal.

Claire devotes many hours and her own income to prepare her class to be a place for learning. She is an outstanding part of our Jackson community and deserves to be acknowledged as such. Thank you for considering my request.

The stylish hat that Rick is wearing was made by the 5th grade students from Jackson Elementary!

December 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Matt Grover, of Hilltop Elementary in the Edmonds School District.

December 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Matt Grover, of Hilltop Elementary in the Edmonds School District.

I have had the great pleasure of not only working with Mr. Matt Grover, but my son was lucky enough to have him as his third grade teacher. Mr. Grover is an amazing teacher who shows a huge amount of care for his students. He has such a calm and kind manner, and treats his students with so much respect. 

He has an incredible way of helping all his students to grow to love reading. My son was a good reader going into third grade, but gained a great love and interest in books by the end of the school year because of Mr. Grover. Mr. Grover helped in creating a boy’s book club which brought over 50 boys to gather after school to read and talk about books. It was amazing to see so many boys gather, and I am confident that it was a successful club because of Mr. Grover. 

I feel blessed and fortunate that my son was able to learn and grow from Mr. Grover. My son says, “He is a good teacher because he read us a lot of really cool books. He is very nice and doesn’t ever get mad. I learned to love reading a lot and I learned a lot of math.” 

I hope you will choose Mr. Grover as a teacher of the month, he is more than deserving of this award!

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