2019-2020 Employees of the Year
Amazing Staff Who Go Above & Beyond for Students
We selected 11 outstanding Employees of the Year who exemplify our Kent School District mission of successfully preparing all students for their futures. Thank you for going above and beyond to support our students!
These incredible members of Team KSD were honored during our school board meeting on June 10, read more about each recipient below.
Mildred Ramirez Larson
Bus Driver, Transportation
Bus Drivers (Teamsters)
Mildred knows each student on her bus by name and takes time to build relationships with them. Her positive approach creates a welcoming atmosphere and she goes above and beyond on the Transportation department's sunshine committee. Mildred exemplifies what it means to be a KSD bus driver!
Central Office Administrator
Assistant Director, Inclusive Education
Central Office Administrators (Non-Rep)
Mike has been called a phenomenal support for his staff, students, and their families. From thoroughly addressing questions to being present at meetings with families, he centers students in everything he does. He is always striving to help meet the needs of all students and makes sure they feel valued. Thank you for all you do to support students Mike!
Coach, Kent-Meridian High School
Coach Jerry teaches student-athletes how to work as a team and how to give their all. He goes beyond the game and helps students gain real life skills for college and career readiness. He communicates with families and invites parents in for open practices once a month so that they see how their student-athlete is progressing. He also allows his staff to lead practices so that they can work on their own leadership and coaching style. As for the community, Coach Jerry allows his direct assistant to organize community service events in which the team works with St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, Free2Luv Seattle, Kent Lions Club, and the Patriot Guard Riders of America. Finally, he continues to call them STUDENT-athletes with the belief that they are indeed students first and foremost.
Head Custodian, Sawyer Woods Elementary School
Bus Garage Mechanics, Custodians, Nutrition Services Drivers, Maintenance, Print Shop, Warehouse Drivers (AFT)
Mr. Ken is so much more than a custodian at Sawyer Woods. He builds incredibly genuine connections with every single student. He is approachable and makes everyone feel included and welcome. Most of all, Mr. Ken has a heart for kids who need just a little bit more support. He can be seen working around our campus with his "buddies" which is so valuable for those students. He recognizes the value in every single employee and student in the building, making them feel seen and a part of this community. Sure, Mr. Ken does great work keeping our building safe and clean, but what he can do by cultivating meaningful relationships with students is even more amazing.
Categorical Program Support Specialist, Central Office
Central Office and School-Based Non-Administrative/Non-Supervisory Staff (Non-Rep)
As our McKinney Vento and Foster Care Liaison, Lori works continuously with students, staff, and community partners across our district to keep students in school, safe, and connected with important resources to help them succeed. She knows hundreds of students by name and works closely with different teams to find solutions for each of their unique challenges. From being highly organized to prioritizing equity in everything she does, Lori exemplifies what it means to be on Team KSD.
Educational Assistant, Kent Valley Early Learning Center
Non-Classroom Certificated Staff (KEA)
Christine goes above and beyond to help prepare all students for their futures, from teaching students about strong character traits to building relationships with families, she earned being known as her building’s rock. She makes sure to look out for the wellbeing of other KVELC staff, builds meaningful relationships with parents and families, and is always looking for ways to equitably support all students. Her nominator said it best, “She has the power to make a difference and does every day.”
Elementary Cook Manager, Lake Youngs Elementary School
Nutrition Services (KSFSA)
Linda has the most welcoming, open heart when it comes to feeding the students at Lake Youngs. She encourages students to make healthy choices and makes sure no students go hungry. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand and is always thinking how we could be more efficient at feeding our students. Thank you for helping make sure our students have the nutrients they need to learn and grow!
AAV Office Manager, Ridgewood Elementary School
Office Professionals (KAEOP)
As Ridgewood’s office manager, Kim is involved with all facets of the school and supports students both directly and indirectly. She encourages students to try their best and every student feels important when Ms. Radabaugh is around. She takes time to get to know each family and greets them with a smile and welcoming words. Each year, Mrs. Radabaugh comes up with a theme and creates a bulletin board to inspire all of us to work toward meeting our potential. Kim has also been called the heart of her school.
Paraeducator, Kent Elementary School
Kent Association of Paraeducators (KAP)
Lita is passionate, caring, energetic, supportive and always builds relationship with students. She works with teachers and families to ensure they’re all working towards success for each student, and is a positive and encouraging presence at Kent Elementary. Her colleagues say she goes above and beyond to ensure her students are progressing in reading and expects excellence every day for all learners.
Principal, Ridgewood Elementary
Principals or Assistant Principals (KPA)
Cynthia continues to strive for success every day with every student by living out the KSD mission at Ridgewood Elementary. She has built systems to ensure equitable access for all students and sets a high bar for all her staff. She has been called a cornerstone for her school and her impact has been profound. Every year to close out the year, staff receive personalized awards. Cynthia’s most recent award was “World’s Greatest Tagline Creator” because she comes up with inspirational quotes to drive our systems, instruction and work forward. Her most “famous” has always been “We’ve got this!” And because of Cynthia leading our school, we really do.
Teacher, Ridgewood Elementary School
Kent Education Association (KEA)
Our Teacher of the Year, Mr. Jensen is truly one of a kind. His passion for teaching is demonstrated by the relationships he builds with students and family and educational and social-emotional growth that students experience under his leadership. Read more about Mr. Jensen and our Teacher of the Year Award.