NCESD Recognizes 2022 Friend of Children Award Recipients and Board of the Year

Published On: May 20th, 2022|Categories: Agency News, Awards, District News, News|
NCESD Recognizes 2022 Friend of Children Award Recipients and Board of the Year

The North Central Educational Service District (NCESD) celebrated several award recipients on Thursday, May 12 during the Friend of Children and Board of the Year Awards Program event. These awards are presented by the NCESD Board of Directors.

During the event the Cascade School District Board was recognized as the 2022 NCESD Board of the Year. This award was created in 2006 to honor school board members who make a positive impact on the future of students. It is given to school boards who have demonstrated extraordinary collaboration as a team and with their community focusing on academic excellence and managing change.

“The Cascade School District Board is a dedicated group of individuals who work well together as a team while always keeping the best interest of students and staff at the heart of their decisions and their actions,” said Cascade School District Superintendent Dr. Tracey Beckendorf-Edou.

The Cascade School District Board was recognized for their continued commitment to partnering with district administration and including student, parent, and teacher voices in conversations. The Cascade School District Board includes Chair Trey Ising, Vice Chair Cyndi Garza, Judy Derpack, Zachary Miller, and Mike Worden.

In addition to the presentation of the Board of the Year Award, three organizations and two individuals were recognized with the Friend of Children Award. This award was created in 1992 to recognize outstanding volunteers in the communities represented by the districts within the NCESD’s four-county region. Recipients of the award make extraordinary contributions to local schools, not for fame or notoriety, but because that is just simply who they are.

Cascade Medical Center

Cascade Medical Center was recognized for its support of Cascade School District through the Covid-19 pandemic. Support included providing advice around infectious diseases, testing, partnering in grant applications, and training staff in suicide prevention.

“Their staff was in emergency mode themselves,” said Dr. Beckendorf-Edou, who nominated Cascade Medical Center, “but they were true friends to children in sharing their time, expertise, and thoughtfulness well beyond their walls.”

Okanogan Kiwanis

Okanogan Kiwanis was recognized for its dedication to improving the Okanogan community to benefit the children living within it. To date, they have built a play area at the Okanogan SportsPlex, replaced a play slide in Alma Park, repaved and fenced the basketball court at Alma Park, and torn down an old building at the elementary school for improved access and supervision during recess. In 2022, the Kiwanis partnered with Okanogan School District to improve Camp Progress, an annual outdoor learning experience for 6th graders in the district.

“Seldom does the club get recognized for the improvements they’ve made to our community,” said Ashley Goetz, Superintendent of Okanogan School District, who nominated Okanogan Kiwanis. “And while they are not seeking recognition, I believe they deserve to be recognized.”

Quincy Rotary Club

Quincy Rotary Club was recognized for supporting Quincy School District elementary students by organizing warm weather and general clothing drives. The rotary club purchased $1,500 worth of clothing such as sweatpants, shirts, undergarments, gloves, boots, coats, and hats.

“This level of exceptional kindness and care for Quincy students is deeply appreciated, and they are certainly deserving of this award,” said Nik Bergman, Superintendent of Quincy School District, who nominated Quincy Rotary Club.

Irma Trejob

Irma Trejob was recognized for advocating for and supporting the most in-need students and families in Orondo School District throughout the pandemic. As the district’s Community in Schools site director, Irma supports over 50 students by offering advice, coaching, and just being someone to talk to about their struggles. She connects parents with community supports, delivers food and home cleaning supplies, clothes, diapers, and so much.

“Our district could never have survived the past two years without Irma,” said Lance Young, Superintendent of Orondo School District, who nominated her. “In a recent middle school leadership class, our students were asked to list who were the most important people in their lives and why; Irma’s name was frequently mentioned.”

Gladys Lewis

Gladys Lewis was recognized for dedicating her retirement years to helping children in the Cashmere School District. In the last seven years, Gladys has served more than 6,000 volunteer hours to support the district’s preschool and kindergarten students and staff.

“Gladys is simply the best and such a wonderful blessing and treasure to our schools and community,” said Carmen Ibarra who nominated her. “She has touched hundreds of hearts and lives, and we are all better because of it.”

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NCESD Recognizes 2022 Friend of Children Award Recipients and Board of the Year