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Top educators presented Golden Apple awards

The Sunnyside School District presented its fifth annual Golden Apple awards during Thursday night's school board meeting.

A total of 55 district staff members were nominated, with 16 Golden Apples awarded.

Ruth Strang was selected the district's Volunteer of the Year for her 10 years of volunteering at Washington Elementary School. In receiving the Golden Apple, Strang was credited for providing "one-on-one time so many of our children need.

The Golden Apple for Substitute of the Year went to Tamra Razey, who has been substituting in the Sunnyside School District for about 10 years. Razey was praised for "willingness to work hard" and always arriving with a smile on her face.

There were two recipients of the Golden Apple for Support Staff of the Year.

First was Theresa Dalton, a custodian at Sunnyside High School, praised for her efficiency and friendliness.

Also selected was Rey Melendrez, a security liaison for Chief Kamiakin and Pioneer Elementary schools.

Melendrez was not only recognized for making the schools safer, but for his deployment to New Orleans to serve with the Army Reserve during Hurricane Katrina relief.

Receiving the Golden Apple as Secretary of the Year was Elda Cuevas, a secretary at PRIDE High School. In receiving the award, Cuevas was praised for developing "a trusting rapport with students and parents."

There were two Golden Apple awards distributed for Para Educator of the Year.

Patsy Coder received one for her work as a first grade para educator at Washington Elementary School, and Shirley Pedraza received the other for her contributions as the in-house suspension para educator at Harrison Middle School.

Kelly Wavrin, a reading specialist at Pioneer Elementary School, received the Golden Apple for elementary Specialist of the Year.

There was a tie for the secondary Specialist of the Year, as Golden Apples were presented to James Hatch, a math coach at Harrison Middle School and Chief Kamiakin Elementary School, and Julie Perez, a literacy coach at Harrison Middle School.

There was a three-way tie for Elementary Teacher of the Year. Golden Apples went to Angel Carrizales, a sixth grade teacher at Chief Kamiakin Elementary; Paula McCracken, sixth grade teacher at Chief Kamiakin; and Peggy LaPierre, a fourth grade teacher at Outlook Elementary.

Two Golden Apples were presented for Secondary Teacher of the Year, one to Lynette Rodriguez, an English teacher at Sunnyside High School, and Liz Robert, a seventh grade BLOC/Literature teacher at Harrison Middle School.

Rounding out the Golden Apple awards was Sunnyside High School Principal Brian Hart, selected as Administrator of the Year.

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