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Schools notebook: Educators accorded honors

John Hagney, a teacher at Lewis and Clark High School since 1981, was named the Educational Service District 101 region’s Teacher of the Year. The award makes him a candidate for 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year.

A press release from ESD 101 said Hagney launched the region’s first Advanced Placement course in art history. He also developed a social science research class, which has been accredited by Eastern Washington University. The research course enrolls up to 100 students each year and requires them to volunteer with a local nonprofit.

Hagney said his teaching “melds scholarly pursuit with healthy doses of humor, experimentation, local awareness and global literacy.”

The annual award recognizes teaching excellence in a region of more than 5,500 teachers in 59 districts.

Dave Weatherred, Spokane Public Schools arts coordinator, was given the 2011-’12 Outstanding Music Educator Award for Section 8 by the Washington Music Educators Association.

According to a press release from Spokane Schools, Bruce Caldwell, executive director of the Washington Music Educators Association, said: “During his long career as a music educator, Dave has not only been an outstanding teacher to the students in his classes, but he has coordinated literally hundreds of festivals, concerts and contests for students to have extended and enhanced learning opportunities beyond his schools. He has truly shown an interest in helping all students, not just his own.”

The award recognizes individuals whose contributions have impacted high school activities and programs, and nominees must exemplify the highest standards of ethical conduct along with significant contributions to interscholastic high school music activities. Section 8 includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Weatherred will compete next fall as a candidate for the 2012-’13 National Citation Award as a result of being selected a sectional award winner. The Citation Award is one of the highest awards presented by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Spokane Public Schools recently honored their distinguished classified employees for 2011-’12. The following people were recognized for their hard work, enthusiasm and cheerful attitude.

Robin Fiorillo, Leslie Summers and Kristy Mylroie, specialists in community relations, were praised for their professionalism, positive spirit and ability to communicate.

Becky Wilkey, a high school resource officer at Ferris High School, was honored for her effective positive change for the student body, including a drug awareness week she organized in April 2010. The result was dozens of students requesting help for themselves or friends or family members. Wilkey is noted as professional, respectful and positive when working with students. She’s described not only as a disciplinarian, counselor, teacher and role model, but also someone on whom students and staff can always rely.

Rick Hankins, head custodian at Regal Elementary School, was recognized for being a resourceful problem-solver and remaining calm in a crisis situation. Hankins is committed and takes time to listen to the students at Regal. He coordinates, trains and supervises students for Regal’s “A Team,” a group that sets up for assemblies, collects recycling tubs, distributes fruit and vegetable snacks to classrooms, along with other community service projects around the school.

And Joel Newland, a steamfitter foreman in the maintenance department, received kudos for his knowledge, passion and experience. Newland always focuses on the task at hand and his efficient work directly benefits students and teachers in the classroom.

Rainey Coffin can be reached at (509) 927-2166 or via email at