Hermiston School District Employees Honored

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Four members of the Hermiston School District were among the 2013 Crystal Apple Award winners.

Rick Baher, Jessica Campbell, Michelle Dunkel, and Vicki Rhodes were honored during the May 15 Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards at the Pendleton Red Lion, hosted by the InterMountain ESD.

Baher is the lead warehouseman in the warehouse at the Hermiston School District, where he’s worked for 17 years. He has been named Classified Employee of the Year twice. School district officials say the one comment that is consistent throughout the district is that no matter what Baher is doing, he is doing so with a smile on his face

Campbell is a third grade teacher at Rocky Heights Elementary School, and has worked in the Hermiston School District for five years. Parents and other teachers alike say Campbell has a passion for teaching and for her students, and demonstrates her love for her students by the way she talks to them, teaches them, pushes them and helps them to develop their own character. Her classroom structure is calm, positive and effective. She creates a learning environment where every student is learning and being successful. Campbell’s annual class “Hero’s All” production is always a crowd-pleaser and helps students gain confidence in speaking publically.

Dunkel is a technology coach who has worked for the Hermiston School District for nine years. She has facilitated trainings, held afternoon classes, and helped teachers gain confidence with iPods/iPads that only hands-on training can do. Colleagues say Dunkel is flexible, innovative, and makes learning new things technology-related contagious. Teachers say the successes they’re experiencing are directly related to Dunkel’s commitment and passion to make the integration of a variety of technologies successful.

Rhodes is a Title I assistant at West Park Elementary School, and has worked in the Hermiston School District for seven years. Colleagues say she is an invaluable member of the West Park team who contributes beyond her hours and beyond the scope of her job requirements, often volunteering her time for after school events. She also contributes to a positive classroom environment and encourages the students to read at home. She brought the idea of Band Together Against Bullying in 2011. She created the bulletin board where each child participates by signing their names on cut-out hearts and pledges to keep the four promises to prevent bullying in the school.