Kolb is Regional Classified Employee of the Year

Pictured: Larry Francois, NWESD Superintendent; Anglea Kolb, Award Recipient; Dr. Carl Bruner, Mount Vernon School District Superintendent

Pictured: Larry Francois, NWESD Superintendent; Anglea Kolb, Award Recipient; Dr. Carl Bruner, Mount Vernon School District Superintendent

Angela Kolb, a Paraprofessional from La Venture Middle School in the Mount Vernon School District, has been named 2018 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year by the Northwest Educational Service District 189.

The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes excellence in the work of public school employees, including paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, food service workers, and others. Anyone may nominate a classified public school employee for this award, which is overseen by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). All completed nominations are sent to the regional coordinator at each ESD, who in turn selects a regional winner. Ms. Kolb is one of nine regional winners who will go on to compete for the State Classified School Employee of the Year award.

Ms. Kolb has taught in the Mount Vernon School District for eight years. Her work is varied, but includes a focus on helping teachers, administering testing, and working one-on-one with children who have learning disabilities. She also works with the A.L.E. program (Alternative Learning – Experience), which is for children who are no longer able to attend main day schooling for behavior and discipline reasons. The A.L.E. program gives them a chance to learn their way back into a mainstream school day.

“My children are my greatest achievements in my life. I feel great joy in their happiness and a greater responsibility in ensuring that they have the opportunity to live a happy and enriched life. I believe that a solid education is the easiest way to achieve that goal. I began working in education with the same desire to help provide other children with the same opportunities to obtain a happy adulthood. I enjoy working with all of these children and trying to be a positive influence in their lives.” – Angela Kolb

“The commitment and passion that Angie has shown as a paraprofessional in the Mount Vernon School District is nothing short of spectacular – she is hard-working, selfless, and utterly devoted to the students of La Venture Middle School, and especially to those who don’t quite fit in.” – Dave Riddle, Principal, La Venture Middle School

“Angela Kolb is an example of our classified staff who go above and beyond every day- not only does she work and support our students all day, but she also supports Mount Vernon’s after-school program and plans and coordinates their outdoor camp each year.” – David Forsythe, Assistant Superintendent, Operations NWESD

After advancing on to the statewide competition, regional finalists will be recognized by OSPI at an annual award ceremony in Olympia (date TBD), where OSPI will announce their selection of the State Classified School Employee of the Year. For more information on these awards, contact OSPI Recognition Coordinator, Hilary Seidel, at 360.725.6117.

Special thanks to Northwest ESD 189 for their permission to publish this article written by Communications Specialist Jessica Haag.

About The NWESD, located in Anacortes, is one of nine Educational Service Districts in Washington State. The NWESD serves 35 school districts in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties; providing leadership and cooperative services to the educational communities in the northwest region. For more information about the NWESD, please visit

Contact: Jessica Haag, NWESD Communications Specialist | (360) 299-4714

Posted by Website Chair Tammy Bengen, 360.383.9207,

This entry was posted on April 17, 2018, in News.

Area 5 and Ferndale Partner on PDP

Attendees at the WAEOP Area 5 Professional Program Day held March 24, 2018 in Ferndale, Washington

Attendees at the WAEOP Area 5 Professional Program Day held March 24, 2018 in Ferndale, Washington

Area 5, Ferndale School District and Ferndale Administrative Assistants’ Association came together on Saturday, March 24, 2018 to host a Professional Development Program. Twelve attendees from Ferndale, Seattle, Marysville, Auburn and Arlington participated in the program focused on Notary Training and Website ADA Accessibility.

The Notary Training concentrated on Washington notary law standards. This includes the notary law changes that take effect July 1, 2018. Rebecca Jacob, President of Attorney & Notary Supply, Inc., brought over 30 years of notarial knowledge to her presentation. Last year she used her notarial experience to give input and testimony to shape our most current notary law changes that will take effect on July 1, 2018. PDP Participants learned what their role is as a notary and the responsibilities that go with that role. Also, they learned the technical details of properly notarizing different types of documents and activities.

The second part of the session was focused on accessibility for all. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The Website ADA Accessibility training focused on school district website accessibility that included a review of ADA requirements, guiding principles for website ADA compliance and an introduction to making sure documents placed on websites are ADA compliant. Presenter, Neil McKay, brought his expertise in this area to the group. He has been employed with Ferndale Schools since 1991 and currently serves as its webmaster. His district, like many others in Washington state, have taken the necessary steps to ensure their online content is accessible to all constituents.

For more information:
WAEOP Area 5 Director Tammy Bengen, 360.383.9207,

This entry was posted on March 30, 2018, in News.

We Remember Dot Matthews

Dot Matthews

Dot Matthews

Dot (Dorothy) Matthews became a member of WAEOP in 1980. During the 2001-02 term, she served as WAEOP president. . . and that term was noteworthy.

Dot was active in her local professional association (Bellevue AEOP) and the National Association of Educational Office Professionals. She found joy in singing with the NAEOP choir. It was not uncommon to catch Dot being a mentor or a mother. WAEOP was an important part of her life. She did not hesitate to encourage others to step up and be part of their local association, WAEOP, NAEOP, and/or the National Association of Retired Educational Office Professionals.

Dot‘s death (July 3, 2017) was a shock to many, and she will be missed. Dot listened to and helped others. She knew how to network and strategically introduced people she knew would be supportive of and learn from each other. She was quick to
become and remain a friend, and her list of friends was long! Here are just a few special comments about Dot.

Ronnie Larson (former WAEOP Area 9 Director) attributes her involvement on the WAEOP board, in part to Dot. As a first-time conference attendee (several years ago), Ronnie was warmly greeted at the registration table by Dot. “When Dot said,
“I have been wanting to meet you,” Ronnie felt at home and knew she wanted to convey the same feeling to others.
“I knew Dot for years and always liked her. After we were both retired, it was great to have more time to visit with her,” said Audrey Cruickshank (retiree from the Auburn School District).

Billie Mikesell recalled rooming with Dot at WAEOP and NAEOP conferences, and participating in tours around the country. “I drink my coffee from an owl mug Dot gave me. It is printed with this bible verse, ‘God will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy,’ on the inside. This is so like her,” Billie added in remembering her good friend.

Dot was quick to praise publicly. . . shouting out about the accomplishments of others, and saved corrections for a more private arena.Whether you knew her a little, or knew her well, as Billie says, “Thank you, Dot for the memories to keep.”

On behalf of Dot‘s WAEOP family, our deepest condolences to her daughter, Jean, and son, Mark, and the rest of her family.
The celebration of Dot‘s life was held Saturday, September 16, in Bonney Lake, Washington at Creator Lutheran Church. Jean, Dot‘s daughter, wanted a casual open house at which friends and family could share stories about her mom.

For more information:
President Robin Mallory,
Public Relations Website Chair Tammy Bengen,

This entry was posted on September 21, 2017, in News.

Dr. Justin Mills is Administrator of the Year

Superintendent of Bellevue School School District Dr. Justin Mills (center) received WAEOP's Administrator of the Year Award.

Superintendent of Bellevue School School District Dr. Justin Mills (center) received WAEOP’s Administrator of the Year Award.

At an awards ceremony held April 22 in Richland, Washington during the Annual WAEOP Spring Conference, Dr. Justin T. Mills, superintendent of the Bellevue School District was selected as the 2016-2017 WAEOP Educational Administrator of the Year.

Dr. Mills has made tremendous strides since coming to Bellevue School District in 2012. Through his guidance and leadership, the district has developed a culture that allows all staff to be heard and feel they are valued and important to a smooth running district that ultimately benefits the children.

One Co-Worker says: “since joining the Bellevue School District, I have witnessed Dr. Mill’s leadership reshape the district. The mark of a leader is how the leader brings others to places where they would not go by themselves. They describe Dr. Mills as the most effective and genuine school leader. His emotional intelligence and authenticity are why those who have worked with him speak so highly of his leadership.”

Dr. Mills not only has provided a culture within the Bellevue School District that benefits all employees, but he fosters an atmosphere for all employees to achieve their goals, which in turn brings about a stronger and more united work place and community. Dr. Mills encourages staff to grow professionally and personally by attending a variety of training opportunities including the professional development conferences and workshops sponsored by WAEOP. He also supports the efforts of all classified staff who choose to aim for and reach their educational goals by obtaining their Professional Standards Program Certification as offered by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Dr. Mills has been married to his wife, Gail, for 33 years.  They have three adult children and five grandchildren ages 3 months to 5 years. Dr. Mills likes to golf, read, play with the grandkids and spend time with his wife, Gail and the family. Dr. Mills was raised by his grandmother and is the only sibling in his family to graduate high school. He has served in education for 40 years.  He has been a high school band director/teacher, middle school principal, executive director of high school education and has served as a Superintendent for 18 years.  He plans to retire on June 30th of this year.

Congratulations again Dr. Mills, our 2016-2017 Educational Administrator of the Year!

For more information:
WAEOP Awards Committee Chair Rhonda Quinton,, 509.234.2021, ext. 1011

This entry was posted on May 16, 2017, in News.