Northwest NEWS

June 8, 1998


Six receive Excellence Awards

   by Deborah Stone
   Features writer

   From dozens of nominations, twenty-seven recipients were selected to receive the 1998 Professional Excellence Awards from Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. The awards were established in 1985 to honor educators and citizens who have made exemplary contributions and have been positive role models in the fields of education and human services.
   The recipients recognized for this year include six individuals from Northshore School District: East Ridge Elementary language arts specialist Janet Shannon, Inglemoor High School English teacher Geoff Gilmore, Home School Coordinator Karen Fineide, Northshore Jr. High math teacher David Dwyer, civic leader Barbara Cothern and school volunteer Debbie Amble.
   Both Geoff Gilmore and David Dwyer are passionate about their subject areas and challenge their students to elevate their skills to a higher level. Gilmore is known for the work he has done with gifted students, and Dwyer was instrumental in establishing the Math Olympiad program in all Northshore junior highs and elementary schools.
   Karen Fineide created the Northshore Home School Program by utilizing parent volunteers, enlisting community support and developing outreach programs. The program began with twenty-two students and currently has more than 400.
   Barbara Cothern was a member of the district board of directors from 1987-1992 and won a seat in the State House of Representatives in 1992, becoming chair of its education committee. She has a reputation as a strong educational advocate.
   Debbie Amble has been active in local and state PTAs and serves on a number of district committees. She also provides staff development for the employees, teachers and parents of the district in the use of educational technology.
   Janet Shannon has contributed to many community reading programs in Northshore, including Reading in the Mall, Young Authors Conference and a program that encourages young mothers to read to their babies. After twenty-five years in the district, Shannon is retiring. A past president of the Northshore Reading Council and recipient ot the council's Literacy Award, Shannon has been active in instituting the Phonological Awareness program and a reading fluency program at East Ridge Elementary where she has been since 1991. She has also trained many parents to help her implement these programs. Of all her accomplishments over the years, Shannon is most proud of helping children connect to reading. She says, "The joy of seeing kids click with reading is the most rewarding. Seeing them gain self-confidence and experience the desire to read is a pleasure." Retirement for Shannon will include spending more time with her grandchildren, traveling, gardening and eventually building a future home on property in Twisp. She says she will miss the friendships and relationships that she has had with staff, parents and mostly the children. "It is the children who will remain the most memorable to me," says Shannon.