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2017 Gillespie Golden Onion award recipients

Jeremy Hubbard (Blue Ridge Elementary Learning Specialist), Nicole Duncan (Pioneer Middle School teacher) and James Polson (SEATech teacher) were named recipients of the 2017 Gillespie Golden Onion grant and award. Each recipient will receive $750 for use in their classroom or to better their teaching skills.

Longtime Walla Walla resident and one-time teacher Sue Gillespie and her husband Mike established the “Golden Onion Award” to provide school supplies, equipment and professional development funds to Walla Walla educators. The “Golden Onion Award” is presented annually to three district teachers representing elementary, middle school and high school grade levels. The Gillespie Teacher Development Fund is a component fund of the Blue Mountain Community Foundation.

Elementary Recipient
Jeremy Hubbard – Blue Ridge Elementary, Learning Specialist
• Nominator: Principal Kim Doepker
• Jeremy has been a classroom teacher, ESL instructor, math coach and currently is a Learning Specialist
• As Learning Specialist, he specializes in building relationships between home and school
• Principal Kim Doepker says he cares for students as if they were his own
• He continually looks for ways to provide support and problem solve to help students be successful
• Jeremy supports school Emergency Planning efforts and is part of the District Math Fellows cohort
• He is a Boy Scouts cub master, active church member and youth sports coach

Middle School Recipient
Nicole Duncan – Pioneer Middle School math teacher
• Nominator: School Psychologist Alicia Quackenbush
• Nicole has a special ability to connect with her students and bring the staff together
• She constantly is pushing herself to increase academic rigor and achievement
• She has played a key role in bringing AVID school-wide and implements AVID strategies in her teaching
• Nicole serves on the Building Leadership Team and was on the district math curriculum adoption committee
• She also recently added 6th grade volleyball coach to her resume
• Nominator Alicia Quackenbush says Nicole is an innovative educator, team player and invaluable asset

High School Recipient
James Polson – SEATech Advanced Welding and Manufacturing teacher
• Nominator: Teacher Jeffrey Townsend
• James is an innovator, he relates well with all students and works tirelessly to make positive connections
• His work is project-based and results driven
• Former students drop in all the time to say hello and update him on their careers
• He is patient and has high expectations and inspires students to push themselves to achieve
• James is a leader at SEATech and is well respected
• Nominator Jeffrey Townsend says John is exemplary and is honored to work alongside him

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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