Teachers Harshman, Roberts win Schools Foundation awards


A pair of South Whidbey School District teachers received awards from the South Whidbey Schools Foundation this year.

South Whidbey High School band teacher Chris Harshman and South Whidbey Elementary School special education teacher Robin Roberts were recently rewarded for their efforts during end of the school year assemblies.

Harshman received the 2012 Excellence in Teaching: Mentorship Award. Members of the high school graduating class nominated Harshman for his leadership, mentorship and inspiration. Recent South Whidbey High School graduate Sidney Hauser wrote in her nomination that, “(Harshman) is the most motivational and influential teacher I have ever had. He sees potential in everyone and encourages everyone to try hard and do what they love.”

Hauser presented Harshman with the award and a $500 prize June 7 at the high school’s farewell assembly.

Roberts, a special education teacher at the elementary school, has taught in the district for more than 20 years. She received the Foundation’s 2012 Extra Mile Award, a peer recognition award for a colleague’s efforts that go above and beyond the expected.

“I worked side-by-side with Robin in special education and was impressed immediately by her work ethic, her compassion and her commitment...She is always a strong advocate and always keeps children’s interest centered in the heart of everything she does...She spends an incredible amount of time preparing, planning, and individualizing instruction to make sure all students are getting the very best she can give them every day,” wrote elementary school teacher Val Brown in her nomination for Roberts.

Colleague Karyn LeWarne wrote, “Robin is an amazing, trusted colleague and friend and an even more amazing instructor of some of our most fragile and profound students in the Life Skills program at the elementary school. A glimpse into her day looks like many little miracles flowing together to create a learning environment rich in creativity, diverse instruction and complete love and acceptance for all the students she works with. She is incredibly organized and on any given day can tell you minute details about any of her students, down to their family members’ and pets’ names.”

Roberts was presented with her $500 prize at the school’s honors assembly June 13 at South Whidbey Elementary School. Each of her students presented Roberts with a flower during the assembly that made a bouquet.

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