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Classified staff gets kudos

Elizabeth Calhoun, an employee at Tracyton Elementary School, attended a reception at Eagles’ Nest with her 20-month-old daughter, Holly Rose. - Photo by Celeste Cornish
Elizabeth Calhoun, an employee at Tracyton Elementary School, attended a reception at Eagles’ Nest with her 20-month-old daughter, Holly Rose.
— image credit: Photo by Celeste Cornish

No phones, no lights, no transportation, not a single luxury — that’s what life would be like in the Central Kitsap School District without classified employees. The classified staff members were the guests of honor during a reception Thursday afternoon at the Eagle’s Nest.

The shindig, sponsored by the CKSD’s classified staff union, Educational Support Professionals, was a celebration of the support staff, said Sue Watson, union president. The union encompasses all classified support staff (essentially everyone in education except teachers and administrators) and is about 680 members strong. The event is an annual one.

Watson is serving full-time as the union president and is taking a leave of absence from her position in the district’s technical department as an applications specialist.

“The event is to celebrate classified staff,” she said. “Yesterday was National ESP day.”

The event was well-attended and included classified staff members from all the schools in the district.

Attendee Glenda Bowers, a paraeducator at Jackson Park Elementary School, has been employed with the school district for 13 years and said she loves her job.

“I like working with kids,” Bowers said.

Bowers likes to watch the progression in maturity the students make from when they come into the classrooms in the fall to the end of the year.

“The best thing in life is when the a child looks at you and they say ‘I got it.’”

Another attendee, Mercedes Hayes, who works at PineCrest Elementary School, said it was nice for the classified employees to be recognized.

“We are all very happy to work for a school district that appreciates us,” she said.

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