Each month, Rotary Club of Alderwood-Terrace honors educators at district schools for their outstanding contributions. Educators selected for the honor receive a certificate and gift certificate and also attend a celebration ceremony with Rotary (via Zoom during the pandemic).
Here are the honorees for March:
Birgit Albiker-Osterhaug, ELL teacher, Meadowdale Middle School
Albiker-Osterhaug, the lead multi language learner teacher, works with students and families, many of whom are most impacted by the COVID shutdown. Because of that, she’s found innovative ways to assist them, says Principal Joe Webster.
“She is constantly reaching out to them to see how she and others in her program can help,” he said. “This doesn’t only include academics. It includes resources and social-emotional support as well.”
That includes family outreach to connect them with interpreters, translating academic work, working with staff to assess student learning innovations, and advocating for every student.
“Birgit is an expert when it comes to effective instruction for teaching English to students as a second or third language,” Webster said.
Julie Johnsen, Student Intervention Coordinator, Oak Heights Elementary
Johansen has been a vital part of the Oak Heights community for over 20 years, says Principal Jessica Asp.
“Julie is a champion for students,” she says. “She brings with her a strong viewpoint of equitable and responsive practices. She keeps what is best for all students at the heart of her work. She thinks about how culture, race, trauma, and emotional well-being can impact a student each day at school. She uses this perspective to guide her interactions with students, families, and other staff members to collaborate, make informed decisions, and create intentional interventions for our students.”
Brian Monroe-Jones, Teacher, Meadowdale Elementary
“Brian goes far above and beyond to connect with his students,” Principal Dan Davis says. “He stays on Zoom for as long as he needs to, offers additional zoom times to support students, provides hands-on materials the class can pick up during our distribution days and then does a class over Zoom, and he helps out around the school with anything any office staff or custodial staff might need assistance with. Simply put, Brian does it all!”
Colleen Alderman and Katherine (Kat) Webb, Special Education Teachers, Alderwood Early Childhood Center
“They have both volunteered to return to teaching special education preschool in-person and have done and will do so much work to shift caseloads and prepare to be the first preschoolers in the district with special needs to come back to school from the COVID closure,” Principal West Keller said.