Teacher Awards

Excellence in Teaching: Mentorship Award

SWSF’s annual Excellence in Teaching: Mentorship Award recognizes teachers, principals and other school-based staff who exemplify the kind of commitment to children that creates exceptional results.

The award was established by Steve Shapiro, MD, and his wife, Debora Valis, for students in the community to acknowledge and honor the leadership, mentorship and inspiration of specific teachers who have unlocked the doors to the future for their children.

A commitment of $10,000 over three (3) years was made to establish the Endowment, with the hope that future gifts by interested community members will perpetuate the award and allow for additional honorees each year. Candidates for the award will be nominated annually by members of the senior class (may be from any campus in the district) and reviewed and selected by a committee established by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.


Extra Mile Award

SWSF’s annual Extra Mile Award was created by an anonymous donor, and recognizes extra efforts by a teacher. This award, with its accompanying $500 stipend, is presented to a teacher selected by the Foundation from nominations by his or her peers for efforts beyond the call of duty in the past year. Donations enable this award to be endowed for several years at this amount.

Jennifer Gandarias award cropped

Mentorship Award Recipients

2012/13 Recipient of the Excellence in Teaching: Mentorship Award   Jennifer Gandarias (2012/13) On June 13 at South Whidbey High School’s Senior Class Farewell Assembly, English Literature teacher Jennifer Gandarias, received the Foundation’s Mentorship Award along with a $500 check. This annual award was established by Steve Shapiro, MD and his wife, Debora Valis, for the …

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SWES Special Services teacher Michelle Zisette is presented 
with the South Whidbey Schools Foundation’s Extra Mile award 
and a $250 check from SWSF Board Secretary Jean Shaw.

Extra Mile Award Recipients

2012/13 Recipients of the Extra Mile Award For the first time in its 18-year history, the South Whidbey Schools Foundation awarded three teachers its “Extra Mile” award at the June 18 end-of-school-year Elementary and Middle School Assemblies. The award, along with a $250 check, was presented to Becky Ward and Michelle Zisette, both South Whidbey …

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