BISD STRONG Award winners honored

The Bainbridge Island School District has announced the first winners of its newly created BISD STRONG Award.

The award is meant to recognize and celebrate the many individuals who “make the district strong and have strong minds, strong hearts and a strong sense of community.”

Recipients of the Fall 2017 BISD STRONG Award were recently honored by a surprise visit by Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen.

“This school year, the district started a movement that emphasizes strengthening the social and emotional health of our students and employees,” Bang-Knudsen said. “The BISD STRONG Award is one avenue that allows people to be recognized and appreciated for who they are and what they do.”

Here is the list of the fall winners and highlights from their nominations:

Student category, kindergarten through sixth grade:

Farrah Colby (second grade): Farrah is a kind and compassionate classmate. She is a problem-solver who is willing to stand up to any form of injustice at school. Farrah will be a friend to anyone that needs one.

Carly Hart (sixth grade): Carly is compassionate, hard-working and empathetic. Her determination is inspirational.

Joseph Hughes (fourth grade): Joseph is a deep thinking, kind, and family oriented individual, with a world awareness based on history.

Student category, seventh grade to 12th grade:

Alex Miller (eighth grade): Alex is fun to watch in cross country and often leads the pack from start to finish. But what is truly inspiring about Alex is after he finishes the race he stays at the finish line to give his Woodward teammates high fives and compliments. While many exhausted finishers stagger to the team area to get rehydrated and get some well-deserved food, Alex waits at the finish line and ensures that every single teammate is recognized.

Ethan Soltanzadeh (11th grade): Ethan is a leader in the BHS community, both publicly and behind the scenes. He is a quiet supporter to struggling students and exhibits true character in interactions with all staff and students. Ethan is unique in his individuality and thoughtfulness.

Erin Weiss (eighth grade): Erin is an incredible leader, hard worker, always steps up to help others and has a great attitude. She is friendly, talks to new students, is polite to everyone and is an example to others.

BISD staff category:

Tiffany Kelly (Transportation): Tiffany greets each student by name and takes care of individual students’ needs (such as nervous bus riders). She has become part of our “team” and our family and we know the kids are in a safe place [on her bus] every morning and afternoon.

Shirley Rice (Food Services): Shirley consistently demonstrates an exceptional commitment to going the extra mile to ensure the very best for students. She works hard to ensure students throughout the district have access to fresh, nutritious foods and greets and interacts with students in a positive, friendly, supporting manner.

Lois Walter (Ordway Elementary teacher): Lois has a warm and caring heart, a bright and engaging style of teaching and is kind and respectful to those around her. She is patient, joyful, diligent and caring.

District officials note that nominations are now being accepted for the winter quarter of the BISD STRONG Award and community members are encouraged to nominate BISD students and staff. It only takes a few minutes to complete the application. Visit to complete the nomination form.

All BISD STRONG Award nominees receive a certificate and a letter that shares highlights from their nomination. Those selected as a BISD STRONG Award winner also receive a plaque and additional recognition by the district.

BISD STRONG Award winners honored