Kent’s Kachmarik among award winners at Highline College

Employees contribute to communities and education

Katy Kachmarik. COURTESY PHOTO

Katy Kachmarik. COURTESY PHOTO

Kent’s Katy Kachmarik and six of her Highline College colleagues have earned a wide range of awards for their professional excellence and achievements.

The honors reflect their contributions to their communities and students at the college.

In addition to Kachmarik, those honored during the 2017-18 academic year include Toni Castro, Karin Hirschfeld, Christie Knighton, Rickitia Reid, Sili Savusa and Dave Weber.

Kachmarik, a coordinator of education and outreach programs for Highline College’s Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center, was named a 2018 Hero by Federal Way Public Schools.

The district’s Woodmont K-8 nominated Kachmarik for the honor for building on the partnership between the MaST Center and Woodmont’s STEM after-school program. Each school in the district nominated a school partner for the award for enriching the lives and learning opportunities of students.

“We brought marine invertebrates to classrooms for students to meet their underwater neighbors. We designed classroom curriculum and even a board game around invasive species, and partnered with the eighth grade class to pilot test our middle school ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) class,” Kachmarik said.

“I am highly honored to be recognized and hope to continue our partnership with the school district as it is so close to the MaST.”

Originally from northern Indiana, Kachmarik started with the MaST Center in 2016 as an AmeriCorps member.

She has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon.

Top honor

Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Restaurants recently announced HaLee Webster of Crestwood Elementary in Covington as the grand prize winner of its Teacher of the Year award contest.

Webster was presented with a winning prize package: a $500 check to put toward the purchase of class supplies, a commemorative plaque and the official title of Teacher of the Year. Plus, the nominating students of the grand prize winners received either an Ivar’s Kids Meal – including a visit by Ivar’s famous Dancing Clam – or a Kidd Valley Kids Meal for every student in their class.

Fifth-grade student Aly Skagen nominated Webster for her ability to make learning fun by showing her students how lessons on taxes, area and perimeter and more can be applied in life with real-life examples. Webster also knows when students need a little extra help with a particular subject and spends quality one-on-one time with each until they understand completely, which Skagen contributes to her good grades. She believes the class feels like family.

Kidd Valley also awarded Denisha Saucedo, a sixth-grade teacher at Kent Elementary, with a first-place prize of $150 gift card for class supplies. Kent’s Amy Huyser (first grade, Sawyer Woods Elementary) and Brian Sherrill (fourth grade, Carriage Crest Elementary) were among 15 teachers who received second-place honors, which included a $25 Ivar’s or Kidd Valley gift card.


The following Gonzaga University students from Kent participated in graduation exercises on May 13: Allison Hammer, Olivia Rebro (magna cum laude), Riana Slyter (cum laude) and Sean Sturtevant (magna cum laude). … These Kent students earned placement on the Gonzaga president’s list (3.85 to 4.0 grade-point average) for spring semester: Cullen Bryant, Taylor Craig, Becka Gately, Rebro, Slyter, Sturtevant and Katelyn Weber. Those making the dean’s list (3.5 to 3.84 GPA) for spring semester are: Isaac Barrera, Katherine Beliveau, Luke Kenneally, Jesus McCloskey, Akemi Rafanan, Carson Stowell and Aaron Weber. … Sara Madden of Kent was recognized as Outstanding Female Graduate during Western Oregon University’s 161st commencement exercises in Monmouth on June 16. …

Kent’s Amanda Wetzel (physics, senior) made the honor list for spring semester at Missouri University of Science and Technology. … Marcos De Mendonca of Kent was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, one of the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor societies. De Mendonca was initiated at Central Washington University. …

The following students from Kent have been awarded a degree from Whitworth University: Joseph Dokupil (bachelor of arts, English – literature track, magna cum laude); Saydee Homolka (bachelor of science, health science, summa cum laude); Kirby Shiraishi (B.A., psychology, summa cum laude); Sarah Zeitler (B.S., biophysics and chemistry – biochemistry track, summa cum laude). … Madeline Morrisson, of Kent, a student in the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of New Haven (Conn.) has been named to the dean’s List for the spring semester. …

The following students from Kent have been named to the Whitworth University provost’s honor roll for spring semester: Sarah Fleming, Joseph Loomis, Mikah Shiraishi and Kirby Zeitler. … Kent resident Kristi Fites recently earned a master of education degree in ESL (English as a second language) at Kennesaw (Ga.) State University. … Melissa Schmidt (social work) and Abigail Swanson (master of social work) were among the more than 800 undergraduate, adult degree and graduate-level students who received diplomas from George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.) this spring. … Schmidt was among the students from Kent who earned dean’s list recognition at George Fox for spring semester. The others were: Tyler Ridings (senior, management and marketing); Lydia Taw (senior, computer science) and Julia Wenndt (junior, mathematics). …

Western Washington University student Sabrina Noelle Batingan, daughter of Tomas and Rosalyn Batingan of Kent, received the $1,000 Womxn of Color Empowerment Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Womxn of Color Empowerment Scholarship is provided to students who experience issues or advocate concerns for women of color. Batingan, who graduated from Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015, is currently involved at Western as a peer sexual health educator. She is majoring in sociology and public relations and hopes to graduate in 2019. …

Central Washington University’s spring quarter honor roll is available online.

HaLee Webster of Crestwood Elementary in Covington is the grand prize winner of Ivar’s Teacher of the Year award contest. COURTESY PHOTO

HaLee Webster of Crestwood Elementary in Covington is the grand prize winner of Ivar’s Teacher of the Year award contest. COURTESY PHOTO

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