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    2020/21 PTA Awards
    Posted on 06/10/2021


    Our Golden Acorn Awards recognizing exemplary and outstanding volunteerism and service to our PTA, school and community.

    GOLDEN ACORN AWARD: Lori Phipps & Emily Hull (Corbin’s Moms)

    Lori and Emily are a dynamic duo that have been dedicated volunteers since Corbin started at Sac. four years ago!  Lori has been a member of the BLT, assistant Treasurer, our yearbook chair, the school photographer, and a member of the equity team.  Lori is a classroom volunteer as well and stepped in to take over the (time-consuming) newsletter this year. Both Lori and Emily are always willing to jump in and help when needed! Emily has been helping at events and volunteering behind the scenes for years. Whether it's signing up for food bank donations, classroom support, field trips, event help or editing the Directory; Emily can always be counted on and has even recruited her Mom to help out too!  During COVID, Emily has been a driving force for gathering and organizing donations and special treats for Packs for Kids. She and Lori have collected donations from their network of neighbors and friends to purchase food and diapers for Sacajawea families for over a year and have been a huge help to maintaining the program.  Thank you, Lori and Emily for the years of creating a welcoming and caring community at Sacajawea! You will be sorely missed next year, but you’ll always be a part of Sac

    GOLDEN ACORN AWARD: Nicole Mackenzie (Rhys’s Mom)

    Nicole is a super volunteer and supporter of our school and neighborhood. Nicole has spent her free time over the past couple of years (since her son started at Sac) volunteering in the library, classroom and lunchroom.  This past year she seamlessly stepped into the Treasurer role keeping everything going perfectly and brought a level of expertise that previous Treasurers highly valued and appreciated!.  She has been a fundamental Packs for Kids volunteer for two years and has amped up this commitment during the last year and a half of COVID.  Nicole volunteers weekly to help keep Packs running smoothly and delivers food boxes to families in need.  She’s organized, efficient, crafty and a creative problem solver who is always willing to help the team!  Nicole, thank you for being such an important part of our PTA, school and community!


    Our Outstanding Educator Award recognizes a member of the staff who has made exceptional contributions at Sacajawea to enhance the educational outcomes of our students.


    Ms. Emilie Neal is one of our 1st grade teachers and has served on the Building Leadership team for the past 2 years, providing valuable insight that benefits the entire Sacajawea community.  Emilie has worked tirelessly this year to engage, educate and support her students despite the difficult circumstances. To encourage and help students during remote learning, she met with them one on one at lunch time as well as before and after school.  She often dropped off books, materials and treats to keep kids connected.  Her enthusiasm, positivity, passion for teaching and joy of reading and writing is contagious and inspires her students. And, so many nominations mentioned Ms. Neal being the reason for their child’s love of reading.

    The volume of praise our first grade parents shared in the nominations was incredible, and many passages resonated deeply with me as a first grade parent–because they spoke to the core of Emilie’s character. I’d like to share a few with you now: Ms. Neal has a magical energy and incredible kindness; she’s honest and vulnerable with students and parents alike, she’s a wonderful role model demonstrating poise and compassion; she taught us as parents how to better make space for our children’s emotions. All of these qualities helped created a tremendous sense of community for first-grade families.

    Emilie Neal makes everyone around her–students, colleagues, and families–feel seen, welcomed, respected, and loved.   Thank you so much, Ms. Neal, you are a bright light at Sacajawea!


    Principal Friesen is our fearless leader and member of almost every staff committee at Sac – Safety, BLT, Equity, Library and more!  This last year has been like no other and Rachel has been an outstanding example of leadership.  The amount of time, effort, coordinating, re-coordinating, planning, organizing and communicating that she has had to do, mostly all on the fly and all while trying to keep herself, her family, the teachers and students safe is truly heroic!  Not only did she navigate us successfully through a pandemic, there were also numerous tragedies in our country that directly affected families of color in our school community.  Rachel quickly addressed these injustices and continues to express Sacajawea’s commitment to racial justice.  Rachel is a thoughtful, kind, caring and generous leader who has kept Sacajawea’s staff, students and families moving forward in a truly challenging year.  Thank you, Rachel for your endless dedication to Sacajawea and your partnership with our students, families and staff!


    The Roy Norman SHINE Award is given in honor of Ms. Norman’s late husband. Roy was an amazing man and the type of person who would jump in to help anyone, anywhere. He fully embodied the SHINE principles at Sacajawea of being Safe, Helpful, Inclusive, Neighborly and Engaged!

    ROY NORMAN SHINE AWARD: Lourdes (Lulu) Roque Weda

    Lulu is our Bilingual Instructional Assistant and has been an amazing addition to Sacajawea in her first year here!  She has developed strong relationships with our Spanish speaking families with phone calls, texts and weekly deliveries of materials (after her official workday ends).  She translates weekly classroom newsletters, emails, instructional plans, school flyers and even did some live simultaneous translation for our school and PTA meetings.  She is also a volunteer with Packs for Kids and delivers food boxes every week.  Lulu has been a driving force within the staff Racial Equity Team, leading staff meetings on Equity focused training days and using her voice to advocate for our families of color.  She goes above and beyond every single day. Sacajawea could not have served all of our families without her this year.  Personally, Lulu is warm, caring, kind, friendly and fun to be around - so if you haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, you should!  Thank you, Lulu, for your natural ability to SHINE!   


    Mr. Bowman is our night custodian. He has been behind the scenes for 35 years at Sacajawea and we appreciate everything he does! His workday usually started when the rest of us were going home and although we didn't always see him we knew he had been there because things were fixed, plants were watered, everything was cleaned and made right when we arrived the next day. Mr. Bowman was never too busy to help get a lost ball off the lower playground roof and was always here to help us setup and cleanup for all of our PTA evening events. Jim just took care of everything and he did it with flair! It was Jim who left interesting facts, notes and flowers in the staff room, always had a witty quip to our “all staff” emails, and decorated the planters with googly eyes. An avid gardener, an artist, a die hard Huskie fan, and devoted father and husband, Jim is a man of many talents, a friend to all and he will be greatly missed at Sacajawea! Thank you, Jim for sharing so many of your talents and years with us. You helped us all SHINE a little brighter. Enjoy your retirement!