Each year, the Bell PTSA gathers nominations from the community for the following awards: 

  • The Outstanding Educator Award
    This award is established by National PTA and awarded by Bell PTSA to an individual who has made significant contributions in their community to enhance the educational outcomes of all children or youth. An educator is not limited to a teacher and may be defined as a teacher, assistant, specialist, support staff, administrator, or community member.

  • Golden Acorn Award
    This award is established by National PTA and awarded by Bell PTSA to an individual who has provided exemplary volunteer service to children and youth in our community. The Golden Acorn is given for continued and dedicated service. Nominees for this award include volunteers that dedicate their time to advocating for children and supporting the mission of our PTA: To create and foster opportunities that enrich and support our children, teachers, and community. 

Below are the award recipients for the 2021-2022 school year (along with the nominations submitted). 


 

Outstanding Educator Award

 

Alex Magnani

  • Alex brings energy, enthusiasm, creativity and patience to her classroom. She presents new and interesting material that goes beyond the standard curriculum. She inspires her students to do their best and believe in themselves, not with punitive tactics or empty rewards, but with mutual respect and trust. She cares about the whole child and understands that social/emotional growth is as important as academic growth. She exudes a calm confidence, creating a peaceful learning environment for her students. Thank you, Alex! 

  • She makes learning fun and comes to work everyday with enthusiasm and dedication to each of her students. Online and in-person, Alex Magnani has been a source of inspiration for children who are looking to her for encouragement to navigate these challenging times. She does not shy away from questions. Instead she asks her students to be thoughtful and curious about the world around them. I have been so impressed with her. Please acknowledge all of her hard work with this recognition. She is more than deserving.
  • Alex is extremely dedicated to all of her students and sensitive to their specific needs. She goes above any beyond in setting up her classroom for the most amount of learning and her students absolutely adore her. Additionally, Alex is a wonderful colleague who is always quick to help and share ideas and resources. Lastly, Alex remains forever calm even when faced with challenges, allowing her to remain resilient through anything. For these reasons, I nominate Alex for the outstanding educator award!

 


Outstanding Educator Award

 

Jennifer Olsen

  • Jenny is an outstanding teacher. The children in her classroom not only grow academically, but socially and emotionally as well. They gain confidence and a genuine love of learning. She fosters long term relationships with her students and they come back year after year for hugs and just to say hi. This year she helped my son who was a reluctant reader feel like he could do it, always repeating her class mantra “the more you practice the better you get”. He is now motivated and most importantly confident to tackle books because of the tools she has taught him this year. Jenny Olsen is an incredible teacher and deserves a standing ovation at Bell.
  • Awesome teacher, always giving

 

Outstanding Educator Award

 

Rebekah Lazoritz

  • Rebekah always goes over and beyond for students. A lot of extras! She shows that she really cares all around for her students, their learning, and their overall being. Wonderful teacher!!!!
  • She is the best teacher in all aspects

 

Additional Nominations for the Outstanding Educator Award

  

 

  • Cassie Snyder - In the words of my daughter, “She’s kind. She’s helpful and I just love her!” Mrs Snyder’s classroom management is really impressive and she has a great rapport with her students. My daughter loves coming to school each day and adores her teacher.

  • Kristin Coberly - Ms. Coberly has a tough job teaching a combined 2nd/3rd grade highly capable class full of big ideas, big energy, and big personalities. She truly makes the effort to understand the unique needs of each student in order to provide personalized instruction to bring out the best in everyone. She works every day to build relationships with the kids, and to push them to explore and expand their capabilities. Our daughter has been lucky enough to have Ms. Coberly for two years, and we know she is so much better for having had such a wonderful teacher supporting her.

  • John Marino - Mr Marino helped AG Bell pursue The Amazing Reading Challenge, motivated our students to read, and advance their passion for literature. It was amazing to see them grow with support from Mr Marion. We're so lucky to have him as the librarian.

  • Alyssa Nickels - Ms Nickels elevated our students to understand social justice and grow their understanding for the world. Every week she stimulated their young thinking with a fantastic book selection . With her guidance and support the students learned to extract the essence of thought provoking books and form an opinion of their own. Ms Nickels has the amazing talent to teach our students how to think. 

  • Laurin Hammond - In a year where everyone had to flex, Ms. Hammond really went the extra mile to make the best possible pe experience for our students with little to work with. She did the best possible to get our students physically active while working in a significantly smaller room than the gym. Took students outside thus meaning she spent the majority of her day in the often not so kind PNW weather. She encouraged our students to be active, learn new game, learn to play with others that might be different. In addition to doing her job as a pe teacher she has frequently filled in substitute roles for colleagues in the building. Ms. Hammond participated in student/family conferences as a way to get to know her students better and to provide he insight to students. Ms. Hammond is truly deserved of this award.

  • Sara Whiteside - Mrs Whiteside has made an outstanding impact on our child’s outlook on school despite the challenges he faces. We greatly appreciate her care as she embraces our child’s challenges as opportunities to grow and celebrates not only his successes, but his unique special self! We can see this growth mindset reflected in our child as he continues to want to work hard to be his best self at school. We are so grateful for her support and care that has gone above and beyond! 

  • Robert Morris - His dedication to making learning fun, and creating a learning environment where all kids feel safe and accepted.

  • Sara Schmied - Mrs. Schmied has gone above and beyond this year. I very much appreciate all of the extra work she has put in with the ever-changing covid protocols and contact tracing. It’s also clear she has a great rapport with students, I see her playing with kids on the playground and she has celebrity status after school when she’s leaving at the end of the day and the GOTR kids run to chant her name. :)

  • Carolyn Christ - I nominate Ms. Christ because she is so nice and helpful. She’s just nice to everyone even people she doesn’t know.

  • Shannon Greer - She’s amazing. 

 

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Dawn Matsui Liu 

  • Dawn is so dedicated to our school community, as both a volunteer and as a paraeducator in the preschool SNAPS program. Dawn stepped into the role of yearbook chair and has spent countless hours putting together a beautiful yearbook for our community. Dawn has also volunteered to support other great PTSA programs, such as Popcorn Friday. She is an absolute joy to work with, is extremely organized, reliable, and is awesome at coming up with a plan b,c,d,and e (she’s that good!). Thank you, Dawn, for all you have given to our community!

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Josh Sharpe

  • Josh is exceptionally dedicated to helping Bell foster a positive and productive learning environment.  He has contributed countless volunteer hours to help support our efforts to keep our students safe and teach them lifelong habits of respect and kindness. Josh consistently provides feedback, is eager to jump in, and is always caring and supportive of all our students, regardless of the situation.  He is an invaluable asset to our school and we are so thankful to have the opportunity to partner with him. 

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Kelly Keller

  • Kelly has taken time out of her busy schedule to be a Girls on the Run coach. Being a Girls on the Run coach last year, I understand the time commitment to be a coach — in terms of getting to know the girls, planning the lessons, and making sure the girls have fun, stay active and learn from the lesson of the day. All of my students in Girls on the Run have an absolute blast and are always excited to attend. They also can’t wait for the 5K. For the reasons above, I nominated Kelly for the Golden Acorn Award.

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Jake Barker

  • Jake has been a key component to us being able to continue the recess soccer program at Bell. All PTSA programs require that we have a volunteer present in addition to the coach and/or vendor. Jake's consistent volunteering on most Tuesdays and Thursdays enabled us to keep this wonderful program running. Jake is a consistent and reliable volunteer at Bell, and he's just a great guy to volunteer with. Thank you for your commitment to the community, Jake!

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Tennile Jones

  • Since she walked into the doors of Bell with her oldest child, Tennile has always offered a helping and creative hand to the Bell community. She has successfully ran the Reflections contest, our staff has been shown our gratitude thanks to the efforts of Tennile, the play has had some of the best backdrops and costuming around thanks to Tennile. Tennile always has a smile to share, is happy to roll up her sleeves to help a student, teacher or family in the community. Tennile exhibits all that the Golden Acorn award is about.

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Leslie Victor

  • Leslie has such a big heart and it shows in all she does. Pantry packs, the holiday gift drive, popcorn Fridays, and all of the behind the scenes writing of checks and fulfilling teacher grants. Her love of this school community is so apparent and all of her efforts are very much appreciated. 
  • Leslie gives so much of her time and her heart to our school community. Leslie chairs the Pantry Pack program and pours her heart into it. Each week, she puts bags of food together for 45+ food-insecure families at Bell. She is passionate about supporting those in-need, and it is truly wonderful to see. In addition to this, she also chairs Popcorn Fridays, which are such fun and exciting days for the students. It's also our most popular volunteer event because Leslie has made it such a wonderful event for everyone involved. In addition to these two programs, she is also the Treasurer on the PTSA board and devotes countless hours to volunteer in any capacity needed at the school. You will often see her supporting the first grade teachers with everything from polaroids to supporting lesson prep. She is amazing!

 

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Keri Morgan

  • Keri has brought amazing extra-curricular activities to our students. As soon as it was safe to do so, she moved forward quickly to make the most of the remaining time in the school year. Her hard work and attention to detail are an asset to our community. Additionally, she has been a fantastic co-coach for the Girls on the Run program. She is calm, organized, and reliable. Her skills as a former teacher are very much appreciated. Thank you so much, Keri!
  • Thank you, Keri Morgan, for your devotion to our school community and your countless hours of volunteering to bring so many awesome programs to Bell. Keri has brought the following to Bell this year: Recess soccer program, Wild Heart Nature Program, After-school enrichment classes, Read 4 Adventure, Oxbow Farms virtual field trip, Launched the online learning resources hub, Created a Black History Month read-a-loud resource page for families, and she’s currently planning Science Day for June. In addition to all of this, she is also a coach for Girls on the Run and was a parent volunteer for the school play. She is simply amazing!

 

Golden Acorn Award

 

 

Brena Gattuccio

  • Brena goes above and beyond for our school, students, staff & families all day, every day.  She is passionate about advocating for students and staff and she gets things done!  If she's not at school helping with whatever activities need doing, then she's at home working behind the scenes on the website, making phone calls, organizing projects or typing up the weekly newsletter.  She does it all!

  • Brena has been a fantastic PTSA President! Her passion and care for her community shine through behind every action and email. She tackles issues big and small and has made real, substantive, and lasting change in our school. Brena has an amazing positive attitude and yet doesn't shy away from the less-than-perfect realities that face our school. Instead, she works tirelessly to make improvements. Brena has a smile and kind word for everyone she meets, and this small but important detail has brought our community together even during our most isolated moments. 

  • What can I say-- Brena is just the absolute best! She works tirelessly for every single person at Bell, always with inclusivity, accessibility, and community in mind. She is so kind, funny, caring, and responsive, with an ear open to feedback and growth opportunities for herself and the PTSA. Bell is so lucky to have her as PTSA president!

  • Brena’s passion for helping our school community is truly inspiring. From big things like a new playground to everyday things (like making sure students have spoons at lunch!) and everything in between, Brena is always putting forth an effort to make our school a better place. I’m so appreciative of the time she puts into all of the programs and activities that build our school community and make the students’ experience at Bell more fun.

  • Brena is always at the school with a smiling face, talks to everyone to really get parents to come together for the students. She makes a lot of effort over the years at Bell and I have noticed and she has taken on so many fun projects for our school.

  • She works tirelessly for our community and our kids. I’ve never been so impressed with a person's commitment to volunteerism and giving back to the community. 

  • Her tireless dedication to improving the school and advocacy for education!

  • Tireless, endless dedication to the PTSA at Bell Elementary with no desire for acknowledgment.

  • Her tireless work in advocacy for Bell students.