No matter what the task is that a Battle Ground Public Schools classified employee accomplishes in his or her day, it's focused on delivering the support that students and staff need in our schools to create a successful learning environment. Gov. Jay Inslee has declared that next week, March 9-13, is Classified Public School Employee Week. It's an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the people behind the scenes and recognize their efforts in supporting student learning. "Classified employees impact every aspect of the educational experience we deliver to our students by maintaining the safety and efficiency of our schools," said Mark Hottowe, BGPS superintendent. "They play an important role in our educational mission, and I am glad to have this opportunity to recognize them."
From the time students board a school bus to the time they head home at the end of the day, every aspect of their educational experience is impacted by a classified school employee.
Join us in showing appreciation to the people who work tirelessly to prepare our buildings for each school day and provide teachers the support they need to prepare students for life's journey. The BGPS Board of Directors will read the governor's Classified Public School Employee Week proclamation at its meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. You can recognize classified employees by sharing via social media your appreciation for the work that these BGPS employees do. The Public School Employees of Washington has asked school staffs to share on Twitter photos of classified staff. Tag and look for our BGPS staff on Twitter with the hashtag #classifiedBGPS.
Battle Ground Public Schools has more than 600 classified staff supporting the efforts of 830 teachers and 60 administrators. It would take volumes to share all the classified stories in our district; here, we highlight three of the many who have dedicated their careers to supporting education in our schools: HVAC technician Tim Bealer, health room assistant Pam Mason, and attendance secretary Dot Loran.
Tim Bealer, HVAC
Bealer monitors the HVAC systems in the district's north schools, including Amboy Middle and Yacolt Primary schools, Chief Umtuch Middle and Captain Strong Primary schools, and the Daybreak campus. In any given day he climbs ladders to examine systems in attic spaces and studies a computer monitor to determine the health of a system. He has seen many changes over the years, especially in the differences between older and newer HVAC systems. Newer systems monitor the air quality in buildings, bringing more fresh air from outside into the buildings, and exhausting carbon dioxide gas outside the schools.
Bealer enjoys interacting with students and staff in the schools and makes it his goal to smile at each person he greets. His wife, Julie Bealer, is a fifth grade teacher at Daybreak. Tim has four children.
Dot Loran, Attendance Office
Dot Loran gets to know the students at Battle Ground High School by the activities in which they participate. She knows which students take part in BMX competitions, and who has traveled overseas. This is her second year monitoring student attendance at Battle Ground High School, where students pass parent-signed notes excusing absences through a window. "It's interesting to learn the things our students are doing and experiencing," Loran said. "I get to know what they enjoy by their activities."
Loran has served BGPS students in two classified capacities in her 24 years with the district. Prior to BGHS she also worked as an attendance secretary at Summit View High School for a year and a half, and before that she helped Maple Grove students learn to read one-on-one and in groups as a paraprofessional for 20 years.
At BGHS, Loran enters attendance data and monitors attendance records for truancy. She notes reasons for absences, which the state requires, and sometimes tracks illness symptoms for the health department so it can determine if there is a trend. Loran has three children who graduated from BGHS and two grandkids, one of whom goes to Tukes Valley Primary.
Pam Mason, Health Room
Mason, a grandmother of nine children all in Battle Ground schools, cares for students under the watchful eyes of a shelf full of Eeyores, her favorite storybook character. With a smile and an abundance of positive energy, she consoles anxious kids who are worried that mom will be angry because a fall resulted in an injury and dirt on their jeans. And of course there are the "frequent fliers" who Mason says will visit her at least two days each week all throughout the year. "Some might come in to see if I'm okay or just check out what's going on," Mason said.
Perhaps one of the best parts of her position is that Mason gets to help with student health screenings on hearing and vision. She says it's gratifying to know that a student has gotten the glasses they need as a result of the school checkup. "It's those moments when I know that we've done what we're here for," Mason said. Mason's two daughters attended Pleasant Valley schools and graduated from Prairie High School. (Mason is pictured with one of her granddaughters, a PVP student.)