Katherine Baxter, a special education teacher at Canyon Creek Middle School in Washougal, received the 2022 Public School Employees of Washington (PSE) Honorary Member of the Year award at the PSE Annual Convention on Saturday, July 23.
The PSE Honorary Member of the Year award honors individuals who have supported classified school employees in a significant way.
“Katherine supports classified staff by ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed and are recognized for their accomplishments on the job,” said PSE awards committee member Siomara Ruiz.
Sandra Goza, a paraeducator at Canyon Creek Middle School, nominated Baxter for the award.
“Katherine has always made sure that I went to any workshops that would help me in my position,” Goza said. “She understands the value of ensuring our PSE members are well trained to support students. For the past 10 years, Katherine has made sure that Classified School Employee Week is celebrated and that our members know how appreciated they are.”
Baxter is a “tireless advocate for her students and colleagues, leading peers and students with compassion,” according to a news release.
“Her quality work supports both students and the hardworking education support professionals at Washougal School District,” the news release states.
Baxter volunteers for school athletic functions as a cashier and leads a group of eighth-graders to maintain the school garden.
“Katherine’s work ethic, hospitality, generosity, creativity, and sense of humor make Canyon Creek better every single day, and we are all so grateful to call her a colleague,” said Heidi Kellar, a seventh-grade teacher at Canyon Creek Middle School.
“Katherine is a perfect example of a certificated teacher caring about classified staff,” Margie Shoemaker, a retired Washougal PSE member and custodial substitute, added. “She has the utmost respect for all classified staff.”