2015 Educator of the Month Winners

January 2015 Educator of the Month Winner- Sarah Leighow of Northshore Christian Academy

2015 Educator of the Month Winners

Rick Merrill presents the 2015 Educator of the Month award to outstanding educators in Snohomish County.  The recipient receives a plaque and $500 to help defray miscellaneous expenses for the classroom.

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am to sponsor a local educator each month.  

Rick Merrill is recognizing our educators for their hard work and sacrifices. 

January 2015  Educator of the Month Winner- Sarah Leighow of Northshore Christian Academy 

Sarah Leighow is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Northshore Christian Academy in Everett. Mrs. Leighow goes above and beyond for the children and parents.  

Her love of the children and teaching shows in all the details such as correspondence with the parents and keeping them involved with the children’s lessons and day to day activities.  

She shows such respect and love for the children.  We think she is the best teacher out there!”

Ms. Leighow was nominated by a student. 

February 2015 Educator of the Month Winner is Kathleen Vigil of Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help

February 2015 Educator of the Month Winner is Kathleen Vigil of Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Kathleen Vigil is a 3rd grade teacher and is a credit to her profession.  She is willing to go the extra mile for her students. Her leadership of her students is a credit to her professionalism and her religion.  

She is willing to take extra steps to ensure that her students excel in life and academically.  Each Sunday she is a visible presence at the 10:00 mass at Immaculate Conception Church as an usher with her husband, and always has a smile on her face and an encouraging word for each of her students inside and outside the classroom. 

I am proud to say that she has been a positive influence on my daughter and each of the students that she has taught. 

Ms. Vigil was nominated by a parent.

March 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Kathleen Wilde of the Marysville School District

March 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Kathleen Wilde of the Marysville School District

Chief Kathleen Wilde, USN(RET) is in her third year of teaching as the Naval Science Instructor for the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (NJROTC) for the Marysville School District. 

Since her retirement from the U.S. Navy, she has been my teaching partner. In her first three years, she has established herself as a dynamic teacher and mentor for the students in our program as well as the rest of the students she comes in contact with. Chief Wilde inspires and challenges our students who represent all of the high schools in the Marysville School District. She is energetic and personable. Chief Wilde is very good at engaging students with critical thinking skills about course curriculum and current events. She provides sage advice and counseling to all students about career opportunities in the military services and civilian sector educating our students on skills needed for post high school endeavors.

In addition to her teaching duties, she coaches our extracurricular 3 drill teams and 2 color guards. Two of the drill teams and 1 color guard earned invitations to the NW JROTC Drill and Rifle Conference Regional Championships in March at MT Tahoma HS competing against other JROTC Programs representing all services from Oregon and Washington. Our color guards provide honor guard services throughout Snohomish County and the Puget Sound Area.


Chief Wilde has rapidly established herself in the district and NJROTC Program as a teacher and mentor. The last two years, Marysville NJROTC Unit has been designated a Distinguished Unit by the US Navy, an award reserved for the top 20% of the over 500 Navy JROTC Units around the world. Chief Wilde has my strongest recommendation for your Teacher of the Month Award.”

Ms. Wilde was nominated by a fellow colleague.

April 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Scott Moberly at Arlington High School

April 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Scott Moberly at Arlington High School

Mr. Moberly is the Drama teacher at Arlington High School. 

The ability of a teacher or coach to excite and encourage young people to greatness is what I want my kids to experience. Mr. Scott Moberly has done that and then some. 

I have a freshman daughter at Arlington High School who until this past September had never heard of Mr. Moberly. As an elective she took his Intro. to Drama class. Being 1 of only 2 freshman in the class had my 14 year old “nervous as hell”. With a push here, a nudge there, 1 month into the class Mr. Moberly had convinced her to try out for the spring musical. Well, as they say in show business, the rest is history. LOL!

The success is burning a fire of enjoyment. The enjoyment is fueling her confidence. Her new found confidence is pushing her to work and strive for more. She’s now looking for vocal lessons. Her and some cast mates are looking at summer theater groups. 

She received an A in the first drama class and is taking it again this semester. She’s already signed up for Advanced Drama next year.” 

My background may not be in the Arts. But as a retired Army Captain and helicopter pilot, and a basketball coach of almost 30 years I can tell when a leader has their “act” together. 

Mr. Moberly teaches 5 classes of drama/day, directs 2 huge productions/year, oversees a drama club recognized enough to take trips to New York and Ashland every other year, has kids banging down his door to get involved, coordinates the non casted” students in stage crafting and lighting and production. 

After minutes of being around him one can tell he does this for the love of theater…and the love of the kids.

Mr. Moberly was nominated by a parent.

May 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Dana Krsnadas of Marysville Getchell High School.

May 2015 Educator of the Month Winner  Dana Krsnadas of Marysville Getchell High School.

Ms. Krsnadas is a teacher of marketing classes along with the DECA advisor and helps students run the Charger Station. 

Below are the multiple entries that we received 

“Ms. Krsnadas runs our clubs and teaches us skills that will help us be successful in the future” Adie H.

“Ms. Krsnadas deserves this award because she’s always hard working and has classes that can help students find a better career.  She also runs the student store and an organization called DECA” Jackie H.

“Ms. K deserves this because she is the best DECA advisor and loves all of her students!  She gets to know everyone personally and genuinely cares about our future!” Kristin N.

“Ms. K deserves this because she is always there for her students and cares for all her students.  She is a great teacher” Kaitlin S.

September 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Lisa Curtis of Preschool Director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church

September 2015  Educator of the Month Winner Lisa Curtis of Preschool Director at Ebenezer Lutheran Church

Lisa Curtis is the Director & Teacher at Ebenezer.  She, as well as the other teachers, Anya & Tammy, have been keeping this wonderful school alive for many years.  Lisa makes a very low wage and they haven’t had raises in over 5 years. This is a not-profit Christian based school.  Lisa has worked hundreds of extra unpaid hours over the years. Her 3 boys & husband have also volunteered many hours. She also puts on summer camps at no pay for her.  The school has struggled financially for almost all years while still offering scholarships. She is a wonderful kind-hearted woman who really deserves this acknowledgement!”

October 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Jenny Granger of Emerson Elementary in Snohomish School District

October 2015 Educator of the Month Winner Jenny Granger of Emerson Elementary in Snohomish School District.

Jenny has taken her love of reading and kids and created a most successful summer reading program.  When it was clear that many of her students were not able to do summer reading because they lacked books, Jenny decided to create the Snohomish Book Cafe.  She collected books, wrote grants, and worked tirelessly to get books into the hands of kids. Each week, the book cafe bookmobile heads to different locations in Snohomish (trailer parks, Boys and Girls Club, etc) with the simple goal of getting books into the hands of kids.  The books are for the kids to keep and love.

Jenny works tirelessly to make sure that the book cafe runs smoothly.  While she is not doing the weekly runs this year, there is not a week that goes by that she does not find herself looking for books for kids (yes, she does take special requests), organizing the book donations, or looking for ways to connect more kids to books, simply put, she is my hero!  The thing is, though, that she is not doing anything that millions of teachers do day in and day out. She is putting her students first. Isn’t that what we look to them to do?

November 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Claire Baker, of Jackson Elementary in the Everett School District.

November 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Claire Baker, of Jackson Elementary in the Everett School District.

Claire Baker goes above and beyond with her students and community.

Claire taught her students to crochet for years with her mother’s help. In the last two years she and I started an after-school Fiber Arts Club to continue teaching the students crochet along with other ways to work with fiber.

She has also taken on a leading role in the summer reading challenge, sending postcards to students, encouraging staff to take pictures of themselves reading, and even asking her sons band to perform a concert if the school reaches their reading goal.

Claire devotes many hours and her own income to prepare her class to be a place for learning. She is an outstanding part of our Jackson community and deserves to be acknowledged as such. Thank you for considering my request.

The stylish hat that Rick is wearing was made by the 5th grade students from Jackson Elementary!

December 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Matt Grover, of Hilltop Elementary in the Edmonds School District.

December 2015 Educator of the Month Award Is Matt Grover, of Hilltop Elementary in the Edmonds School District.

I have had the great pleasure of not only working with Mr. Matt Grover, but my son was lucky enough to have him as his third grade teacher. Mr. Grover is an amazing teacher who shows a huge amount of care for his students. He has such a calm and kind manner, and treats his students with so much respect. 

He has an incredible way of helping all his students to grow to love reading. My son was a good reader going into third grade, but gained a great love and interest in books by the end of the school year because of Mr. Grover. Mr. Grover helped in creating a boy’s book club which brought over 50 boys to gather after school to read and talk about books. It was amazing to see so many boys gather, and I am confident that it was a successful club because of Mr. Grover. 

I feel blessed and fortunate that my son was able to learn and grow from Mr. Grover. My son says, “He is a good teacher because he read us a lot of really cool books. He is very nice and doesn’t ever get mad. I learned to love reading a lot and I learned a lot of math.” 

I hope you will choose Mr. Grover as a teacher of the month, he is more than deserving of this award!

Click Here to Return to the Educator of the Month Home Page

Want to hear more from us… 
You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below. 

2014 Educator of the Month Winners

October 2014 Educator of the Month Kim Hanegan of Skyline Elementary School

2014 Educator of the Month Winners

The Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill has been a part of the Snohomish County community since 1994.  It is important to Rick to support our neighbors, local businesses and schools.  

Over the summer Rick had decided that he wanted to reward our local educators for the hard work and dedication that they give to our local students and communities.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 am and the Everett Silvertips to sponsor a local educator each month.  

October 2014 Educator of the Month Kim Hanegan of Skyline Elementary School

Kim is an outstanding para-educator who supports Kindergartners and English Language Learners in both classroom and small group situations.  

In my 21 years of teaching, I have never seen a more creative, caring person who can build learning through games and other fun approaches.  She assesses student needs and gives intentional instruction for specific skills. Kim has a fabulous rapport with students, teachers and administrators.  Students just love her and are constantly asking me if it is their turn with Mrs. Hanegan. She has given seminars in the past to train other district Paraeducators on her techniques.  

Our school has a population with unique challenges and Kim embraces them.  No one is more beloved and deserving to be recognized as “Teacher of the Month” than Kim Hanegan.

Nominated by Bill Kusler

December 2014 Educator of the Month Jim Strickland of Marysville Pilchuck High School

December 2014 Educator of the Month Jim Strickland of Marysville Pilchuck High School

From the day I started attending Pilchuck in my Junior year, Mr.Strickland was a sort of crutch for me to lean on. He teaches the Special Ed students of Pilchuck, and out of all the Special Ed teachers I’ve had, he’s been the kindest and most patient. For everything I have a hard time understanding, he’s been able to explain it simply, and in a way that I can understand and follow, and without making me feel stupid. 

I think the most impacting thing he did for me…was when a group of girls started to harass me in PE. When I was scared to tears and didn’t know who to run to, I went to him and he took a minute away from his class to help me calm down and get my mom to pick me up.

When I considered running away, he talked with me about it, and instead of criticizing me for it, he suggested I go to a teen support home for a little while so I would still be safe while letting my mom and I have some time apart. When I had trouble in my other classes, he’d try to help me understand.  When I told him I wanted to publish a novel, he excitedly supported me every step of the way. Whenever I had a hard time in school, whether it be education or people, or just my emotions overwhelming me, he was always the one I thought of first, and always the one who was most willing to help me.

A lot of his students have problems communicating with others, and he knows that even non special education students do too, and so he started an Open Mic club at the school, to help students at Pilchuck express themselves and share their interests.

I can honestly say I would not have made it through high school without him. My only wish is that I had him as a teacher at all my other schools. 

Nominated by a student.  

Click Here to Return to the Educator of the Month Home Page

Want to hear more from us… 

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below. 

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.