Ashley Kohlmeier, an English teacher and leadership advisor at Aberdeen High School, is the Aberdeen School District’s Teacher of the Year, and Angie Ashe, a longtime bus driver, is the District’s Classified Employee of the Year. Their awards were announced at the annual employee recognition dinner Monday, June 3, at Aberdeen High School.

Ms. Kohlmeier has been with the District since 2013 and there were numerous stores detailing the impact she has had in the classroom and throughout the halls of AHS. Mrs. Ashe has been a bus driver for the District for 27 years and provides office support in the Transportation Department.

Principal Sherri Northington spoke to Ms. Kohlmeier’s outstanding work in the classroom and as a role model for students.

“Ashley is a go-getter and supportive of doing good things for AHS,” Ms. Northington said. “Bobcat Pride is 365, 24/7 for Ashley and this describes the mentality she brings to her student leaders.”

In addition to her English classes, Ms. Kohlmeier has advised the Renaissance Action Team and is currently the ASB advisor and “AVID teacher extraordinaire,” the principal said. She coaches girls’ tennis, organizes pep assemblies with the ASB and is active in professional activities with fellow AHS teachers, such as playing a leadership role in development of positive behavior supports for students (PBIS).

It also was noted that Aberdeen High School has “won” Foodball ever since she became a leadership advisor three years ago.

Ms. Kohlmeier’s selection as the ASD5 Teacher of the Year means she is also the district’s nominee for state teacher of the year.

According to Transportation Manager Ernie Lott, Mrs. Ashe has been driving a school bus so long that she transported many of the parents of her current students. But in all that time, Mrs. Ashe has maintained a work ethic of 100 percent, he said.

“Students have respect for her,” he said. “She is very professional in how she manages them and how she interacts with staff and parents. She is known to go the extra mile to help others.” Mrs. Ashe has continued to seek advanced training, having finished a three-year Transportation Management course at Central Washington University and she is a registered school bus driver trainer. 

Mrs. Ashe’s selection as the ASD5 Classified Employee of the Year means she is also the district’s nominee for state honors. The 2018 honoree, Gayle Capsel, was a state finalist.

Students in the culinary class at AHS prepared the food for the banquet, which was funded thanks to a grant from the Goldberg Foundation.

The banquet honors the work of employees nominated by each school and department.

A.J. West Elementary School: Kelly Stewart, 6th Grade teacher and coach, and Jasmine Gilmore, a para-educator.

Central Park Elementary School: Jordon Beeman, 2nd Grade teacher and Kelly Bielec, the school’s Learning Resource Center technician.

McDermoth Elementary School: Janie Talevich, 3rd Grade teacher, and Virginia Barragan, a para-educator.

Robert Gray Elementary School: Debra Olson-Rios, Kindergarten teacher, and Sarah Pendergrass, a para-educator.

Stevens Elementary School: Ryan Sturm, 1st Grade teacher, and Breanna Gentry, a para-educator and coach.

Miller Junior High School: Matt Harless, social studies teacher and coach, and Eli Lugo, a para-educator.

Aberdeen High School: Ms. Kohlmeier and Mary Clinton, a para-educator.

Hopkins Building: Cyndy Mitby, the district’s preschool coordinator, Patti Jones, a para-educator for Harbor High School/Snug Harbor.

Food Service: Patty Barber, head cook at Robert Gray Elementary School.

Support Services: Doris Daly, administrative assistant in the Business Office.

Maintenance Department: Robert Parson, custodian for the District Office and Central Park Elementary School.