The following employees were selected to receive January 2022 Employee Excellence Awards and recognition at the Jan. 11 school board virtual meeting. The recipients will be recognized via Zoom.

  • Bobbi Geenty, principal, Marshall Elementary
  • Yiqi Guo, teacher, Franklin Elementary
  • Lori Talley, PBIS coach, Marshall Elementary
  • Joel Thoreson, teacher, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  • Desirée Wright, program specialist, curriculum and instruction department

The Excellence Award is given to five employees and/or small teams from October to June each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.

Bobbi Geenty, principal, Marshall Elementary

Bobbi GeentyMornings Bobbi can be found greeting students by name as they arrive. Throughout the day she often steps into classrooms to check in and help students. At the end of the day, she is present for student dismissal. Among the many demands of her job, which also include serving on several district committees, Bobbi makes time to work with students and support her staff. She is known to be a great listener, effective problem solver and talented leader.

Yiqi Guo, teacher, Franklin Elementary

Yiqi GuoYiqi cares deeply about each of her students. She calls at least one student’s parent or guardian every school day to communicate proactively about their child. She takes the time to watch her students during recess, especially at the beginning of the year, to see if anyone is struggling socially so that she can support them. One student for whom reading used to be a challenge now loves reading so much that he visits the library during recess at least once per day. Yiqi’s classroom is a place where students thrive.

Lori Talley, PBIS coach, Marshall Elementary

Lori TalleyLori brings an abundance of creativity and enthusiasm to her work. Last school year she planned a drive-thru winter wonderland event for families that subsequently became a school tradition. She created daily videos to help students feel more connected during remote learning. This year, she planned a pumpkin patch event for students who were unable to go on a field trip. Lori also created and implemented a kindness campaign that has transformed the culture at Marshall. Students and staff work hard to instill kindness everywhere they go.

Joel Thoreson, teacher, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

Joel ThoresonStudents appreciate Joel’s ability to meet their unique needs. He checks in with them regularly, listens patiently and helps solve problems. His communication is clear, and his lessons are engaging. Said one student, “Mr. Thoreson is an advocate that will always have your back and will care for you and be on your side no matter what.” Added another, “Mr. Thoreson lets everyone have a voice and makes sure they know their voice is heard.” His supportive classroom environment makes everyone feel included.

Desirée Wright, program specialist, curriculum and instruction department

Desiree WrightFor many families whose children receive Highly Capable services, Desirée is on the frontline of communication as she connects them with the support they need. Her work goes in-depth as she analyzes data to anticipate students’, families’ and teachers’ needs. Desirée has developed tools to ensure that data analysis is performed in a method that includes and serves underrepresented students. She also handles many of the details that support the College in the High School program that gives student opportunities to earn college credit. Her work positively impacts thousands of students.

Congratulations to these staff members! They join the hundreds of VPS employees who have received Excellence Awards since 2007.