Introducing the 2020 Educators of the Year: Karla Hill, Kirsten Tratnick, and Robin Woltering!
Leading up to the Educator Awards 2020 ceremony on Monday, September 14th, we’re introducing each of our amazing educators of the year. Meet more of them here!
Today we’ll meet three of our 2020 Classified School Employees of the Year: Karla Hill (Cle Elum-Roslyn, ESD 105), Kirsten Tratnick (Pioneer, Capitol Region ESD 113), and Robin Woltering (Palouse, Northeast ESD 101).
Karla Hill, Paraeducator, Cle Elum Roslyn High School, Cle Elum Roslyn School District, Cle Elum, WA
Beginning with Karla’s admiration for her third grade teacher, she discovered at a young age that becoming an educator would be her dream career. After having a family, and volunteering in her son’s school, her decision was achievable.
Her role as a para educator allows her to be creative, informative and caring to many high needs students. With restaurant and bookkeeping skills in her background, she played an integral part in helping to create a service program that serves morning beverages to staff members in the district. Her students learn all aspects of the business including sales, customer service, and inventory. In addition, she attends general education classes daily with her students to support their educational needs.
Karla is a quiet leader who inspires through example. She demonstrates patience and dedication daily by working closely with the most reluctant students. Kindness and generosity have shown through the multiple purchases of prom tickets and formal attire for under privileged students. Most importantly, Karla has taught countless special education students that through perseverance and hard work, they could accomplish their ultimate goal of earning their diploma.
Kirsten Tratnick, MTSS Paraeducator, Pioneer Elementary School, Pioneer School District, Shelton, WA
Kirsten has worked for Pioneer School district for 22 years. The first 8 years she worked as a bus driver. While driving for the district she was also a driver trainer for the Co-op that the district belongs to for 2 years. Being a driver trainer is where she discovered her love for teaching.
When her daughter was in school full time, she started volunteering in her class and found her true passion, teaching children. She was offered a job in the elementary and made the switch. For 13 years she was a grade level para teaching kids in all facets of the school. Now she is running a MTSS room in the elementary working with children on how they can be successful in our ever changing world.
Within the last 14 years she has been the president of the PSE Association for the classified staff, negotiating contracts and advocating for her fellow staff members.
Robin Woltering, Paraeducator, Palouse School District, Palouse, WA
Robin is a long-time resident of rural Washington. She represents the essence of what small towns offer children; a strong sense of community, friendship and family. These three have molded her values, and she works diligently to spark inspiration and dedication in her students.
Robin’s journey in education began when she was afforded the gift of being a stay at home mom and childcare provider. Twenty-two years ago, she began working as a para-educator in the school. She has worn many hats over the years, as is a typical practice in rural schools. She has filled each position with enthusiasm. She has worked in Food Service, Pre-School Education, High School Study Skills, and has found her home in the Special Education Department focusing on children with specific needs concentrating mainly on Autism.
Robin believes that being a para-educator is rewarding yet humbling, and believes each of her colleagues across the state are worthy of this great recognition.
Tune into the Educator Awards 2020 to find out who will be the 2020 Washington Classified School Employee of the Year and the 2021 Washington Teacher of the Year! Live on Facebook, Monday, Sept. 14 at 5 pm!