Teacher Roster

SHAWNA SANDSTROM

  • School: Ben Franklin Elementary School
  • Teaches: Music
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

NIKHIL JOSHI

  • School: Raisbeck Aviation High School
  • Teaches: 11-12th Grade: AP Calculus, Astronomy, & Flight by Design
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

ABBEY BUCHERT

  • School: Decatur Elementary School
  • Teaches: 2nd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

TIM MAGDZIARZ

  • School: Juanita High School
  • Teaches: 9th-12th Grade: Special Education/Mathematics
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

ZOE MANZO

  • School: Sand Point Elementary
  • Teaches: 4-5th Grade
  • Favorite Player: CJ Prosise

DOUGLAS PENTLAND

  • School: Concord International Elementary School
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

TRAVIS PETERSON

  • School: Whittier Elementary School
  • Teaches: 3rd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

TAMARA NEDELL

  • School: New Start High School
  • Teaches: 9-12th Grade: Language Arts
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

MICHELE SCHRAM

  • School: Kent Elemenetary School
  • Teaches: 5-6th Grade: Odyssey
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

MEG HERLOFSKY

  • School: Dimmitt Middle School
  • Teaches: 6-8th Grade: Special Education Math/Reading/Writing
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

TIFFANY EVENSTAD

  • School: Sunrise Elementary School
  • Teaches: 3rd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Shaquem Griffin

VANESSA SEDENO

  • School: Challenger Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

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SHAWNA SANDSTROM

  • School: Ben Franklin Elementary School
  • Teaches: Music
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Shawna Sandstrom stands out because of her unique approach, expertise with all things music and ability to identify individual student’s strengths — even when she works with hundreds of kids!” said Riley Frazier, the parent of a Ben Franklin student. “Mrs.Sandstrom makes music accessible, offering her students multiple ways to get involved. She teaches traditional choir, but also films music videos with the kids. They learn how to play instruments, but also how to collaborate, perform and play to their strengths. She's the kind of teacher that everyone wants their child to have. And by the nature of being a specialist, every student in the school gets to be in her class!” Frazier nominated Sandstrom for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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NIKHIL JOSHI

  • School: Raisbeck Aviation High School
  • Teaches: 11-12th Grade: AP Calculus, Astronomy, & Flight by Design
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Passion, dedication, knowledge, experience are just some of words that describe Nik Joshi. He inspires, motivates and leads young adults to go beyond what they thought they could achieve,” said Principal Therese Tipton. “Nik juggles a multitude of responsibilities while ensuring every student is held to high standards—and every student knows that Nik cares deeply about their success. Students flock to Nik’s classes because he just ‘gets’ teenagers. He takes the time to prepare lessons that engage students; he has a wicked sense of humor, is brilliant in his knowledge base, and educates in a way that leads students to the learning.” Tipton nominated Joshi for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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ABBEY BUCHERT

  • School: Decatur Elementary School
  • Teaches: 2nd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Abbey Buchert is a truly gifted teacher who knows how to encourage all students to be their very best. She helps her 2nd-graders grow, take risks, evaluate themselves, and work together to build a kind and caring community where everyone has responsibilities to themselves and others. Kids in her class love her deeply and want to work hard because of her unfailing positive attitude toward each of them, toward teaching, and toward their school and community,” said Kjersti Braunstein, a student parent. “Abbey is one of those teachers who connects with and inspires every student in her class, pushing them to learn at their very best. My kids come home thinking they have had fun all day. She teaches them the basics, but also gets them asking questions. She sets them on a path to explore the world, and then they keep walking and discovering,” said Elizabeth Lunney. Braunstein and Lunney are among several parents who nominated Buchert for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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TIM MAGDZIARZ

  • School: Juanita High School
  • Teaches: 9th-12th Grade: Special Education/Mathematics
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Tim Magdziarz has had a substantial impact on Juanita High School’s special education and general education population over the past 18 years. As his co-teacher for several years, I have witnessed his exceptional patience in working with students who often have social, emotional and/or academic challenges. He gains their trust by listening and earns their respect by holding them accountable for their actions and decisions,” said colleague Meg Lewis. “Tim gives students hope and helps them develop strategies to navigate school and work. Each June, there are many seniors who owe their diploma to his continual support. Tim has had many offers to work at the district level, but his heart is in the classroom and working directly with students.” Lewis nominated Magdziarz for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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ZOE MANZO

  • School: Sand Point Elementary
  • Teaches: 4-5th Grade
  • Favorite Player: CJ Prosise

“Zoe Manzo teaches at the highest level and brings a sense of confidence, creativity and excellence to her instruction. I had the privilege of serving as a volunteer in her classroom and saw firsthand her engaging, encouraging style of teaching. She is dynamic, fun and truly cares about each student’s progress and success, both academically and in life!” said Tracy Brown, the parent of a former student. “Ms. Manzo teaches a diverse group of students — some traditional learners, some who have come from other countries, some with very challenging home lives, and some who learn very differently than others. She never fails to meet each student exactly where he or she needs to be met. She genuinely cares about the growth and success of Sand Point’s students.” Brown nominated Manzo for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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DOUGLAS PENTLAND

  • School: Concord International Elementary School
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Mr. Pentland has only recently begun his second year at Concord, but he has already made his positive presence felt. He is gentle, loving and enthusiastic with all of his students,” said Robin Schwartz, a Concord parent and PTA member. “Mr. Pentland brings so much good energy to the classroom and our school community. He truly appreciates the energy first-graders have and encourages them to move around if they need to while they do their work. A true team player who goes the extra mile, he is always willing to pitch in with co-workers, as well as with parents and the PTA. And he is a double-dutch expert!” Schwartz nominated Pentland for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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TRAVIS PETERSON

  • School: Whittier Elementary School
  • Teaches: 3rd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Travis Peterson is a teacher who creates a classroom environment that is truly inclusive of all students. He is willing to do things outside the standard curriculum to ensure students are engaged, learning what matters, and able to access what they need to know,” said Maggie Mattmiller, a district colleague. “Mr. Peterson is the kind of teacher who will spend a few extra days on an activity rather than moving on if he can see students are excited about what they are doing or need more time to work through something. He creates a space for students to take charge of and get excited about their learning—one that encourages them to more closely investigate what they are curious about.” Mattmiller nominated Peterson for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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TAMARA NEDELL

  • School: New Start High School
  • Teaches: 9-12th Grade: Language Arts
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Tamara Nedell is committed to creating a safe, positive environment for her students. She develops and tailors reading programs to meet their varied needs and strengths, investing considerable time and energy to help them be successful,” said Ilse Amador, a Highline Public Schools colleague. “New Start graduates frequently return and share how Tamara changed their lives. They credit her for teaching them how to write an essay, how to read and how to actually enjoy reading. Importantly, her students know that whatever challenges they may be facing in school or at home, they have someone who truly believes in them.” Amador nominated Nedell for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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MICHELE SCHRAM

  • School: Kent Elemenetary School
  • Teaches: 5-6th Grade: Odyssey
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Michelle Schram has been a Kent teacher for more than 20 years. As both a colleague and the parent of a former student, I’ve seen firsthand her dedication to her students,” said Patty Dunmire. “Michelle expects the best each student can give and will go out of her way to help them succeed—and it shows. Many of her former students have told me that they still hear her voice telling them they can accomplish whatever they try. Several have been ASB presidents, valedictorians and scholarship recipients, who have gone on to attend world-class colleges, thanks in part to the skills and confidence Michelle instills.” Dunmire nominated Schram for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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MEG HERLOFSKY

  • School: Dimmitt Middle School
  • Teaches: 6-8th Grade: Special Education Math/Reading/Writing
  • Favorite Player: Russell Wilson

“Meg Herlofsky is an exceptionally caring teacher. Through her leadership and modeling, she is teaching our struggling students core academic and communication skills, as well as ways to connect with adults and what it means to be held accountable,” said school colleague Harumi (Angela) Sasao. “A member of several school committees, Meg is always ready to offer ideas that advocate for students in both our specialized and general education classes. She collaborates with teachers, families, mental healthcare providers and students to provide quality, student-led interventions that serve some of our most vulnerable populations. Meg is a school leader with heart and humility and is an irreplaceable part of our Dimmitt team.” Sasao nominated Herlofsky for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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TIFFANY EVENSTAD

  • School: Sunrise Elementary School
  • Teaches: 3rd Grade
  • Favorite Player: Shaquem Griffin

“Tiffany Evenstad plays an inspirational role in her students’ lives. Even though my son is moving into a new grade this school year, Ms. Evenstad has forever left an impact on his education and overall self-esteem. She was able to transform this formerly shy and reserved young student into an active, participating learner that felt confident in sharing his ideas and answers in the classroom,” said Gina Chau. “Ms. Evenstad’s passion for teaching truly shows through her actions. Her ability to incorporate real-life lessons and custom worksheets into her curriculum help bring out each child's strengths and capabilities and connects her to every student on a personal level. Seeing my son blossom into a confident child has meant a great deal to me as a parent.” Chau nominated Evenstad for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

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VANESSA SEDENO

  • School: Challenger Elementary School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Doug Baldwin

“Vanessa Sedeno is an unbelievable teacher and a beautiful person. Our son was in her very first kindergarten class for the 2016-17 school year and from the beginning, my husband and I knew she was special,” said Krista Martin. “Our son was anxious about attending all-day kindergarten, and initially there were often tears. Vanessa would take his hand, comfort him and walk with him to class. She made him feel special and welcome every day he was in her classroom. Her kindness, compassion and amazing attitude will never be forgotten.” Martin nominated Sedeno for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.