Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards are to recognize outstanding individuals in the education field who are dedicated to the success of our students. We have exceptional administrators, teachers, classroom assistants and school staff in our district and this year the following individuals are being recognized for just that.
Melissa Cunnington is a Choir Teacher at McLoughlin High School and Central Middle School and has worked in the district for 21 years. Melissa not only teaches music, she teaches the meaning of music, and you can see the joy it brings to her and her students. A former student of hers said, “Music is an escape for many students, it can open one’s life to so much and be expressed in many ways, it can also save lives, too. That should never be forgotten.”
Steffany Esser is a Social Studies Teacher at McLoughlin High School and she has taught in the district for 14 years. Steffany has earned the respect of all her students because they know how much she cares about them. She has a wonderful ability to create amazing, engaging lessons for students and adapt them to the needs of individual students in her classes.
Jennifer Kessler is a Lead Cook at Gib Olinger Elementary School and has worked 12 years in the Milton-Freewater Unified School District. Described as a “seriously dedicated employee,” Jennifer has given so much during the pandemic, working diligently to ensure students receive meals.
Heather Vaughn is a Special Education Teacher at Gib Olinger Elementary School and has worked in the district for 19 years. Heather shows the most caring and loving personality to the children who are lucky enough to have her as a teacher. A parent of one her students said “she provided my son with the best care and has continued to watch him grow and show joy in his accomplishments. She is just an amazing individual with a heart of gold.”