ESD 123
Emergency Messages as of 10:00 pm, Wed. Jun. 20
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from ESD 123. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Youth suicide prevention and mental health community leader, Kristi Haynes, presented by Darcy Weisner
Youth suicide prevention and mental health community leader, Kristi Haynes, presented by Darcy Weisner
MEDIA ALERT: SEWASA Banquet Awards Leaders in Education Across Southeast Washington (Photo) - 06/15/18

RICHLAND, WA – Members of the Southeast Washington Association of School Administrators (SEWASA) celebrated the end of the 2017-2018 school year yesterday evening at the annual SEWASA Honorary Awards Banquet.  On the evening of June 14, superintendents, community educational advocates, and school administrators representing the twenty-three school districts across southeast Washington gathered at the Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland to recognize outstanding contributions to education.

The annual SEWASA Awards ceremony is hosted each year by Educational Service District (ESD) 123 in partnership with the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA). During the June 14 ceremony, the following recognitions were presented:

  • Award of Merit – Dr. Ray Tolcacher, former superintendent of Prosser School District.  This award was presented to Dr. Tolcacher for his demonstrated effective leadership at a regional level and for significant contributions to WASA through his work in the field of education in Washington.
  • Community Leadership Awards:
    • Dan Martin, Burbank Grange (Columbia School District)
    • Judi Pilcher, Community Member (Dayton School District)
    • Ed Townsend, Community Member (Dixie School District)
    • Kristi Haynes, Prevention Education Consultant (ESD 123)
    • John Doran, Finley Athletic Director (Finley School District)
    • Paul Schneidmiller, World Wide Travel (Walla Walla Public Schools)
    • Kathy Valdez, Becky McGuin, and Katherine Bingham, Franklin County Graphic (North Franklin School District)
    • Dr. Rebekah Woods, Columbia Basin College (Pasco School District)
    • Julie Funfar, Mary Guay, Pam Kindle, Denise Homer, and Mary Gies, Richland Education Foundation (Richland School District)
    • Joe Green, Charlotte King, Doris Brower, Eleanor Ferreira, Dorothy Larimore, and Myrlen McKinnon, Brookdale Canyon Lakes (Kennewick School District)
    • David McIlroy, Community Member (Starbuck School District)
    • Chris Wallace, Community Member (Touchet School District)
    • Russ Knopp, School Board Member (Waitsburg School District)

The Community Leadership Award is presented to community members or groups in recognition of their outstanding contributions toward education. Recipients are non-WASA members. Specific criteria includes: benefit to students, leadership, motivation, success, cooperation/coordination with local district, recognition by others, and history of service.

  • Retirement Award:
    • Dr. Ray Tolcacher, Prosser School District
    • Dr. Lou Gates, Columbia School District
    • Gregg Taylor, North Franklin School District

The Retirement Award honors service to the profession. This award is presented in honor of service to the profession to a recipient who is retiring from his/her administrative responsibilities and no longer eligible for active WASA membership.

ESD 123 Superintendent Mr. Darcy Weisner states, “The winners of these awards have made a lasting impact on the students and schools across our entire region. Their work is the kind that unfortunately doesn’t always receive the recognition it deserves, but does more for student success than people can imagine.”  Superintendent Weisner went on to say, “Our mission statement at ESD 123 is ‘One Team…Helping all students realize their dreams and aspirations.’ We are proud to have these people on our team.”

ESD 123 wishes to congratulate all of the award recipients recognized at the 2018 awards banquet. To view all photographs from the evening’s celebration, visit the ESD 123 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ESD123. For more information, contact Molly Curtiss at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

###

About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Kris Mars
Kris Mars
MEDIA ALERT - Kennewick's Kris Mars Named Regional Teacher of the Year (Photo) - 06/07/18

KENNEWICK, WA – Educational Service District (ESD) 123 is proud to announce the selection of Kristine (Kris) Mars as the Regional Teacher of the Year.  Currently serving as a third grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School in Kennewick, Ms. Mars’ story is one of resilience in the face of tragedy and a career that is much more than a profession.  As the regional recipient, Ms. Mars now moves on to compete against finalists from Washington’s eight other ESDs in hopes of being named as the 2019 State Teacher of the Year.

Commonly described as “the type of teacher every child deserves,” Ms. Mars is a beacon of inspiration to her peers, administration, and students.  Her decision to pursue a career in education was motivated by the tragic loss of her late husband, Bob Mars, who was killed during his time as a teacher and coach.  Ms. Mars found the strength and grace to transform this life-altering tragedy into a passion for making a difference in the lives of students. 

In her classroom at Hawthorne Elementary, Ms. Mars utilizes innovative strategies to engage and educate from a whole child approach.  Parents and peers will attest that Ms. Mars goes well beyond simply covering the curriculum.  She creates a magical, inspiring environment for her students that nurtures critical thinking and leadership.  Her classroom is one filled with music, movement, and a belief that all students can and will succeed.

ESD 123 Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Mr. Troy Tornow, led the selection process for identifying the recipient of Southeast Washington’s Regional Teacher of the Year.

“Every letter of support for Ms. Mars spoke to her genuine care for each one of her students,” says Mr. Tornow.  “She is someone who not only persevered through great adversity, but continues to keep her eye on the prize to make a lasting impact on the lives of each one of her students.  Her passion to do what is right is beyond inspiring.”

As the Regional Teacher of the Year, Ms. Mars will attend a long weekend of interviews, a leadership retreat, and an awards ceremony, all organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which operates the State Teacher of the Year program.  Should Ms. Mars be selected as Washington State’s Teacher of the Year recipient, she will have the opportunity to compete for the national title.

For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, ESD 123 Director of Communications, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.

###

About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: Kris Mars
Peter Peterson
Peter Peterson
MEDIA ALERT: New Kiona-Benton Superintendent Named (Photo) - 05/21/18

BENTON CITY, WA – The Kiona-Benton City School Board of Directors announce Peter Peterson as the new district superintendent, effective July 1, 2018.

Mr. Peterson was one of four finalists identified by the Board of Directors for their superintendent position on May 8. The school district, with the aid of Educational Service District 123, began its search for a successor superintendent following the planned resignation of current Superintendent Wade Haun, effective June 30.

According to Julie Rheinschmidt, Kiona-Benton City School Board Chair, “Mr. Peterson's student centered vision and approachable caring nature are attributes our staff and community indicated they desired in our next superintendent. We are excited to welcome him to our KiBe family.”

Currently a Director of Assessment and Student Services for the Walla Walla School District, Mr. Peterson has 17 years of school administration experience.

“I believe that the Kiona-Benton City School District is the perfect place for my wife and me right now,” says Peterson. “As the next superintendent, I look forward to joining a community that supports its kids and schools tremendously, and that pride is evident anytime I speak to a community or staff member. In meeting with staff, there is a genuine excitement about the work to be done, and I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead with them."

Kiona-Benton has utilized the services of Educational Service District 123 to conduct their superintendent search.  For more information, contact Mr. Darcy Weisner at 509.544.5785.

###

About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Darcy Weisner and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: Peter Peterson