Three Ridgefield School District (RSD) employees and a business partner were honored during the District Convocation Celebration on August 25. Howard Anderson, Tonia Rice, and Matt Whitton were recipients of the district’s Exemplary Service Award, while Terry Hurd was recognized as RSD’s Business Partner of the Year.
Anderson, a security officer in the district since 2012, was honored for the strong connections he makes with students. Ridgefield High School Assistant Principal Allen Andringa noted, “Students love Howard, and go out of their way to get his attention.”
Rice, the Union Ridge Elementary secretary and a Ridgefield employee since 2006, was honored for her outstanding customer-service. Tracey MacLachan, the school’s principal, said, “The Union Ridge team feels supported by Tonia in every facet of our work. Her job is complicated and it never shows in Tonia’s delivery to students, staff, and parents.”
Whitton, a science teacher at View Ridge for six years, is viewed by his colleagues as a master teacher. Chris Griffith, assistant superintendent, noted, “Matt Whitton tirelessly gives of his time to students, staff, and parents. He strives to create engaging lessons where all students are honored and can find value in their work.”
The Exemplary Service Award is sponsored by the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation. Kelly Maul, the Foundation’s secretary, congratulated each recipient and provided them with a small gift basket.
Hurd, owner of the Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, sponsors RSD’s student and employee of the month recognition programs. “Terry is a tremendous supporter of our schools and the Ridgefield community. His generosity has enabled us to continue nurturing a culture that celebrates exceptionalism. We are grateful for Terry’s commitment to the Ridgefield School District,” stated Dr. Nathan McCann, the district’s superintendent.
The District Convocation Celebration is a new tradition in the Ridgefield schools and more than 225 employees participated in the breakfast and celebration program. Employees were welcomed back with a “Surf’s Up” theme and a program that included a staff appreciation breakfast, giveaways from local businesses, and welcome messages from School Board President Scott Gullickson and Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow.
The breakfast was sponsored by Chartwells School Dining Services. Local businesses and non-profits that provided gift cards and gift baskets to RSD employees included Compassion 360, Lava Java, The Mercantile, Ridgefield Pioneer Marketplace, and Umpqua Bank. “Events like these are made far more special with the support of our wonderful business partners. They are instrumental in helping us kickoff the school year in a positive way,” said McCann.