February 2023 Employee Excellence Awards
The following employees were selected to receive February 2023 Employee Excellence Awards and recognition at the February 14 school board meeting.
- Benjamin Bouton, music teacher, Fort Vancouver High School
- Brittnee Harvey, structured communications paraeducator, Discovery Middle School
- April Hegewald, paraeducator, Hazel Dell Elementary School
- Steve Lorenz, CTE horticulture teacher, Hudson’s Bay High School
- Lissa Potter, counselor, Hudson’s Bay High School
The Excellence Award is given to five employees and/or small teams from October to June each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.
Benjamin Bouton has taught music throughout the district but is truly a standout at Fort Vancouver. His energy and enthusiasm for music really resonate with students, many of whom sing his praises – “He does so much to make sure our choir is perfect and we can be the best we can be,” says one student. From putting together concert programs to working individually with students, Benjamin puts in the work to bring out the music program’s full potential. Benjamin has cultivated a kinship amongst music students that will be remembered well past their graduation. Bravo, Benjamin!
Brittnee Harvey consistently goes above and beyond to make students of all backgrounds feel warm, welcomed, and well-prepared to take on the day. Her work as a Structured Communications Paraeducator allows her to build meaningful relationships with Discovery students that evolve into impactful learning experiences. Brittnee brings an exceptional work ethic, a personalized approach, and a deep level of care to everything she does. Leading with compassion and empathy, Brittnee is an excellent role model for students and a fantastic colleague for staff.
April Hegewald is an incredible paraeducator who consistently surpasses expectations. She’s deeply invested in helping the Hazel Dell community thrive and serves as PTA president, and a Lighthouse leadership team member. She also volunteers her time to projects around the building. Her efforts have a real, tangible impact on the well-being of students and the effectiveness of the school as a whole. April is an active presence at recess – not only monitoring students but actively teaching them interpersonal and problem-solving skills. A colleague remarks, “Her caring dedication and absolute joy for what she does radiates to everyone she comes across.”
Steve Lorenz has managed the award-winning Horticulture program at Hudson’s Bay for over a decade. His leadership has led the program to great success including numerous FFA competition wins, taking home the grand prize for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow national contest in 2015 and bringing in tens of thousands of dollars each year during the annual plant sale. Students graduate from the program with a deep understanding of Horticulture thanks to Steve’s tactical learning approach and emphasis on making learning fun.
Lissa Potter is a great asset to the Hudson’s Bay community. Her role as a counselor makes her a vital resource for information and an advocate for students. Whether it’s navigating stressful schedules, helping students treat one another with kindness, or tackling other challenges – Lissa listens carefully and acts quickly. Every need, big or small, is addressed with care and she works diligently to find a solution. Parents note that she is extremely understanding of all situations and willing to work collaboratively to find solutions. One parent remarks, “It is a real blessing to have Lissa Potter on our team!”