Sara Niegowski named outstanding educator
June 2, 2009
By Chantelle Lusebrink
The Issaquah PTSA council awarded Sara Niegowski, district communications director, with the Outstanding Educator of the Year award at their luncheon May 14.
“She is passionate, informative and inquisitive. We admire her dedication to public education and in recognition for all that she has done to support PTA and Issaquah Schools,” said Nancy Campi, co-council president for the PTSA. “Her passion for education and children is evident each day in everything she does.”
The award is offered by the state PTSA, but awarded by local PTSA councils to educators in their districts. The award is given to individuals who go above and beyond the normal expectations of their job to make the learning environment beneficial, challenging and fun. It also recognizes innovative individuals or groups who have successfully transformed education.
Local school PTSA units give awards at their building level.“I was surprised and humbled and grateful. Every day, I am thankful for the work of our PTSA members in our schools. And so, to receive an award of appreciation from them seems a bit counterintuitive to me,” Niegowski said. “I’m very heartened that this award is a sign that we have the type of open and honest communication channels that help us best support our students together. Even so — it really was a great feeling when my name was called as the recipient.”
Niegowski does many things parents rely on every day — managing the district’s e-mailed newsletter that goes to every household; maintaining the district’s Web site with interesting stories about classes or programs; obtaining research and information about district initiatives; and answering questions in a timely fashion are all things Niegowski does on a daily basis to help parents, Campi said.
“Reaching our goals this year would have been very difficult without Sara’s support,” she said. “She has an understanding from a parent perspective, that we need access to information and it is an important part, not only from a parent of an individual kid, but also for the PTSA leadership, so we can fulfill our responsibility as leaders in the community.”
Before taking on the role with the district in 2006, Niegowski was education reporter for The Issaquah Press for three years. She is a graduate of Seattle University.
Recipients of the award have a donation to a post-secondary scholarship funded by the PTSA contributed in their name.
Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.