Carrie James

Stanwood Camano School Board member Natalie Hagglund presents Stanwood High’s Carrie James with the district's the Teacher of the Year award.

Stanwood-Camano employees and schools earned local and state awards, which the school district announced May 21.

Stanwood High’s Carrie James received the Teacher of the Year award. Technology support specialist Carrie Miller was presented the district’s Classified Employee of the Year award.

Director of Assessment and Technology Dan Johnston was recognized with a rare service award.

“(James) has proven herself to be a mentor and a friend to her students and an integral part of our school and community, and we thank her,” Stanwood High teacher Ken Sims said of James, who teaches US history, psychology, sociology and current world problems.

She also coaches the Hi-Q team, directs high school plays, served as DJ at a school dance, coaches soccer and started a middle school theater program.

Carrie Miller

Technology support specialist Carrie Miller was presented the district’s Classified Employee of the Year award.

“Carrie (Miller) understands the importance of getting technology into the hands of students,” Johnston said. “She does an outstanding job.”

The school board then gave Johnston a surprise award in recognition of ongoing commitment and dedicated service. It’s only the fourth time the board has given the award.

“The tech department has changed significantly because of you,” school board member Julie Dean said while awarding Johnston the honor.

“He put this whole program together … distributing technology resources to schools fairly and with an appreciation toward student safety.”

3 schools earn state recognition

Three Stanwood-Camano schools earned statewide honors this month for growth and achievement.

Port Susan Middle School was honored for “Closing achievement gaps and demonstrating improvement among student groups identified for support.”

Cedarhome Elementary School and Elger Bay Elementary School were recognized for “Growth in the Washington State Improvement Framework (WSIF) metrics while narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest performing student groups.”

These recognitions represent high academic growth with special education, English learner and low-income students, according to the district.

“We are proud of our students and staff,” the school district noted in a news release. “Our school district has worked hard on high achievement for all learners. It’s exciting to see our schools receive recognition for their progress.”

The recognition replaces the Washington State Achievement Award. The State Board of Education, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee worked together to establish new criteria to equitably recognize schools.

The Stanwood-Camano School District has received 22 awards recognizing high student achievement and growth over the past decade.

Julie Echols

Julie Echols is the new principal at Utsalady Elementary School, effective July 1.

New principal at Utsalady Elementary

The board on Tuesday, May 21, approved hiring Julie Echols as the new principal at Utsalady Elementary School, effective July 1.

Echols is an assistant principal at two elementaries in Lynnwood, where she has worked for the past 17 years.

“I’m exciting to dig in and get to know teachers, kids and parents,” Echols said.

She replaces Colleen Keller, who decided to return to teaching and will become the music/technology teacher at Twin City Elementary this fall.

Security updates

The school district last week launched a new way to report threats.

The SafeSchools Alert program is accessible to anyone via a smartphone app, phone, text, email or a website.

“This is for any kind of safety tip — weapons, drugs, threat, etc.,” said Maurene Stanton, the school district’s executive director of human resources. “There are different ways to report concerns to make it as easy as possible. It is confidential, though the system will allow us to respond if we need more information.”

When someone reports a safety concern, the message goes immediately to the principal at the building in question and to district administration.

To learn more, to report a safety concern or to download the app, go to or to The school’s code is 1621. Call or text a tip to 425-366-7201.

Other business

The board unanimously approved buying a surveillance system for Stanwood Elementary School. The $26,000 system covers both interior and exterior of the school with high resolution cameras, which are accessible to the school and district administration. The effort is part of an effort to upgrade security at schools. So far this year the upgrade includes buzz-in entry at the elementary schools and a new surveillance system at Port Susan Middle School.

Program donations

The board accepted several donations at this meeting and during the May meeting, including:

— Utsalady Booster Club donated $914 for field trips to the Living Computers Museum, Everett Village Theater and the Everett Children’s Museum.

— Utsalady Booster Club donated $1,473 for the Utsalady Elementary Drama Club Eagle Enrichment Stipend.

— Stanwood Booster Club donated $542 for the Stanwood High School track & field trip to Jock and Jill in Seattle and for the SHS soccer team to go to Warm Beach Camp.

— Arlington Garden Club donated $200 to SHS FFA for miscellaneous expenses.

— Utsalady Booster Club donated $327 to the Utsalady Elementary Music Program to buy recorders, and to the district: $367 to pay the Eagle Enrichment stipend for “Utsalady’s Got Talent” and $738 to pay the Eagle Enrichment stipend for “Book Art.”

— Cultural Homestay International donated $500 to SHS for the Celebration of Excellence event and $500 to Stanwood Middle School for Associated Student Body Leadership.

— Elger Bay PTA donated $408 for the Elger Bay Elementary second-grade field trip to the Pacific Science Center.

— Port Susan Middle School PTA donated $713 for band and choir field trips in March.

— Cedarhome Elementary PTO donated $10,000 — made possible through an educational grant by the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians — for fifth-grade Technology in the Classroom and $473 for the March 15 kindergarten field trip to Everett Children’s Museum.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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