Mrs. Cyphers on the first day of school this year.

Congratulations to Katrice Cyphers, winner of the Tukwila School District’s 2017 Partners in Education Award!

This is a peer-nominated and selected award of excellence. All staff are invited to nominate outstanding colleagues who: Go above and beyond to serve students and help others; show exceptional and effective job performance; make a positive impact/contribution to the district; have visionary and innovative ideas; and are a superior representatives of the Tukwila School District. Each district association has a representative judge the nominations to select the overall winner.

Mrs. Cyphers is Foster High’s On Time Graduation/Re-Engagement Specialist, and she does anything and everything in her power to make sure Tukwila students are successful earning their diploma. Her nominator said:

“Katrice Cyphers does so much for the students at Foster. As an “On-time Graduation Specialist,” Katrice’s main job is to monitor and support students who seem to be falling behind their schedule for their graduation; however, within that umbrella Katrice does so much. First of all, the students know and can’t help but love her. They seek her out at all hours of the day, and this is just proof of how much our kids trust and rely on her for day-to-day support and motivation. To see her office full of kids at any given time of the school day speaks volumes of the amount of face-to-face and personalized support Katrice provides for our struggling learners. Katrice is also the adviser for our Black Student Union, an organization FHS is proud of. One of the things that has struck me the most is when she stepped in as a “surrogate parent” for a student and accompanied him to his conferences with his teachers. As one of the teachers present at one of those conferences, I was amazed and can say that she was indeed a parent to that student; she really knew him and his history and provided guidance and offered unwavering support. But that’s just one single example of the myriad of things Katrice contributes to our school community. It’s just a relief to know that our students have someone like Katrice in their corner.”
With her help, Foster High has made an incredible leap in its graduation rate in the past two years, growing 20 percentage points overall and surpassing that in many demographic subgroups. Foster High was the single high school in the state honored this year with a Pathways to Excellence Award for this accomplishment, and Mrs. Cyphers was featured prominently in the documentary.
Mrs. Cyphers received her award, in the presence of her family, at the 2017 TSD All Staff Dessert Extravaganza on June 6.

Mrs. Cyphers with her eldest son Desmond.

Tukwila’s retirees and service-anniversary recipients were also honored a the Dessert Extravaganza.


  • Pat Larson
  • Michele Sorensen
  • Molly Newcomb
  • Vicki Gezon
  • Rita Ruffino

Partners in Education nominees

  • Katrice Cyphers, Foster High On-Time Graduation Specialist
  • Marcy Rice, Tukwila Elementary Technology Teacher
  • Erica Finkbeiner, Showalter ELL Teacher
  • Karen Gonzales, ECEAP Lead at Cascade View Elementary
  • Jessica Stewart, Assessment Specialist at Foster High
  • Megan Brusnighan, Reading Interventionist at Cascade View Elementary
  • Mary Schultz, School Psychologist
  • Jodi Wick, Kindergarten Teacher at Tukwila Elementary

Service anniversaries

5 year

  • Echo Aguirre, Food Services, Showalter Middle
  • Kathy Breault, Transportation Director
  • Christina Busby, Teacher, Foster High
  • William Finn, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Andrew Giron, Teacher, Foster High
  • Michelle Hill, Payroll Specialist, Administration
  • Amber Johnston, ECEAP para-educator, Cascade View Elementary
  • Tai Kaku, Teacher, Thorndyke Elementary
  • Laura McAdams, Para-educator, Showalter Middle
  • Jenni Standard, College and Career Counselor, Foster High
  • Thomas Willen, Teacher, Foster High
  • Shaun McMurtry, Maintenance

10 year

  • Aaron Draganov, Principal, Thorndyke Elementary
  • Garrison Dyer, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Hida Husanovic, Para-educator, Cascade View Elementary
  • Christopher Kraght, Teacher, Foster High
  • Katie Sachter, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary
  • Tai Phan, Custodian, Showalter Middle
  • Katina Bundy, Teacher, Thorndyke Elementary
  • Matthew Shields, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary
  • Timothy Zuehlke, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary

15 year

  • Juan Almonidovar, Custodian, Foster High
  • Regina DiJulio, Teacher, Tuwkila Elementary
  • Sally Jerome, HR Coordinator, Administration
  • Kristy Johnson, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary
  • Nancy Kawai, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Stephanie Kodis-Fisher, Teacher, Tukwila Elementary
  • Torrie Munroe, Custodian, Thorndyke Elementary
  • Tina Patterson, Custodian, Tukwila Elementary
  • Barbara Standley, Food Services, Showalter Middle

20 year

  • Lee Aleaga, Para-educator, Cascade View Elementary
  • Lita Anthony, Para-educator, Tukwila Elementary
  • Jenelle Barr, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Pat DePrez, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Maria Flack, Teacher Librarian, Showalter Middle
  • Lois Jackson, Food Services, Foster High
  • Carol Kitano, Teacher, Tukwila Elementary
  • Susan LaRue, Para-educator, Tukwila Elementary
  • Tina Lawson, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary
  • Bruce Perham, Social Worker, Tukwila Elementary
  • Steve Salisbury, Principal, Tukwila Elementary
  • Laura Weber, Teacher, Cascade View Elementary

25 year

  • Claire Chacharon, Para-educator, Cascade View Elementary
  • Anju Gill, Teacher, Showalter Middle
  • Laurie Rich, Teacher, Thorndyke Elementary

30 year

  • Kristi Noren, Teacher, Foster High

35 years

  • Rita Ruffino, Food Services, Thorndyke Elementary

Pictures from the 2017 All Staff Dessert Extravaganza