Auburn's Barker State Classified School Employee of the Year

Carol Barker, the Auburn School District child nutrition supervisor, is the 2011 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year.

"Carol's innovative approach to her job and commitment to kids first is an inspiration," said State Superintendent Randy Dorn, who recognized Barker and other Regional Classified School Employees of the Year at a recent ceremony in Olympia. "All of this year's regional finalists demonstrate for us all the tremendous potential of our school employees. They are flexible. They are creative. They continue to develop their own knowledge to better serve our kids, and I'm excited to celebrate their accomplishments."

Barker (pictured left) began working at the school district years ago as a bus driver and cafeteria cashier and steadily worked her way up through three different school kitchens to the position of child nutrition supervisor.

During the school year, Barker manages the breakfast, lunch and snack programs at 22 schools. She also coordinates Auburn's nationally recognized summer food program, which served 80,000 meals at 49 different sites last year.

Deputy Superintendent Michael Newman describes Barker as a "difference maker."

Barker has been instrumental in Auburn's own "Food Revolution" by planning and implementing a district kitchen garden, creating recipes that use whole foods and engaging students and community partners in the care of the garden and orchard.

Next year, Barker will help administer a new grant from King County Public Health to train 500 child nutrition employees across the region in whole food cooking. This fall, she was a speaker at the 2010 End Childhood Hunger Summit in Seattle.

Barker is constantly looking for new challenges and ways to expand her own perspective. She has taken numerous continuing education courses through Central Washington University, teaches food handler permit classes, served as interim director of her department while the position was vacant last summer and even recruited the new director.


Pacific Partnerships recently donated $1,000 of school supplies to the Alpac and Illalko elementary schools. Carol Aguilar, Pacific Partnerships president, delivered the supplies. "Both schools were very appreciative," Aguilar said. The schools received copy paper, glue sticks, scissors, paperclips, scotch tape, pencils, Sharpies, highlighters and Post-it notes. Pacific Partnerships is a community nonprofit organization committed to providing resources to improve the quality of life for its citizens. ...

Auburn's Michelle Happenny (senior, biology, straight-A average) made the scholastic honor roll for winter term at Oregon State University. Stephen Innes (senior, computer science) and Andrew Jerde (senior, natural resources) also made the honor roll with a GPA of 3.5 or better. ...

Auburn's Daniel Ahn was named to the dean's list for academic excellence for the fall semester at Johns Hopkins University. Daniel Ahn, who is majoring in computer engineering, will graduate in May 2014. Ahn, son of Seichang Ahn and Hyewon Lee, attended Thomas Jefferson High School. ...

March trait winners at Evergreen Heights Elementary were: (Self-discipline) Priscilla Guerrero; Kosmin Ignat; Kara Lee; Sarah Saavedra; Inho Jeon; Joseph Passion; Jennifer Lee; Angeli Prakash; Ruby Nunez; Sylvester Smith III; Jaimee Vicencio; Jairo De la Mora; Jesus Chavez; Tyson Burtis.

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