Auburn School District to honor Classified Employees of the Year

Grose, Schaper recognized for their work

The Auburn School District Board of Directors will recognize Jeff Grose and Kelly Schaper as the Classified Employees of the Year at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12 in the James P. Fugate Administration building.

Grose, the executive director of capital projects, began his career in the school district by accepting a temporary, two-year position in 1980 to oversee the remodel of five elementary schools and the high school field. With continued growth in the school district, he has overseen construction and renovations at all 27 facilities and turned his two-year stint into a rewarding 38-year career.

Grose enjoys working with people throughout the district to plan and design new schools and modernization projects and then working with architects, engineers and contractors to bring them to fruition.

“Every group of stakeholders is different. Every project is different. And every workday is different,” he said.

Under his leadership, a facilities community ad hoc committee recommended the $456 million bond package approved by voters in 2016 to build two new elementary schools and replace six aging schools.

“Jeff’s passion is focused on building schools in which students can learn and thrive,” said Cindi Blansfield, assistant superintendent of business and operations.

Schaper began working in the school district in 2006 as a one-on-one para-educator and was successful in that role. When the decision was made to house the Pathways program at Rainier Middle School, she was enthusiastic about supporting students with social, emotional and behavioral needs as a para-educator in the program.

“I love every minute I spend working with my special needs students because that is exactly what they are, special kids with needs,” said Schaper. “I want to be a bright spot in every student’s day.”

In her role, Schaper helps coordinate services for 10 students, two teachers and four para-educators. She works with families to help the counselors provide after-school activities, wraparound counseling services, weekend meals and solicits donations from community sponsors for holiday gifts for Pathways students’ families. In addition to her role with students in the classroom, she is always willing to help with supervision for parent-teacher nights, back-to-school days, athletics, report card distribution and student activities. She also is the only classified staff member who serves as a district Right Response trainer.

According to teacher Kat Sherer, “Kelly is the glue that holds the Pathways program together.”

Schaper is a graduate of Auburn High School.