Cascade Middle School employee named employee of the year

Jamie Harres was named employee of the year by Puget Sound Educational Service District.

Jamie Harres, a youth development specialist at Cascade Middle School, was named classified employee of the year by the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD).

Harres was nominated after she was named Auburn School District’s classified employee of the year and was chosen by the PSESD out of a pool of candidates in Pierce and King counties. Classified employees are district employees whose job doesn’t require a teaching certificate.

As the youth development specialist, Harres works closely with students. Her duties include student supervision, leading a student leadership group, hosting after-school Homework Club, Anime Club, and Social Justice Club, doing home visits and serving as the campus wellness expert, according to the Auburn School District.

Harres acts as the liaison between students, parents and teachers and offers students a safe space to learn or decompress. Building relationships with students is Harres’s favorite part of the job.

“These relationships are what keep me going,” Harres said. “I love being a person who makes a quiet impact on others simply by being there to listen or assisting them with tools to help them through a rough patch.”

This December, Harres will complete her bachelor’s degree and intends to continue her career in education, according to the Auburn School District.

Since she was named employee of the year by PSESD, Harres can be considered for a Washington State Educator award presented by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in the fall.

This is the second year in a row that an Auburn School District employee has been named employee of the year by PSESD. Last year, Janis Campbell-Aikens, director of child nutrition at the Auburn School District, won the award.