Herren to headline GriefWorks’ benefit breakfast

Dr. Kip Herren, Auburn School District superintendent, will be the special guest speaker at the GriefWorks’ annual fundraising breakfast on Friday.

Dr. Kip Herren, Auburn School District superintendent, will be the special guest speaker at the GriefWorks’ annual fundraising breakfast on Friday.

The breakfast, Compassion Partners, will be held at 7 a.m. at Emerald Downs.

Herren, who has served 32 years in public education, will bring his humor and stories of compassion to the event.

GriefWorks has served more than 9,000 children, teens and adults since 1998. The mission of GriefWorks is to serve as a bereavement resource, providing education and support for people grieving a death or seeking to understand the grief process. Its motto is “Together we’re mending hearts … and re-landscaping lives.”

“Dr. Herren has supported GriefWorks from our beginning 10 years ago,” said Mel Erickson, GriefWorks’ co-founder. “How wonderful that he will help us celebrate our passion for serving grieving children in the school setting.”

For more event and program information, contact the GriefWorks office at 253-333-9420 or visit www.GriefWorks.org.

Apata earns award

Tracy Apata was awarded the Cities and Schools Forum 2008 Betty Smith Spirit of Education Award at the 10th annual Reaching Out Fair, co-hosted by the Auburn School District, the Cities of Auburn, Algona and Pacific, Green River Community College and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Apata, owner of the Dairy Queen in Pacific, was selected from a pool of nominees based on her dedication to improving the lives and education of children behind the scenes. Not only is she consistently involved in her own children’s schools, but she actively supports high school students with jobs and mentoring.

She is quick to work with schools, community members and police to support the success of student-employees.

Additionally, Apata currently is organizing a Pacific-Algona Lions Club, and her first item on the agenda is determining ways the club can support kids and schools in the area.

Betty Smith was known for her dedication to community. She worked tirelessly and was known for her work with the Auburn School Board, local community organizations and being a part of developing the cooperative relationship with the Cities and Schools Forum.


Auburn Mountainview High School seniors Elise Ransom and Karen Jolly are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. Also, five seniors from Auburn Mountainview – Meghan Deaton, Matt Heiszler, Kien-Thiet Nguyen, Brooke Reed and Kelley Voss – and Auburn Riverside’s Michael Fain were recognized as commended students in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship program. Ransom and Jolly placed among the top 1 percent of more than 1.4 million students who entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) in their junior year. They will compete for National Merit Scholarships to be announced in early spring. The six commended students placed among the top 5 percent. Although commended students do not continue in the competition for Merit Scholarship awards, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.