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And the Teacher of the Year Award Goes To…


It’s that time of year again… time for us to name our Teacher of the Year award winner! For the 16th consecutive year, we called on K-8 students to submit their favorite classroom leader to take home the official title of “Teacher of the Year.” Since its inception, hundreds of entries have poured in each year with heartwarming stories of inspirational educators around the state, and this year was no exception. 

Now, without further ado…. (drum roll, please) …we’re pleased to announce LaWonna Kerr of Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell as the grand prize winner. As this year’s themed proved, Mrs. Kerr has “given her students the knowledge to soar” both in and outside of the classroom time and time again.

At a recent school assembly, we presented Mrs. Kerr with her winning prize package: a $500 check to put toward the purchase of class supplies, a commemorative plaque and the official title of “Teacher of the Year.” Plus, the nominating student received an Ivar’s Kids Meal – including a visit by Ivar’s famous Dancing Clam!

Ashley Uusitalo, a fifth grade student at Cedar Park Christian School, nominated fourth grade teacher Mrs. Kerr due to her generosity, ability to make science and learning fun along with the way she sees the good in every child. Mrs. Kerr also takes the time to explore a students’ interests and questions. Ashley loves her teacher’s curious nature, creativity and the way she inspires kids to challenge themselves by asking questions and reading.



 Ivar’s also awarded two teachers each the first-place prizes of a $150 gift card for class supplies:

  • Mary-Jo Lorenz, Fourth Grade, Chattaroy Elementary (Chattaroy)
  • Garth Herrick, Seventh Grade, Kamiakin Middle School (Kirkland)

Fifteen teachers each also received second place honors which included a $25 Ivar’s gift card, including:

  • Diane Moore, Fifth Grade, Valhalla Elementary (Auburn)
  • Shirley Parrott, Fifth Grade, Lockwood Elementary (Bothell)
  • Jamie Hanna, Second Grade, Rachel Carson Elementary (Sammamish)
  • Phoebe Daniels, Second Grade, Thornton Creek (Seattle)
  • Julianna Dauble, Fifth Grade, Sierra Heights Elementary (Renton)
  • Jennifer Granum, Eighth Grade, McMurray Middle (Vashon)
  • Guy Lawrence, Sixth Grade, TOPS K-8 (Seattle)
  • Mike Briddell, Seventh Grade, North Whidbey Middle (Oak Harbor)
  • Rylie Motley, Third Grade, Issaquah Valley Elementary (Issaquah)
  • Andrea Kerrigan, First Grade, Mary Lyon Elementary (Tacoma)
  • Jeanine Marley, Fifth Grade, Saint Anthony School (Renton)
  • Tina Tobiason, Seventh Grade, Mattson Middle (Covington)
  • Ellen Rademacher, Kindergarten, Blackwell Elementary (Sammamish)
  • Nick Meaux, Fifth Grade, Our Lady of the Lake (Seattle)
  • Kenneth Cook, Eighth Grade, Aylen Junior High (Puyallup)