Dear Smith Parents,


Every year, the Samantha Smith PTSA likes to honor a few individuals who made significant contributions to our school or on behalf of the students.  Let’s recognize our fantastic Volunteers and Educators!  You have seen them around school, you have admired their dedication, you wish you had the time to do what they do - now is your chance to recognize this individual or group and let them know they are appreciated! 

Below are the three award categories with descriptions of each award as well as some examples of past award winners and their contributions.  Please submit all nominations to, with a subject of “Award Nomination” no later than Friday, April 20.  For each nominee, please submit the appropriate nomination form describing why they should be considered for that award.  The Board will use the information you provide as the basis for their decision, so please provide as much detail as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to recognize the people who contribute to the Smith community!

The Samantha Smith PTSA Board



1)      Outstanding Educator

The Outstanding Educator Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited continued and dedicated contributions and efforts to enhance the educational outcomes of the Smith students.  This individual who goes beyond the normal expectations of their jobs to make the learning environment fun, beneficial, and challenging.  Note that an educator is not limited to a teacher, and may also include assistants, specialists, support staff, administrators, or community members.

Outstanding Educator Nomination Form (link to pdf)

2016 - 2017 Outstanding Educator award winner:  Mrs. Barber 

  1. Barber put in a lot of hard work to make her classroom a wonderful place to learn for her students. She turned a portable into a home away from home for the students. She has taught the 4/5 Quest class this year. Realizing the potential of the students, she initiated a Math Club at Smith on her own free time. She provided extra coaching to interested 4th and 5th graders and trained them for Interstate Math competitions. Under her guidance both 5th grade and 4th grade Smith teams secured high individual ranks and the teams progressed to the Masters level of the Math is Cool tournament.

Her genuine love for Math and Science and her desire to instill this love among the students is evident in her efforts. She and the team of Quest teachers went above and beyond to engage the students in various Math and Engineering projects for the STEM fair at Smith. The students very proudly exhibited their models of bridges built with Popsicle sticks that could sustain heavy weights. She herself attended the STEM Nite event and was present for the entire duration including set up and clean up.


2)      Golden Acorn

The Golden Acorn Award is presented to a volunteer in recognition of her or his dedication and service to the Smith community.  This is not just an individual who has donated time to help in his/her child’s class or a staff member who is doing a good job. It is to recognize volunteer service that goes “above and beyond” a job description.  Recipients receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the Washington State PTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.

Golden Acorn Nomination Form (link to pdf)

2016-2017 award winner:  Tisha Linn

Tisha Linn has served Smith Elementary PTSA as well as our community in several capacities over the last many years.

For Smith PTSA, she has served as:

  1. A board member wherein she contributed her time and energy towards running a successful Dolphin Dash fundraising drive more than once.
  2. A nominating committee member
  3. A committee chair / member and organized various PTSA events like Grandparents Luncheon, Dads and Donuts, 5th grade celebration, Science Fair, Bulletin board, Book Fair, Winter Wonderland to name a few.

If you are running an event at school and find yourself in need of any kind of help, Tish is always willing and goes above and beyond.

For the School:

  1. She helped get the new furniture in the staff lounge.
  2. She also bought the cabinet in the office that holds the volunteer badges.
  3. She brought in the paper rack that holds the construction paper for the Variquest machine as well as being the Tech advisor for the Variquest system.
  4. She creates amazing bulletin boards for all the school events.
  5. She has always promoted the maintenance and beautification of the school facilities and grounds

She does not mind being the sole driver for a cause she believes in. She leads by example.

For the Community, she has:

  1. Volunteered as a Soccer team coach
  2. Contributed in the Home schooling parent groups.
  3. Advocated for Special Education.

She is a small business owner and has always been able to use her resources and experience through her company to help “glamify” the classrooms and assist teachers. Kids loved the chocolate medals designed by her at the Smith Science Fair 2015.


3)      Outstanding Advocate

The Outstanding Advocate Award recognizes an individual for his or her advocacy and commitment in helping to create strong policies relating to the health, welfare, safety and education of children and youth.  Advocacy includes, but is not limited to, being active in legislative issues on a state or national level; working with the district or with school administrators on student issues; speaking up for the students who can’t; and trying to change things for the benefit of children at a local, district, state, or national level.  An outstanding advocate could be a PTA grassroots advocate, teacher, assistant, administrator, or community member.

Outstanding Advocate Nomination Form (link to pdf)