BSD Staff Updates

2020-21 Issue #14: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

News, Information and Updates for Bremerton School District staff.

View archives here.

Help us honor our retirees

We are starting the planning process for honoring our teachers and staff who are retiring this spring. Please take a moment to share your thoughts about (or photos of) our retirees here.

  • Julie Aney
  • Jeff Barton
  • Laura Bay
  • Sue Boddy
  • Mike Chase
  • Hilah Cochrane
  • Joetta Dixon
  • Francey Frampton
  • Diane Hansen
  • Kim Hargett
  • Genie Holliday
  • Cheryl Hoover
  • Karen Jones
  • Donna Maib
  • Linda Mathes
  • Larry McCormick
  • Bobbette Orgill
  • Julie Ross
  • Deborah Sanchez
  • Pamela Santos
  • Linda Sullivan-Dudzik
  • Sandy Szopinski
  • Debra Strawhun
  • Kim Trembley
  • Ron Van Diest
  • Lorrie Wolle
  • Marian Woods

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It is Important to Review Your Leave Balances - Will You Forfeit Any?

A friendly reminder from the business office...

Employees are encouraged to be proactive in knowing your own leave balances, how much you have used during the school year and how your balance is affected by your working agreement and District policy.

If you earn vacation you should ensure your balance on August 31st (June 30th for Administrators) is no more than thirty (30) of your work days. Any days in excess of thirty (30) days will be forfeited on September 1st (July 1st for Administrators).

Additionally, each employee should review their working agreement regarding their rights associated with personal leave. If you are allowed to accrue personal leave, it is accounted for in the “Other Paid Leave” category in the Time Off Section of EA+. Any excess personal leave not used or cashed out (if eligible) by June 30th (August 31st for full year employees), will be forfeited on September 1st. If you are on a July - June Contract you must use your Personal leave by June 30th. For Personal Leave that qualifies for cash out (please read your specific Collective Bargaining Agreement, located on the District's website), complete a paper leave slip, mark “Other” and write “completed qualifications to receive _(insert number)_ days of Personal leave cash out”. Your request for cash out (leave slip) must be approved (signed) by your building administrator and must be submitted to Payroll by June 30, 2021.

Download the leave slip below.

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Board Briefs – May 20, 2021


Four revised policies were brought to the Board and adopted this date on second reading. These are included here for staff review and reference:

  • · Policy 5202, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Mandated Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
  • · Policy 6220, Bids or Request for Proposal Requirements
  • · Policy 6230, Relations with Vendors
  • · Policy 6540, School District’s Responsibility for Privately-Owned Property

It’s great at this time of year when the Board is able to honor students. There were two Renaissance High School students representing the RHS graduating class of 2021, and Bremerton High School’s two valedictorians and five salutatorians representing their graduating class. Many of our 2021graduates have experienced challenges, particularly over this past year, but they have all worked extremely hard and make the District very proud.

On the business side of things, the Board had several reports or items needing action. These included:

  • 1. (Action) Resolution 2020/2021-19, submitting our Academic and Student Well-Being Recovery Plan to the state as required. (public hearing held)
  • 2. Reviewed preliminary draft Minor Budgets, which includes

a. Transportation Vehicle Fund (TVF),

b. ASB (Associated Student Body) Fund,

c. Capital Projects Fund, and

d. Debt Service Fund

  • 3. (Action) District enrollment with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Assn. (WIAA) for the 2021/22 school year.
  • 4. Budget Status Report for the current school year

Student Representative to the Board Rodgie Oliver shared that there were 16 students honored at the May 12th Knighting Ceremony at the high school. Dr. Leavell congratulated Rodgie for being one of those honored. The Board thanked Rodgie for his wonderful reports and participation on the Board this year. At the next meeting, Rodgie announced, he will be able to introduce next year’s Student Rep., Mitchell Alexander.

You may have seen some of the Board members as they visited several sites on Friday, May 21st, with Dr. Leavell and Asst. Superintendent Steedman, to see the new (security) entryways as they near completion.

Board Study Session

The Board continues on its leadership journey by joining district administrators as they work their way through the book “Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators,” as well as the many activities and assignments as outlined in the companion workbook.

To view any of these documents, you may also visit

Compiled by Ioanna Cossack, Board Secretary

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BHS Prom 2021

BHS celebrated Prom 2021 in a slightly different fashion with a sit-down dinner, pictures, and prizes. The event was held at the Kitsap Conference Center in downtown Bremerton.

A good time was had by all! We thank our seniors for their positive attitude and gracious hearts!

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Congratulations, Karen Bevers!

The Bremerton School District received several awards from the Washington State School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) for District communications work in 2019-20. The awards were:

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Reminder: New Layout for Google Meet coming soon

Just wanted to let you know that Google will be rolling out a new layout for Google Meet over the next couple of weeks. (It can take up to two weeks for the changes to roll out to everyone, so if you don't see it right away, that's why.)

Here's a quick video that gives an overview of the changes so you're ready for the new look and feel of the platform.

If you have any questions, stop by Virtual Help Desk on Wednesdays from 1:30-3:00 pm (, enter VirtualHelpDesk) or email Kati Carthum or Lisa Casey.


The Teaching and Learning team

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May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and we are honoring some of our teachers and staff of Asian/Pacific descent!

Ashley Guerrero

Ashley Guerrero is the office coordinator for Child Nutrition Services. Before joining the district 2 years ago, she was a small business owner, college student and AmeriCorps volunteer in BSD elementary libraries.

Ashleys father’s family is from Guam or Guåhan (native spelling).

Ashley’s paternal grandmother was born in Guam during the Pacific War in 1941. Her great grandmother had to give birth in the jungle while trying to avoid being found by the Japanese who were attacking the island. This story was shared many times as she grew up learning about her heritage, but as a child she didn’t believe it. Growing up in the United States she couldn’t understand that something like that could even happen.

Her father was born in Guam in 1962 and came to the United States in 1968. Ashley and her siblings grew up learning about their culture through stories, a lot of cooking, and a big emphasis on being together as a family.

She finally got the opportunity to go to Guam in 2019 with her husband who was also born and raised there. She said the experience was unforgettable. She got to see the villages where her family grew up, and the places a lot of those stories took place. Ashley said it was refreshing to see that there is a movement to preserve the CHamoru (Chamorro) culture on the island. It is her dream to be able to live on the Island and attend The University of Guam for Micronesian Studies.

“Education has always been an important aspect in my life. I consider myself a lifelong learner and I go after every opportunity to gain more knowledge,” said Ashley. “Not only is education important in my life, it is important for our communities. Where there is good education, there are better opportunities. To be a part of something so important is incredibly fulfilling.”

Ashley has a bachelors in Business Administration from Ashford University and Holistic Nutrition Certification from Southwest Institute for Healing Arts.

Mavis Hamrick

Mavis Hamrick is a paraeducator at West Hills STEM Academy.

She is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian descent but everyone knows her as Hawaiian. Her middle name - Mapuana - means fragrance of the flowers in Hawaiian. Mrs. Hamrick is known at West Hills for wearing Hawaiian attire, slippas, and sharing her "Aloha Spirit.”

Her paternal great grandfather came from Portugal and put roots down on Kauai, Hawaii, where he met her great grandmother Pakele who was Hawaiian. Mrs. Hamrick’s paternal grandmother was from Manchuria, China and her maternal grandfather was Russian.

Mrs. Hamrick was born and raised in Kailua on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii. She remembers as a child learning about her Hawaiian and Chinese heritage from her Dad - heritage she’s shared with her own three (now grown) children. She loves being "Tutu'' to nine mo'opunas (grandchildren).

Mrs. Hamrick came to Silverdale 33 years ago with her husband who was in the Navy. She feels fortunate to have spent her 32 years in the Bremerton School District at West Hills where she currently works in the re-engagement room and she supervises safety patrol. Prior to coming to West Hills, she was a teacher's assistant at Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary, working with special needs students and helping with lunchroom and recess duty.

As a young child she went to a Japanese-speaking school in Kailua. She earned her AA from Olympic College.

“I love working with children and knowing that I’m making a difference in their lives,” Mr. Hamrick said. “I enjoy building relationships with students and being able to see them through their journey from kindergarten all the way to eighth grade. My favorite part is when former students come back to visit me and tell me about what they're doing as adults. This is a very rewarding career and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!”

Samantha Johnson

Samantha Johnson is a kindergarten dual immersion teacher at Naval Avenue Early Learning Center.

Her mother is Filipino and was born and raised in the Philippines. Mrs. Johnson was brought up with a great Filipino community in Flint, Michigan and feels very connected with her Filipino heritage. She’s traveled to the Philippines several times. She says Filipinos take pride in their family and take "family first" seriously whether someone is an immediate family member, fourth generation, or a close friend you are treated as family.

Mrs. Johnson had horrible experiences in elementary and middle school where she was treated differently because of how she and her family looked. In a middle school English class she got a bad grade and was told by the teacher that she had “too much imagination.” She firmly believes a child should never be told they have too much imagination - or have to experience what she did in school. “I want to make sure I create a warm welcoming environment for ALL students regardless of their background so they feel like they can open up and come to me,” she said. “Being from a mixed background allows me to be more understanding (of many students) and easier to put myself in their shoes.”

Mrs. Johnson earned her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Prior to joining the District 5 years ago, she was working as a long-term for a kindergarten classroom in Michigan through National Heritage Academies.

Jennie Penitusi

Jennie is the office coordinator at Naval Avenue Early Learning Center. Both of her parents come from the islands of American Samoa. Her mother’s family migrated to O’ahu, Hawaii for work opportunities when she was a child. After graduating from high school, her dad joined the U.S. Marines where he was stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii, where he later met and married her mom.

Ms. Penitusi’s family moved from Hawai’i to Long Beach, California, which is where she (the youngest of five children) was born. Her parents were government employees at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. In 1997, the shipyard closed and the government relocated her family to O’ahu, Hawai’i where both of her parents retired before moving to Bremerton in 2017. Ms. Penitusi’s extended family began moving to the Bremerton area in the 1980s and over time, her family has all made their way here - including Ms. Penitusi in 2013.

Ms. Penitusi says that in the Samoan culture they put God first in all they do. Family is everything and respect and being of service to others is highly valued. She has visited American Samoa and Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) a few times. “It was beautiful to see where my family comes from and how we, the Samoan people still value the same customs and traditions that our ancestors did many years ago,” she said. “I am proud to be Samoan!”

Ms. Penitusi believes that education is important for our youth today. She loves working with the teachers and staff at Naval Avenue. Ms. Penitusi wishes to encourage students to further their education to enrich their lives.

Before joining the District 2 years ago, Ms. Penitusi was a Senior Care Team Assistant at Kitsap Mental Health Services in the Child & Family department. She graduated from Aiea High School in Aiea, Hawai'i and studied at Kapi'olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

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Character Trait for May: Courage

Download the graphics here!

Character Trait for June: Responsibility

Download the graphics here!

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Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) is working to develop a Land Labs program and is offering middle school student field experiences at a Great Peninsula Conservancy next fall. They would also love to connect with Bremerton School District Staff who would be interested in growing this program as an accessible, inclusive opportunity teachers can take advantage of to support their STEM curriculum.

RSVP to the "Walk and Talk" here or contact:

Sierra Kross

Land Labs Education Coordinator VISTA
423 Pacific Ave. Suite 300, Bremerton, WA 98337
(360) 373-3500

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Kitsap Strong Virtual Community Center

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Kitsap County Resource Map

Created to assist the community in accessing free and low-cost food options, bus and ferry services, dental and medical, active living, self-care, and additional vital resources.

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Applying for a grant?

Please review the District grant guidelines before completing your application. A pre-application request must be submitted for grants >$500.

The Kindness Project

Click here to nominate a student to receive an encouraging note

2021-22 academic calendar

The calendars are posted in English and Spanish at

Feel free to share the graphics below on your Google Teacher Site or Google Classroom! Just "right click" the graphic to save it.

Background photo: 2019 Renaissance High School Graduation.

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