Thank you, classified staff!
classified employees week

It’s Educational Support Professionals Week - a great chance to toot some horns about the great work our teams are doing in our schools.

Who are ESPs? They are our dedicated classified team members. You see them every day, driving kids to school, cooking breakfast and lunch, working one-on-one with students to improve their academic skills, making sure they’re known and supported.

Get to know more about how some of our classified team members are caring for Tacoma’s kids.

Roosevelt paras on playground

Roosevelt Elementary ESPs (formerly known as paraprofessionals)

“The four special education ESPs at Roosevelt bring a positive attitude daily! They have built relationships with each student in their classroom to ensure that their social/emotional needs and academic needs are met,” said Roosevelt Principal Jennifer Cooper.

“Carla Hudson and Carmen Luna work with two sessions of preschoolers. They both support students with their learning and IEP goals. Lindsay Givens and Bridey Hendren work within the RISE classroom. They help students learn strategies to self-regulate, transition into general education classes, and overall learn how to communicate. They are kind, positive, hard-working individuals who are in it for our kids. They are a great support for all Roosevelt students!"


transportation team in front of school buses

Transportation team

“Our team is made up of 165 school bus drivers, 10 monitors and other office staff,” said Zack Midles, Director of Transportation. “Fifty-five bus drivers drive Tacoma buses with students with special needs, and 110 drive First Student buses on general education buses. We also have a support team of routers, dispatchers, mechanics and office professionals.

Our team members are some of the most compassionate, well trained, safety-oriented professionals. They work diligently for our students and families. Our favorite part of the job is being able to be the first and last person to greet students as they begin and end their day.”



Custodial team

“Our entire custodial team does an exceptional job with all the expectations placed on them,” said Facilities Director Tom Chalk. “They have community partners we support every day.

They have adapted to programs like Breakfast After the Bell and Beyond the Bell, providing a clean and safe environment for all of the students, staff and community in our schools. 

I’m pleased to call out David Riley, chief custodian at Stafford Elementary, and Kurtis Hoenow, relief chief custodian, who always go above and beyond.”


Lincoln office staff in front of school building

Office professional team at Lincoln High School

“We are so thankful for the work our office professionals provide for our students, staff, and community here at Lincoln,” said Lincoln Principal Karl Hoseth. “In many cases, the first person who welcomes visitors to Lincoln is one of our wonderful office professionals. This fantastic group of staff members are asked to do many behind-the-scenes tasks that are vital to the day-to-day operations of our school which many people don’t know about. Here are just a few examples of why I’m grateful to our office staff:

  • Kasi Dailey has the enormous tasks of ensuring our building budget is balanced and keeping track of the payroll for all staff members including leave requests. She knows the name of nearly every student in the school! She makes students feel welcome as they come to her window.
  • Laura Taulaga handles the incredible duty of getting (substitute) guest teachers ready for the day with rosters, laptops, keys, and lesson plans. When we don’t have coverage for a teacher that is absent, Laura works to get class coverage from our in-building teachers. She also helps with student laptop issues.     
  • Trisha Zimmerman keeps track of the accurate number of students enrolled at our school and inputs when students receive academic credit for a job or if a student’s grade was changed. Ms. Zimmerman was so helpful this summer with providing notes of where last year’s seniors moved to or what schools they transferred to if they didn’t graduate from Lincoln in 2022. 
  • Tracy Moser is the person who helps families when they are first enrolling at Lincoln. She makes sure we have all the paperwork we need to enroll students and connects the families with their new school counselor. Ms. Moser also is the one to assist when students are withdrawing from Lincoln to attend another school.    
  • Carolyn Crawford inputs daily attendance, coordinates early dismissals, and sends out our mandatory BECCA letters. She is also our assistant athletic director.
  • Maria Rivera inputs daily attendance, coordinates early dismissals and sends out our mandatory BECCA letters. On many occasions, Ms. Rivera helps translate for families and students that need a Spanish interpreter.
  • An additional shout out also goes to Bianca Rivera Mally, our COVID support person. She gathers information when a person has COVID questions or if a student or staff member contracts COVID. Ms. Rivera Mally assists in the main office frequently.  She also helps translate for families and students that need a Spanish interpreter.

"Our school could not run as smoothly as it does without these amazing staff members," Hoseth said. "Go Abes!"


Hunt security with student

Hunt Middle School campus security officer Jordan Potts

“Jordan Potts at Hunt Middle School is what we all expect when we think of a security presence at a school,” said Director of Safety and Security Mike Rupert. “He is humble, funny, understands students and is always mentoring them to help them succeed. He is building those positive relationships with our students, which is a great investment for future success.”

In his job, Potts conducts perimeter checks multiple times a day, clears the campus of strangers, checks in with kids, coaches them on making goals in class, hangs out with them at recess, and monitors the hallways and campus for safety.

“Every day with Jordan brings laughter, smiles, great conversation and relatability,” said Hunt Principal Kim Messersmith. People see him as one that seeks out ways to help, and kids love Mr. Potts!”



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