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March 16, 2016

Two KSD teachers named Crystal Apple Award Winners

Kennewick School District is celebrating the achievements of two of its finest teachers, Eastgate Elementary's Crystal Ramos and Highlands Middle School's Dustin Smith. Both received the 2016 Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education.

Crystal Ramos, 4th Grade Bilingual Teacher, Eastgate Elementary

Ramos began working Kennewick School District as a paraeducator 16 years ago. When she finished her degree, she was hired as a bilingual teacher at Eastgate Elementary where she has taught 2nd through 4th grades.

She is considered a district leader in simultaneous literacy and serves as a trainer for other teachers. She supports new and first-year bilingual teachers by helping to organize a week-long training prior to the start of school.

Ramos is also a GLAD model classroom teacher.

Dustin Smith, Science Apps Teacher, Highlands Middle School

Smith has spent his 20-year career at Kennewick School District teaching elementary and middle school students while coaching both middle and high school sports.

He started at Eastgate Elementary teaching 4th and 5th grade and eventually accepted a position at Highlands Middle School as a science teacher for grades 6th, 7th and 8th.  This year, he teaches a new class called Science Apps.

Science Apps had no curriculum when Mr. Smith accepted the position, but he took this challenge head on and implemented an exciting option for students. Smith was an early adopter of the STEM Like ME! program that connects students with role models and mentors of similar ethnicity gender and cultural background.