The Auburn School District Board of Directors recognized December’s outstanding staff member and student during Monday’s board meeting. Lea Hill Elementary 5th grader Marlee Hefner was recognized as the outstanding student of the month for December. The Board recognized Nep Scheirer, Transition Assistance Program teacher, as December’s outstanding staff member of the month.
Hefner’s current teacher, Mrs. Stuckey, said calling Hefner a hard worker is an understatement. Hefner always focuses hard in class, participates, and helps others. Despite distance learning, Hefner finds ways to frequently encourage her classmates by answering their questions through chat and typing kind comments to them.
Hefner is a five-time PRIDE award winner at Lea Hill. She’s earned this accomplishment by demonstrating the skills of a positive attitude, being respectful, showing integrity, being dependable, and giving her best effort in all she does.
This year, Hefner was elected Associated Student Body (ASB) President. In her flipgrid campaign speech, she described her commitment to helping the teachers and students of Lea Hill be the best they can be. She also explained how her autism challenges her, but allows her to see various points of view.
Outside of school, Hefner enjoys Roblox, digital art, and spending time with her dog. She is considering being a veterinarian, art designer, or teacher someday. In the meanwhile, she looks forward to representing her peers as ASB President and moving forward with fifth grade.
Scheirer has spent the past three years working for the Auburn School District. He earned his bachelor’s in elementary education and special education, with a concentration in education of the deaf and hard of hearing. He also earned his master’s in curriculum and instruction.
Prior to teaching in Auburn, Scheirer spent six years in the Renton School District’s community-based transition program and autism program.
Katt Merilo, who works closely with him as a teacher and colleague, said Scheirer has a great knowledge of special education practices.
“More importantly, he cares deeply about his students. He sends a birthday card to every student he’s ever had years after they’ve left his classroom”, Merilo said.
Due to school and community closures in March, the transition assistance program (TAP) had to get creative in delivering a community-based program without accessing the community. Typically TAP students work for local businesses to learn job skills, but there are currently no placements.
Wanting to still focus on community instruction, the TAP team created engaging and creative new activities like virtual walk-throughs of the local grocery store to look for particular items, continuing to practice shopping skills.
Scheirer is currently focused on providing in-person services to several students that require specific skill practice, while still supporting the distance learning efforts.
Scheirer loves that he gets to do this for work.
“I love working with students to develop independent living and vocational skills,” he said.