The Auburn School District Board of Directors recognized March’s Outstanding Staff Member and Student at the regularly scheduled March 8 School Board Meeting. Lin Stonack, head custodian at Ilalko Elementary, was recognized as March’s Outstanding Staff Member of the Month. Fifth-grade Dick Scobee Elementary student Tyson (Blaze) Higdon was named the Outstanding Student of the Month.
Stonack has worked in ASD for 29 years. He’s spent the last 11 years at Ilalko and previously worked at Auburn High, Olympic Middle School, and Mt. Baker Middle School.
He enjoyed working with older students, but really thrives in elementary. Knowing some students do not have a male figure in their lives, he takes the responsibility of being a good role model seriously.
“I love everything about Ilalko- it has the best staff and the best kids. It is the best place to work,” he said.
Stonack’s colleague Bethany Pardo values Lin’s contributions to Ilalko. “He is friendly, approachable, and always has a smile when meeting the needs of students and staff in our building,” she said.
Stonack grew up in Algona and attended the old Algona Elementary, Cascade Middle School and Auburn High School. He met his wife of 21 years, retired ASD teacher Lynda, when he worked at Mt. Baker Middle School.
In his free time, Stonack enjoys making pottery to give away. Every Ilalko staff member has a piece of his pottery. He and his wife love spending summer vacations camping at Sand Lakes riding in the dunes. Together they recently adopted Scout, a rescue mutt. Stonach lives in Puyallup and hs two adult stepchildren.
Tyson Blaze Higdon
Higdon is an example of what a Dick Scobee Challenger represents. He shows consistent determination, kindness, and a strong work ethic.
He’s not only risen to the challenge of distance learning, but has gone above and beyond what is expected. Higdon participates in class every day and often asks to stay late to work on a math concept or to finish writing. He celebrates other students’ successes and accomplishments, and cheers on those who are struggling.
At home, Higdon also shows great compassion and patience when working with his younger brother and sister. He takes great pride in his family and often shares in celebrations such as when his little sister was potty training or when his mom passed a test for her degree.
Higdon is well loved through the school as well. He goes out of his way to say hello, is empathetic and always wants to help others. He is very creative, artistic, and has a vibrant imagination that allows him to take challenges head on.
Higdon is an avid reader and reads anything he can get his hands on. Currently, his favorite books are A Tale of Despereaux and Big Nate. He is a talented artist and loves making handmade notes or cards for his classmates. He also loves to create and build with Legos.
Congratulations Lin and Blaze!
The Auburn Examiner used information provided by the Auburn School District to write the above article.