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Utz, Derr honored for merits as public school employees


Aaron Derr and Karrie Utz after receiving their awards at the Annual Public School Employees Awards Ceremony in Kennewick. - Photo courtesy of PSE

Local Lake Roosevelt employees were honored this past weekend in Kennewick in a ceremony. Karrie Utz was honored as Public School Employees Education Support Professional of the Year, and Aaron Derr won the President's Leadership award.

Chosen out of 30,000 statewide PSE employees, Utz found out about the award at a surprise assembly held on May 29 at Lake Roosevelt.

A six-minute video about Utz winning the award is available on the Public School Employees of Washington's Facebook page, and will be linked in the online version of this article. The video features family, coworkers, and students speaking about her.

"She is a visionary," said her coworker Kim Stanger in the video. "I'll come up with ideas and she'll make them happen, and I love it."

"She puts in that extra effort," Superintendent Paul Turner said in the video. "She has a big heart."

Derr was one of 11 in the state to receive the President's Leadership award.

"This award is for PSE members who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their local chapter or who make special contributions to PSE members through their role in the chapter or by serving on state committees," the PSE website states.

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