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WGU Washington Honors Staff Member, Helps Kick-Off School Year at Chinook Middle School

Oct 6, 2022

A successful school year takes a team effort. And in SeaTac, as the staff and faculty prepare to welcome students back to Chinook Middle School, one team member’s contributions garnered special recognition.

Chinook’s office manager, Jennifer Hirayama, kicked off the school year by receiving the WGU Elevate Award from WGU Washington. The online, nonprofit university presents the WGU Elevate Award to individuals whose work creates pathways to opportunity and supports the professional development of others. Hirayama was recognized for prioritizing the needs of teachers, paraeducators, and nurses at Chinook, including helping coordinate events celebrating her colleagues and their achievements.

Additionally, when WGU Washington staff put out a call seeking field placement opportunities for its Teachers College students, Hirayama was quick to respond and pointed the university in the right direction – demonstrating her belief in the current crop of educators in the Highline School District to mentor the community’s next generation of teachers.


Hirayama received that honor during a back-to-school celebration in a courtyard at Chinook. WGU Washington hired a Kona Tropical Shaved Ice truck, and the staff and faculty enjoyed sweet treats and a deserved break as they prepared for the new school year. It was the latest in a series of shared activities as WGU Washington strengthens its partnership with Chinook and the Highline School District.

To learn more about WGU Washington, its partnership with the Highline School District, and the special benefits available to district employees, visit the or contact Mark Stubbs, strategic partnerships manager for WGU Washington.

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