NKN Staff, the recipients of the second trimester Treasure Award are Terry Houchins, Garibaldi Grade School Family Resource Coordinator, and Tracy DeGandi, fourth grade teacher, Nehalem Elementary.

We all have great things to say about Terry, “A child, and his/her family, never goes hungry under Terry’s watch.”  One parent recognized Terry this morning in my office, “Terry helped find funds to pay my winter electric bill.”

We also recognize Tracy as an exceptional 4th grade teacher and an invaluable mentor to Nehalem Elementary teacher colleagues.  When you want to observe outstanding teaching or high implementation of RtI or Developing Academic Language, go to Tracy’s classroom.

Here is what the nominees wrote about Terry and Tracy:

Terry Houchins,

Terry goes over and beyond making sure that all children and their families have food, clothing. heat and water. along with helping parents with dental and medical resources that benefit our students. Terry is also committed to making sure families have opportunities to have fun and safe family time together at Family Nights. Terry also ran many programs like Parent Improvement meetings, FROGS (Volunteer Reading Program), Chess for Success, Back Pack Program, Garden Committee along with Odyssey of the Mind, plus many more committees and programs.

After the years of experience in her position here at Garibaldi, Terry has become very knowledgeable with resources in and outside our community that helps our families. Terry is a valued and dedicated employee along with being a very well appreciated volunteer. Terry has always an inviting smile, and an infectious laugh that warms everyone’s heart which makes our families feel welcomed.

 Tracy DeGandi,

Tracy DeGandi has been a teacher in the Neah-Kah-Nie School District for 30 years and has been greatly appreciated.  He excels with instruction and continuously works hard to provide the best education for his students.  He has a growth mind set and is always challenging himself to better his practices and to keep up with the ever changing educational system.  The district uses his expertise to train other teachers. He provides opportunities for staff to observe his teaching practices and positive interaction with students. He has an outstanding reputation with staff, students, parents, and community members. He should be recognized for his dedication to Neah-Kah-Nie School District for all his years of outstanding service!

Overview of the Treasure Award

The purpose of the Treasure Awards program is to foster a culture of appreciation within Neah-Kah-Nie School District that honors and acknowledges district employees for their extraordinary work. Neah-Kah-Nie School District believes employees are Treasures that nourish students’ minds, develop everlasting positive relationships with students, and are the hidden jewels of the District. A committee made up of members of the community, school board, confidential, administration, classified and licensed employee groups developed a program to recognize school district employees for their exemplary work. It is a strongly held belief Neah-Kah-Nie School District employees are worthy of and deserve recognition. The result of the committee’s work is this comprehensive employee recognition program.

Components of the Treasure Awards recognition program include: • Each trimester two employees will be recognized for reflecting one or more of the Neah-Kah-Nie School District values • An online or paper nomination form allows for simple, frequent recognition of any employee by another employee, community member, student, or parent • The employee recognition committee will facilitate ongoing staff recognition activities, select award winners, and continue to research best practices for staff recognition

Terry and Tracy will receive $25 gift certificates to Cloud & Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita.  They will be recognized in front of their peers and students for their outstanding service to Neah-Kah-Nie School District and presented with Treasure Award plaques.  Photos will also be proudly displayed at Garibaldi Grade School and Nehalem Elementary acknowledging our Treasure Award recipients.

Please continue to recognize our true treasures by nominating employees for this prestigious award, for additional information, https://nknsd.org/employee-recognition-program/


Neah-Kah-Nie School District Employee Recognition Committee


District Office

504 N.Third Ave/PO Box 28 Rockaway Beach, OR 97136

Phone: 503-355-2222

Fax: 503-355-3434

Garibaldi Grade School

604 Cypress Ave/PO Box317 Garibaldi, OR 97118

Phone: 503-322-0311

Fax: 503-322-2193

Nehalem Elementary

36300 Eighth St/PO Box 190 Nehalem, OR 97131

Phone: 503-355-3650

Fax: 503-368-7721

Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School

25111 Hwy 101 N Rockaway Beach, OR 97136

Phone: 503-355-2990

Fax: 503-355-8514

Neah-Kah-Nie High School

24705 Hwy 101 N Rockaway Beach, OR 97136

Phone: 503-355-2272

Fax: 503-355-8200