In December 2018, a number of staff and parents from Bellingham Public Schools were awarded for their outstanding contributions to increasing community caring, empowerment, and connections that improve the lives of children, youth, and families. Each year Whatcom Family and Community Network (WFCN) holds the Ken Gass Community Building Awards and Dinner which recognizes individuals, business and organizations that make contributions to improving the lives of children and families in our community. Currently, two people from Bellingham Public Schools, a teacher and a high school student, serve on the Board of Directors at WFCN. The event is named after Ken Gass, a retired pediatrician and former member of the Bellingham Public Schools’ School Board.
In the past two years, award recipients associated with Bellingham Public Schools include:
Jason Bergman – Squalicum High School
Friends of the Family Resource Center
Marta Herrera-Carreon – Shuksan Middle School
Michael Kopf – Shuksan Middle School
Erin Meese – Shuksan Middle School
Students For Action – Multiple students from high schools across Bellingham
2017 Birchwood PTA Executive Board – Birchwood Elementary School
Michelle Hanks – Geneva Elementary School
Jared Ibarra Del Bosque – Family Engagement
Social Action Club – Shuksan Middle School & Fairhaven Middle School
Alexa Tucker– Shuksan Middle School
Joe Wooding – Options High School
Whatcom Family & Community Network envisions a thriving community built on equity, social connection, participation and opportunities. Their purpose is to promote the well-being of children, youth and families by convening and supporting communities to build their capacity.
WFCN has served Whatcom County for 29 years and is home to the Whatcom Prevention Coalition, youth substance prevention and healthy youth development; the Mt. Baker Community Coalition, youth substance prevention and healthy youth development; MAD HOPE, a youth suicide prevention program; the Roosevelt Neighborhood Resource Center; and professional and community education on why resilience, toxic stress and hope matter.