Riverview School District Honors 2021 Retirees through Virtual Ceremony
Riverview School District held its annual Retirement Ceremony virtually for the second year in a row. Zoom brought this year’s retirees, their families, friends, staff, and colleagues together to celebrate incredible accomplishments and achievements in their Riverview careers.
This year’s honorees, totaling 109 years of service in Riverview, includes:
- Kathy Briscoe, Math Teacher - Cedarcrest High School
- Debra Leone, Preschool Teacher/iSet - Carnation Elementary
- Sharon Nelson, Secretary I - Stillwater Elementary
- Gail Pepper, School Bus Driver - Riverview Transportation Department
- Kaye Wetli, Supervisor - Food Services Department
Learn more about this year’s Class of 2021 Retirees below and join us in congratulating them for their dedication and devotion to the Riverview School District, its students and families, and our community. We will miss them all greatly.
KATHY BRISCOE (Math Teacher, Cedarcrest High School)
Kathy has worked in Riverview School District as a Math Teacher at Cedarcrest High School since 2007.
With two master’s degrees in computer science and teaching, Kathy Briscoe retires from teaching after 14 years at Cedarcrest High School. Often cited by graduates as an influential teacher in the lives of Cedarcrest students, Kathy worked as a software engineer at Spacelabs Medical in Redmond, Washington, before being hired as a Principal Scientist in the Research Department of the medical device company Medtronic. After earning her Master of Arts in Teaching, Kathy completed her student teaching at Monroe High School in 2007, before joining Cedarcrest that fall.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Smith called Kathy, “a class act.” Adding that he remembers being her son’s counselor when he worked as a counselor at Cedarcrest in the 1990s. Dr. Smith also praised Kathy for creating an inclusive classroom that shows she truly cares for each one of her students.
DEBRA LEONE (Preschool Teacher/iSet Program, Carnation Elementary)
Debra joined Riverview School District in 2005, first as an Instructional Specialist for the district’s ECEAP Preschool Program, and then as a Blended Pre-School Teacher in ECEAP in 2007.
Invaluable to students and families in her years in the district, Debra Leone retires from the Riverview School District with 16 years of experience working with the youngest of our students and those who need additional support. Debra worked in the preschool field for a decade before coming to Riverview. She has also proven to be foundational in the success of the district’s iSet program, serving students with special needs in grades K-5. With more than 25 years of preschool experience, she continues to find new opportunities to work with preschool-aged children in the community.
Dr. Smith shared that Debra sees promise in every student and, in turn, inspires hope in parents. Adopting a whole-child approach, Dr. Smith added that she always goes the extra mile to bring out the strength and uniqueness that each child can offer.
SHARON NELSON (Secretary I, Stillwater Elementary)
Sharon joined Riverview in 1989, serving in a variety of important and impactful roles over the course of 32 years. She has worked as a Secretary at Stillwater Elementary from 2005-2021.
Sharon Nelson and Stillwater Elementary have been connected for more than three decades, and the school will never be quite the same without her presence there each day. First hired as a food server at Carnation Elementary in 1989, she moved to Stillwater when the building first opened and worked as an Educational Assistant in the Library Resource Center from 1990-2005. Additionally, she served as the Building Tech Coordinator. When the opportunity came to transition to the front office, she was hired as a secretary in 2005 â€“ a role she has held until her retirement this year.
Praised for her “Can-Do” attitude, Dr. Smith celebrated Sharon’s legacy as a Stillwater Soaring Hawk and championed her adaptability in handling any situation that comes her way.
GAIL PEPPER (School Bus Driver, Riverview Transportation Department)
Gail Pepper retires from Riverview after 32 years of working as a school bus driver, beginning in 1989.
Our school bus drivers are often the first and last school district employee our students see each day, and Gail Pepper has proudly been that smiling face and uplifting personality that kids and families remember fondly. After working as a substitute bus driver for one year, Gail was hired as a School Bus Driver in 1989 and later as a Girls’ Soccer coach for Tolt Middle School from 1991-1998.
Her enthusiasm and dedication to hard work is infectious, as is her unyielding support and thoughtfulness to her colleagues inside and outside of the workday. Dr. Smith noted that Gail was unable to attend the Retirement Ceremony, but with a valid reason: She was in the bus, driving students home. That commitment will be impossible to replace and Dr. Smith heralded Gail as “a great teammate who cares deeply about our kids.”
KAYE WETLI (Supervisor of Food Services)
Kaye Wetli has worked in Riverview School District for 15 years as our Supervisor of the Food Services Department.
With endless positivity and a fierce dedication to nutrition for our student population, Kaye Wetli’s career in the Food Services Department has been game-changing for Riverview School District. In addition to streamlining an efficient, unwavering Food Services program. Kaye has reached beyond Riverview and is an influential voice and recognized leader at the regional and national level when it comes to nutrition advocacy.
Prior to joining Riverview School District, Kaye worked in sales and marketing, as well as a coordinator of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association annual convention. Always seeking opportunities to grow as a leader and learner, Kaye became an active member of the Washington School Nutrition Association, serving as President from 2014-2015, and later serving, from 2016-2019, as the Northwest Regional Director of the School Nutrition Association Board of Directors.
Dr. Smith praised Kaye’s influence and ability to bring people a greater understanding of just how important Food Services is to a school district and the importance it carries in district-wide learning. Kaye has helped cultivate partnerships with local farms which will last for a long time to come, and her impact has forever changed the way Food Services operates in our district and community.