State Recognizes Carla Yenko
State Names CK Paraeducator Classified Employee of the Year
Posted on 05/10/2018
Superintendent David McVicker with Carla Yenko

By Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

OLYMPIA —  Olympic High School paraeducator Carla Yenko was named the 2018 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced today.

Carla is a mechanical engineer by training. She started her career in education as a volunteer in her daughter’s kindergarten classroom.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Chief of Staff, Jamila B. Thomas, recognized the nine Regional Classified School Employees of the Year and announced the winner at a ceremony in the Old Capitol Building in Olympia. They were joined by their families, friends, colleagues, legislators, representatives from the state’s educational service districts, and various education associations.

“Carla has made an invaluable impact on her school and community,” Thomas said. “She serves all students as a coach, mentor, counselor, advisor, and more, and she is a true testament to the power of public education. Thank you, Carla, for sharing your skills, experience, and passion for students in our schools.”

As a former Special Olympics coach with a passion for math, Yenko believes the role of paraeducator creates the “perfect niche” for her skills as a motivator of students with many different needs.

Yenko is a math coach who runs the lunchtime and afterschool tutoring sessions that expect to serve more than 2,000 students this year. Yenko’s success has prompted the district to ask her to train all paraeducators in preparation for their highly qualified exams. She has facilitated six trainings, and helped 35 educators complete the exam. Yenko is also a valued Key Club advisor to a group of over 100 students who are on track to complete more than 2,400 hours of community service this year.

“Carla has a strength of thinking beyond her own position and employee group and is able to provide substantive ideas to improve systems for all,” said Olympic High School Principal, Rebecca Johnson.

“We can go to her not only for math and Key Club, but for anything that is on our mind or even personal matters,” said students Jazmine and Alanna. “She’s very welcoming and generous to everyone she encounters and she especially inspires people with her optimistic personality. As a teacher and a person, Mrs. Yenko is dependable and sincere, and her positive attitude towards students and staff is something she wholeheartedly shares. She encourages not only every student, but staff as well to strive for their best.”

Take a look at a video created with Carla after she was named the district's classified employee of 2017: