Sheri Marlow is the Hermiston School District's Administrator of the Year. Marlow, assistant superintendent of human resources, has worked for the district for 29 years.

Marlow taught elementary and middle school, was principal at Rocky Heights and directed the district's talented and gifted, bilingual and special education programs.

"Sheri's focus on our children's educational welfare and safety drives her decision making," said Superintendent Darce Driskel. "'Kids First' is obviously not a term lost on Sheri."

Driskel described the administrator as a quiet force who is flexible, decisive and compassionate. The administrator, he said, is respected by parents, board members and colleagues.

"She models and practices what the community expects of its educational leaders," Driskel said.

Marlow is retiring at the end of the school year after 30 years in education.

Neely Kirwan is the district's Educator of the Year. Kirwan teaches science at Armand Larive Middle School.

"Neely was selected by her peers for consistently demonstrating the outstanding qualities of a teacher immersed in our profession," said Driskel. "Her students consistently perform at or above state standards in science and she is a welcomed and recognized leader in her school."

Nomination forms submitted by colleagues described Kirwan as knowledgeable, caring, a teacher who instills excitement in her students. Her students met the 8th-grade science benchmark at a level of 75 to 85 percent. She is active in the Hermiston High School FFA, the Knowledge Fair and helped build an interdisciplinary team.

Kirwan has taught in Hermiston for seven years.

"She has an enthusiasm for the classroom and the profession that can only be described as a passion for making a difference for students," Driskel said.

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