Shoreline Schools Support Person of the Year: Leo Valenzuela

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leo is congratulated by students and staff as he arrived to a
surprise announcement at Lake Forest Park Elementary
Photo courtesy Shoreline Schools

Leo Valenzuela, Spanish interpreter, has been selected as the 2016 Shoreline Schools Support Person of the Year.

“Leo is more than just an interpreter,” said Lake Forest Park Elementary Principal Aimee Miner. “His connections with families and staff go so much further because he really listens to families and helps staff at schools understand their questions and concerns."
"He encompasses what Shoreline is all about, caring for your community, contributing in a positive way and supporting students and families," she added.

Valenzuela will be honored at a reception on Monday, March 14 at 6:15pm in the Shoreline Center lobby as the District kicks off Support Staff Appreciation Week. The community is invited to attend.

Leo (center) with District staff and volunteers after the announcement.
Photo courtesy Shoreline Schools

Valenzuela has worked as a Spanish interpreter throughout Shoreline Public Schools since 2008, however he has been a fixture in the District for much longer. He previously served as a counselor in Shoreline schools from 1958-2002.

“Leo cannot help but to teach and inspire, even as he translates,” said Lynn Gardiner, teacher at Lake Forest Park Elementary. “Through his work and his great heart for people and learning, Leo is a beloved member of our school community.”

The Support Person of the Year award has been made annually since 1998 and is selected by a committee of staff and community members from nominations received from around the District. The recipient also receives a professional development grant from the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation.


Peggy Bartleson March 1, 2016 at 9:40 AM  

Leo Valenzuela! Wow! He was a counselor when I was in high school!!! (graduated Shoreline High 1974) Wonderful man! I will always remember him. During my high school years I would share my troubles with him. He helped me take responsibility for my own life and not blame my problems on others. I had a tendency to make excuses for my poor academic performance, blaming my parents. Very empowering ~ only when I took ownership of my failures did I feel I owned my successes.

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