OMAK – Marjorie Thompson, an Omak School Board member and former teacher with the district, and Debby Green, a Tonasket School District volunteer, have been named Friends of Children.

The North Central Education Service District presented the awards May 9 during a banquet at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee. Keynote speaker at the banquet was Matt Brown, regional teacher of the year.

Thompson was honored for 22 years of service on the school board and for her service on the Omak Performing Arts Center Foundation Board.

In a nomination letter, Omak Superintendent Erik Swanson said Thompson “has devoted her lifetime to the education of children and the success of public education.”

She taught for 32 years and then stepped up to fill a vacancy on the Omak School Board 22 years ago, he wrote.

“In that time, she has never stepped aside,” he continued.

“Marjorie Thompson has spent the bulk of her lifetime building long-lasting relationships with children that carry into their adult years,” Swanson wrote. “She continues to exert her knowledge of young learners as she pursues active leadership on the Omak School Board and the Omak Performing Arts Center Foundation Board.

“Her work with children goes well beyond being a friend of children. She is a passionate advocate for children, learning and the life of the Omak community.”

Green was cited for her volunteer contributions to the Tonasket district. She has coordinated the elementary school’s book fair for 19 years.

“The funds that she raised from book fairs over the years have enabled us to purchase Smartboards for our classrooms, curriculum and teaching resources for teachers, and and provided no books at no cost for our Tonasket Elementary students,” said a nomination letter from Lilly Martin.

“In addition, Ms. Green has initiated fundraising efforts through the book fair that have benefited local preschools in the area. Her efforts have truly made an impact o children in our community.”

“This prestigious award was created in 1992 to honor individuals, businesses or service clubs for their contributions benefiting children and improving the quality of life for families within the ESD’s 12,000-square-mile service area,” said the ESD. “The award reflects the longstanding commitment to children and dedication to education demonstrated by deserving recipients.”

Recipients receive an engraved plaque and their names are added to a list of past Friend of Children award winners.

Jerry Roseburg, East Wenatchee, and Diadira Galvan, Chelan, also received Friend of Children awards.

Brown, who was selected in 2018 as regional teacher of the year for 2019, teaches music in the Manson School District. He teaches grades five through 12, with classes in band, jazz band, drum line, guitar/piano and choir.

He is conductor of the Okanogan Valley Orchestra.

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