Winning Educators Announced for 11th Annual Teacher of the Year Contest

Ivar's and Kidd Valley Restaurants recognize Liliya Petrovskaya of Manitou Park Elementary School and James Van Stralen of Chinook Middle School with grand prizes

Jun 23, 2014, 12:00 ET from Ivar’s

SEATTLE, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- After reviewing hundreds of submissions from kindergarten through eighth grade students, who nominated their most inspiring teachers, Ivar's and Kidd Valley awarded two Washington state educators as "Teacher of the Year" last week. The Ivar's grand prize went to Liliya Petrovskaya of Tacoma's Manitou Park Elementary School, and James Van Stralen of Bellevue's Chinook Middle School won top honors from Kidd Valley.

In two separate ceremonies, each teacher was presented with a giant $500 check for future class supplies, a commemorative plaque and the official title of "Teacher of the Year." In addition, every child in the nominating students' classrooms received a coupon good for a free Ivar's or Kidd Valley Kids Meal and a complimentary admission ticket to Imagine Children's Museum in Everett. As an extra treat, Miss Petrovskaya's class -- as well as the entire school -- were visited by Ivar's Dancing Clam during the presentation assembly.

Amy Hardesty, a fourth-grade student at Manitou Park Elementary School, wrote that she's inspired to become a teacher because of the fun way Miss Petrovskaya teaches math and English. Miss Petrovskaya mixes learning with games to help her students with key lessons, like "Magic Numbers" to learn rounding and "Word Wizard" to define vocabulary words. Amy even found her favorite author based on Miss Petrovskaya's recommendation to read the book "Poppy" by Avi.

Mr. Van Stralen was nominated by Amelie Heise, one of his sixth grade math students at Chinook Middle School, for his fun approach to the challenging subject. From Jeopardy-style test prep to the kids' favorite, "The Whiteboard Game," Mr. Van Stralen is known for his creative take on learning and making sure each and every student gets the instruction they need to be successful. To fuel his engaging and memorable teaching methods, Mr. Van Stralen has been known to snack on 'Whatchamacallit' bars, which Amelie was sure to point out.

Ivar's and Kidd Valley also awarded two teachers each the first place prizes of a $150 gift card for class supplies.

Ivar's first place winners:

  • Elliot Gray, kindergarten –sixth-grade, Canyon Creek Elementary (Northshore)
  • Cheryl Tousley, first-grade, Mukilteo Elementary (Mukilteo)

Kidd Valley first place winners:

  • Marjorie Taylor, fifth/sixth-grade, Cathcart Elementary (Snohomish)
  • Sharon Park, second-grade, Penny Creek Elementary (Everett)

Fifteen teachers each also received second place honors which included a $25 Ivar's or Kidd Valley gift card.

Ivar's second place winners:

  • Angela Patino, kindergarten, Samantha Smith Elementary (Lake Washington)
  • Ethan Benson, third-grade, Soundview School (Lynnwood)
  • Merry Trent, second-grade, Mukilteo Elementary (Mukilteo)
  • Julie Hunsaker, kindergarten – second-grade, Hidden Creek Elementary (South Kitsap)
  • Erin Vestal, fourth-grade, Mack Elementary (Bellevue Christian)
  • Lauren Tillman, sixth-grade, Carson Elementary (Puyallup)
  • Sharon Fabrizio, seventh/eighth-grade, Heatherwood Middle School (Everett)
  • Kassandra Maloney, first-grade, Tiffany Park Elementary (Renton)
  • Ryan Schmidt, kindergarten – eighth-grade, South Shore K-8 (Seattle)
  • Debbie Banyai, second-grade, McMicken Heights Elementary (Highline)
  • Lindsay Oliveira, fourth-grade, Island Park Elementary (Mercer Island)
  • Shelly Bratton, fifth-grade, Penny Creek Elementary (Everett)
  • Tim McNett, sixth-grade, Cougar Valley Elementary (Central Kitsap)
  • Steven Garlid, fifth-grade, Bryant Elementary (Seattle)
  • Marti Burton, third/fourth-grade, Redmond Elementary (Lake Washington)

Kidd Valley second place winners:

  • William Mark Hastings, third-grade, Assumption St. Bridget (Seattle)
  • Cheryl Cowley, fourth-grade, Penny Creek Elementary (Everett)
  • Jennifer Outhouse, fourth/fifth-grade, Daniel Bagley Elementary (Seattle)
  • Shirley Briones, P.E. , St. Benedict Catholic School (Seattle)
  • David Fierce, eighth-grade, Forest Ridge of the Sacred Heart (Bellevue)
  • Lisa Sweeney, first-grade, K5 STEM (Seattle)
  • Sharon Olsen, sixth – eighth-grade, McKnight Middle School (Renton)
  • Nicole Van Avery, second-grade, Wellington Elementary (Northshore)
  • Oscar McCoy, P.E., Jane Adams K-8 School (Seattle)
  • Michael Hertzog, fifth-grade, Adams Elementary   (Seattle)
  • John Reitz, seventh-grade, Washington Middle School (Seattle)
  • Lauren Opsal, kindergarten, Whittier Elementary (Everett)
  • Stacey Britton, fourth-grade, Kokanee Elementary (Northshore)
  • Sarah Decostanzo, fifth-grade, Clyde Hill Elementary (Bellevue)
  • Josh Goodman, third-grade, Westside School (Seattle)

About Ivar's
Ivar's Seafood Restaurants began on Seattle's waterfront in 1938. Today, there are 23 Ivar's fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service restaurants: Ivar's Acres of Clams, Ivar's Salmon House and Ivar's Mukilteo Landing. Ivar's Seafood, Soup and Sauce Company markets and sells its award-winning soups, chowders and sauces both nationally and internationally. The company also operates regional stadium concessions including Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, Alaska Airlines Arena, Husky Stadium and Cheney Stadium. Learn more at

About Kidd Valley
Kidd Valley has earned a following throughout Seattle and the Eastside for its made-to-order burgers, old fashioned, hand-mixed shakes which often feature seasonal ingredients, Kidd Meals, and mouthwatering side dishes such as fresh, sweet onion rings, sweet potato fries, Grounders Famous Garlic Fries and signature fried mushrooms. Kidd Valley began in 1975 in Seattle's University District. Today, Kidd Valley has eight retail locations throughout Western Washington plus five stadium locations at Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field. For more, please visit