From staff reports
Paul Wezeman, a seventh-grade teacher at Illahee Middle School, received the first Federal Way Communities In Schools teacher of the year award at the annual Literacy Breakfast held Feb. 29 at Christian Faith Center.
Wezeman, a teacher for 39 years, was nominated by Illahee principal Stacy Lucas. He received $500. Tom Vander Ark, who presented Wezemen with the award, said Wezeman’s style is a mix of an extraordinary teacher, a judo artist and television psychologist Dr. Phil.
The Literacy Breakfast, in its ninth year, raised $60,000. The total was down a bit from last year due to reduced corporate sponsorships, said Tracy Oster, executive director of Federal Way Communities In Schools. She estimated the sponsorships were down because of the lagging economy. Individual donations were up this year, Oster noted. The Literacy Breakfast supports programs such as the Summer Bridge summer school program and the Heritage Leadership Camp for young men of color.
WATCH A VIDEO OF GUEST SPEAKER BOB MILLIKEN’S SPEECH:
Renowned author and speaker Bill Milliken, founder and vice chairman of Communities In Schools, served as special guest speaker. Milliken started Communities In Schools in 1977 as a way to help at-risk kids in his community. Now it is a nationally respected mentoring and dropout prevention organization, with chapters in hundreds of cities throughout the country.