• 2024 ASD Teachers of the Year

Necia Hansen, Auburn Mountainview, High School Teacher of the Year

  • Necia Hansen 2024 High School Teacher of the YearThe Auburn School District board of directors recognizes Necia Hansen, culinary arts teacher at Auburn Mountainview High School, as the High School Teacher of the Year. 

    Necia earned a certificate in culinary arts at Renton Technical College. After a career in the restaurant industry, Necia began her education career as a culinary arts paraeducator at Auburn High.

    She found a new passion in working with students. She earned her bachelors from Eastern Washington University, her CTE certification from Bates Technical College and her masters in education at Pacific Lutheran University.

    She began her teaching career as a Multilingual Learner teacher. When the culinary arts teacher position opened at Auburn Mountainview, she had the opportunity to combine her passions for culinary arts and teaching. 

    “Culinary arts was my first love. I am teaching what I am super passionate about,” Necia said. 

    She said learning is always happening in her class and their medium is food. She loves learning from her students every day.

    The diversity of Auburn Mountainview provides an opportunity for students to learn not only culinary skills, but about food from around the world. The recent final exam was to research, shop and prepare chicken and rice dishes from various parts of the world. 

    Principal Terri Herren said, “Necia truly believes all students are capable of greatness. She infuses culturally responsive practices each day and cultures are celebrated through cooking and community. Students learn to help each other and work as a team.”

    Necia loves being part of numerous student success stories. A lot of people have their first job in hospitality and she believes the collaboration, time management and customer service skills she teaches set her students up for success.

    Necia grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Kent where she graduated from Kentwood High School. She and her husband of 23 years, Mark, live in Black Diamond. Daughter Maggie attends Evergreen State College and son Sam attends Kentlake High School.

    In her off time she enjoys reading, gardening, crocheting and collecting cookbooks.

    Congratulations Necia!

Patrick Lilley, Rainier, Middle School Teacher of the Year

  • Patrick Lilley, Middle School Teacher of the YearThe Auburn School District board of directors recognizes Patrick Lilley, Pathways teacher at Rainier Middle School, as the Middle School Teacher of the Year. 

    Patrick is in his fifth year in the Auburn School District. Prior to coming to Auburn, Patrick worked as a special education teacher in the Kent School District for six years. He is in his 17th year of teaching. He taught P.E., science, math, social studies and visual arts in several other districts and began his career in education as a paraeducator.

    Patrick grew up in Nebraska and earned his bachelors there at Chadron State College. He earned his masters at City University and his special education endorsement at Seattle Pacific University. 

    Patrick chose to teach special education at the middle school level because he wants to prepare students for high school, so they can be productive citizens. When possible, he strives to get his students exited from Pathways before they get to high school, so they have all the opportunities in high school.

    He said, “I believe being a good teacher is not about what I can do, but what I can help others accomplish. This award is not about what I have done, but about what I helped others achieve.” Patrick said he loves coming to work every day and having an impact on students each day.

    Assistant Principal Carey Rockey said, “Patrick’s teaching philosophy promotes positivity and allows everyone to see the best in each other. This starts in the classroom, affirming students for their cultural connections. Each student is treated as an individual. Respect is prioritized for each person’s uniqueness and similarities. He makes the time to know his students and builds genuine relationships that positively impact the class.”

    Patrick literally followed the Oregon Trail, to the End of the Oregon Trail monument in Sylvester Park near Olympia, and that’s how he ended up in Washington. He had been to 48 other states and Washington gave him the opportunity to do all of the activities he enjoys. In his off-time he enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing, working with Unified sports and volunteering in Little League baseball.

    He and his wife of 12 years, Pioneer Elementary teacher Wendy Rossmeier, live in the Auburn School District. Patrick enjoys spending time with his three children. His youngest two, Dillon and Keely, attend Hazelwood Elementary and his oldest Madison lives in Tacoma and plans to attend Tacoma Community College.

    Congratulations Patrick!

Gina Greco, Gildo Rey, Elementary Teacher of the Year

  • Gina Greco, Elementary Teacher of the YearThe Auburn School District board of directors recognizes Gina Greco, behavior intervention specialist (BIS) at Gildo Rey Elementary, as the Elementary Teacher of the Year. 

    Gina has spent her entire 23-year career in Auburn. She did her student teaching at Washington Elementary in first grade. She was hired right out of college to teach at Lake View Elementary and spent 16 years as a classroom teacher and five years as an intervention specialist at Lake View. She split time between Gildo Rey and Lake View as BIS and is in her second year as the full-time BIS at Gildo Rey. Her role is to build relationships with students and help them understand and  manage their emotions.

    She earned her bachelors at Central Washington University and her masters at Grand Canyon University. 

    Gina loves her job. “I love working with students and their families and finding out more about them,“ she said. “I really enjoy collaborative problem-solving and building trusting relationships to help kids successfully manage everyday life.”

    The center of Gina’s teaching philosophy is trust and empathy and these two cornerstones create a safe and supportive space where each student can foster a sense of belonging and meaningful connections in an inclusive environment.

    She makes connections with students, families and the community in numerous ways. Some examples are teaching Parenting the Love and Logic Way classes, teaching and coaching the Girls on the Run program, creating a peer mentor program for 4th/5th graders and teaching summer school leadership camp.

    Principal Mark Ziegler said, “Every day, Gina goes above and beyond for staff, families and all students, including the most challenging students. She is a true servant leader.” 

    Gina grew up in Lake Tapps. She and her high school sweetheart, Dan, live 4-tenths of a mile from her childhood home. They attended Sumner High School, the school their 14-year-old son Jax currently attends. 

    In her off time, the family enjoys fishing, golfing, skiing, snowboarding, cooking, baking and having friends and family over for dinner.

    Congratulations Gina!