Above are photos of our 2022-2023 award recipients at the June 16, 2023, EMS PTSA volunteer appreciation reception. Pictured are Liying Cai, Carol Lugtu, Meghan Palmer, Kendall Galbraith, Dedra Ingram and Maria Perez. Elena Luican was unable to attend. Congratulations to all our award winners!



Each year, Evergreen PTSA seeks community input for recognizing outstanding volunteers, staff and community members at Evergreen for their contributions. We received many nominations for each category. Some nominees received multiple nominations. We thank all the nominees for their service towards our school community. Each of you are a winner in our eyes. Following are the award categories the EMS PTSA grants. We have included excerpts from the nominations for each winner. 


When Evergreen Jr. High (now Evergreen Middle School) opened its doors in the fall of 1982, Mr. Ferguson was the principal who had been chosen to lead the new staff and students. He began teaching at Kirkland Jr. High in 1956 after receiving a degree in history from Western Washington University. After earning a Master’s Degree he became a vice principal, then principal of KJH. In 1972 he moved to Rose Hill Jr. High to serve as their principal, where he remained until he was chosen to be Evergreen’s planning principal. Not only was Mr. Ferguson admired and respected within our school district, but he also provided leadership at the state level as president of the Washington Jr. High and Middle School Principals Association.

The Walter J. Ferguson Service Award is given in recognition of the vision he had for Evergreen. It is to be awarded to a teacher or staff member who exemplifies the high standards he set. He believed that learning should be enjoyable and that Evergreen students should receive the very best educational opportunity possible.

2022-2023 Award Winner:

Dedra IngramDedra Ingram, 2022-23 winner of the Walter J. Ferguson Service Award

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Ingram runs the chess club, anime club and LWSD culinary competition. She has served on the Student Well-Being Committee, which works in conjunction with the Eagle Time Planning Committee to create whole-school lessons on social and emotional learning. She teaches electives that help students learn real-world skills, such as cooking, financial literacy, career development and navigating higher education.

She is loved and admired by her students, and she loves them! Students often describe Mrs. Ingram as their "favorite teacher." "I always looked forward to Culinary Arts class the most," says a former student who routinely uses and builds upon the skills learned in Mrs. Ingram's classroom. One parent expressed, "Ms. Ingram has ignited the passion for cooking in my child."

As Walter J. Ferguson envisioned for Evergreen back in 1982, Mrs. Ingram provides her students with outstanding educational opportunities and makes learning fun.


The Outstanding Advocate Award was established in 2004 to recognize an individual for their advocacy and commitment in helping to create strong policies relating to the health, welfare, safety and education of children and youth. Recipients receive a certificate and pin, and a contribution is made in their name to the WSPTA Scholarship Program that benefits students.

2022-2023 Award Winner:

Meghan Palmer, 2022-23 Outstanding Advocate award winner Meghan Palmer                                                                                         

Ms. Palmer teachers Study Skills in addition to Science and Foundations. She not only supports her Study Skills students to achieve academic excellence, but she also supports them socially and emotionally, especially the ones who need extra attention. She makes sure they've eaten breakfast and have friends. She is their advocate and voice in team meetings. She provides a safe place for them to land.

A former student says, "Ms. Palmer is the best science teacher I had at Evergreen. She makes learning science fun, and she has a sense of humor that made me feel welcome and comfortable in her classroom."

Ms. Palmer also supports her students after hours. She can be seen at her students' sports functions, waving handmade posters for each of them and being their loudest cheerleader. She loves the students, and they love her!

Maria Perez, 2022-23 Outstanding Advocate award winnerMaria Perez

Ms. Perez, our head custodian, has been at Evergreen for 15 years, and she is described as "the backbone of the school."

She has been instrumental in implementing and overseeing Evergreen's excellent composting and recycling programs, including managing student helpers, which will be vital to the health and welfare of all our children and our community for years to come. She also takes it upon herself to help students who are struggling from food insecurity, making sure they have enough to eat at lunchtime.

In addition to her regular job duties, Maria helps manage building use from outside organizations, and she aids the office manager with furniture and supply orders. Maria is always willing to lend a hand to her fellow staff and to our volunteers. She keeps our school running smoothly behind the scenes, and we are so fortunate to have her!


This unique Washington State PTA award recognizes any school or community member who does an exceptional job of providing educational opportunities for our students.  An educator may be defined as a teacher, assistant, custodian, bus driver, administrator, or PTSA/community member.  This person is a positive role model for our students who goes beyond the normal scope of their job to create an outstanding educational environment.  Evergreen PTSA will make a donation in the name of the recipient of this award to the Washington State PTA Grant Foundation for post secondary education scholarships. 

2022-2023 Award Winner:

Kendall GalbraithKendall Galbraith, 2022-23 Outstanding Educator award recipient

Ms. Galbraith is known for going above and beyond to provide support and encouragement to all students, in and out of the classroom. She keeps students engaged by making learning interactive and fun, and she never gives up on a student. For example, when she has students in her class who are new to the English language or struggling with math, she works diligently to find new methods and technology to help these students make sense of what they are learning, even if it means taking on extra work for herself.

Ms. Galbraith has been an integral member of several school teams over the past seven years, such as TIF, the Student Well-Being Team, and the Parent-Community Partnership Team. EMS administration frequently relies on her because she is excellent at problem-solving and is highly detail-oriented while keeping the bigger picture in mind.

As her colleagues have said, "She is an outstanding educator because students who leave her class can do math! They come to love and feel confident in their math abilities. She makes learning fun and accessible through her changing practices." "Kendall is the foundation of the 6th grade math team, and she is irreplaceable!"


This award is unique to our school community.  It was established in 1995 to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their continued and dedicated service to students at EMS.  An individual receiving this award is a positive role model.  He or she goes above and beyond the call to encourage the success of our students, in turn making Evergreen a better place for all.

2022-2023 Award Winner:

Elena LuicanElena Luican, 2022-23 Golden Eagle award recipient

Elena Luican has been a valuable member of our board for the past two years. As our PTSA's vice president of activities, Elena oversees monthly staff appreciation lunches as well as staff appreciation week in May. She can be seen in the staff lounge each month working hard with her team of parent volunteers to make sure EMS staff members are given VIP treatment.

Elena has also organized parent and community events, such as principal chats and a virtual dance night. She is always thinking of fun and creative ways to enrich and engage our community and to make the EMS staff feel special. Furthermore, she is always there to support her fellow board members whenever we need her. Elena's positive energy and can-do attitude are what makes her such a great asset to our PTSA!


Carol Lugtu, 2022-23 Golden Eagle award winner Carol Lugtu

Carol Lugtu has been instrumental as part of our PTSA's communications team. She eloquently writes and distributes our Eagle Express newsletter every week after painstakingly collecting articles from each board member and chair, making sure we meet our deadlines. She also keeps on top of family engagement events and educational opportunities in our community and publicizes them, which greatly benefits our families.

While we were without a vice president of communications, Carol stepped in and helped keep our website and calendar updated. Whenever we need help putting together articles or flyers, Carol uses her expertise as a creative and technical writer as well as her artistic talent to make our communications more effective and articulate. She will be greatly missed as her student moves on to Eastlake High School. We wish her all the best!


This is the highest award the PTSA gives to honor an individual who has consistently demonstrated outstanding service to all children in the Evergreen community.  This award recipient has made the commitment to helping children and youth in many areas of the community, over and above the responsibilities of an office or job.  A contribution will be made by our PTSA in the name of the Golden Acorn Award recipient to the Washington State PTA Grant Foundation which in turn funds scholarships to high school seniors for post-secondary education. 

2022-2023 Award Winner:

Liying Cai, 2022-23 Golden Acorn award winner Liying Cai

Liying Cai has been an integral part of developing Evergreen PTSA's enrichment program over the past two years. She spends countless hours promoting clubs; recruiting chairs, coaches and volunteers; training her volunteers; answering volunteers' questions at all hours and making sure they have the resources they need to teach our students; overseeing competitions; and even running clubs herself.

Liying's passion for providing enrichment opportunities for our students and her impressive organizational skills are what sets Evergreen's enrichment program apart from other middle schools in our district. Her dedication to enriching our students' lives has been invaluable, and our program would not be what it is today without her leadership.

Washington State PTA 2022-2023 SILVER Membership Growth Award Recipient 2022-2023 Washington State PTA 100% Staff Membership Award Recipient

PTSA# 2.8.68  |  6900 208th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98053  |  425 936-2320  |  Lake Washington School District