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Crystal Apple

Four LGSD employees to be honored with Crystal Apple Awards

LA GRANDE – Four La Grande School District employees will be honored during the InterMountain Education Service District’s inaugural Union County Crystal Apple Awards ceremony May 16. The District would like to extend its congratulations to: Ellen Blackman, Greg Franklin, Sally McCann and Missy Rinker.

The IMESD has hosted the Crystal Apple Awards in Pendleton to honor outstanding education staff in Umatilla and Morrow county school districts for the past 12 years. With the merger between the Umatilla-Morrow and Union-Baker ESDs, the IMESD will now also host a similar event in La Grande to honor Union County school district staff (including La Grande, Cove, Elgin, Imbler, North Powder and Union school districts). The Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards will take place on May 16 at the Hoke Union Building at Eastern Oregon University with a social at 4:45 p.m. and the ceremony at 5:15 p.m.

Ellen Blackman
Ellen Blackman is a secretary at Island City Elementary School. She has worked for the LGSD for 30 years, the past 14 of which have been at Island City Elementary. Her principal, John Tolan – who nominated her for the award – said Blackman “establishes a positive and safe atmosphere for students and parents at Island City,” as well as has a great rapport with new parents. Tolan said he is amazed with Blackman’s multi-tasking abilities and her expectations for high standards of behavior of students at her school. She’ll retire this year. “Ellen has very close connections to the parents, students and staff of Island City School,” said Superintendent Larry Glaze. “Her departure will leave a void in public relations. We appreciate the work Ellen has done for La Grande School District.”




Greg Franklin
Greg Franklin is a science teacher at La Grande High School, and has also been with the LGSD for 30 years. He is known for his ability to get a reluctant learner to buy into education. His lessons have stayed with students long after graduation, and he’s often cited as students’ favorite LHS teacher. He, too, will retire this year. “Greg is a very loyal, dedicated and hardworking teacher who is committed to science education,” Glaze said. “He connects well with high school students and has motivated many students to learn more science that they would have without his inspiration. His professionalism will be missed!” 

Sally McCann
Sally McCann is a secretary at Greenwood Elementary, and has worked for LGSD for 32 years. Her principal, Mike Gregory, nominated her and said McCann is “very hard-working and gets the job done.” In addition, “Sally has worked extremely hard this year to assist our district with our elementary boundary efforts,” Gregory said. “She has gone ‘above and beyond’ her regular duties to make precise and user-friendly materials to make good decisions about our elementary boundaries.” Superintendent Glaze had this to say about McCann: “Sally is a ‘can do’ secretary. She is able to get things done regardless of the difficulty or time commitment of the task. Sally keeps Greenwood School operating smoothly and without a hitch on a day to day basis. She is invaluable to the successful operation of Greenwood Elementary.”



Missy Rinker
Missy Rinker is a 5th grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary, and has worked in the LGSD for 13 years. Coworkers say she’s an integral part of Greenwood, with positive energy and many kind comments for children and adults alike. In addition, Rinker has contributed to Greenwood’s commitment to Positive Behavior Support Interventions by beginning each Monday morning with an inspiring, high-energy all school assembly. “Missy Rinker is a highly motivated and dedicated young educator,” Glaze said. “She has a positive rapport with the children and adults of Greenwood Elementary. Missy has been an outstanding leader of Professional Learning Community work at Greenwood School. She is truly an inspirational young teacher and a great ambassador for the many excellent educators working in La Grande School District.”