Three Washington Educators Earn Top Marks as “Teacher of the Year”

Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Restaurants awarded HaLee Webster of Crestwood Elementary, Tamara Zulauf and Christine Bruil of Lake Tapps Elementary winners of the 2018 contest

SEATTLE – June 22, 2018 – For the past 15 years, Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Restaurants have called on Washington state students to submit reasons why their classroom leader should be recognized as “Teacher of the Year,” and every year hundreds of entries pour in telling inspiring tales of creative teaching and mentoring. This year was no exception – Ivar’s is pleased to announce HaLee Webster of Crestwood Elementary as the grand prize winner of the Teacher of the Year award and, for the first time in the history of the contest, Kidd Valley is pleased to announce both Tamara Zulauf and Christine Bruil of Lake Tapps Elementary as grand prize co-winners of the Teacher of the Year award.

Recently, each teacher was presented with their winning prize package: a $500 check to put toward the purchase of class supplies (split at $250 each for co-winners Zulauf and Bruil), a commemorative plaque and the official title of “Teacher of the Year.” Plus, the nominating students of the grand prize winners received either an Ivar’s Kids Meal – including a visit by Ivar’s famous Dancing Clam – or a Kidd Valley Kids Meal for every student in their class.

Fifth grade student Aly Skagen nominated Mrs. HaLee Webster for her ability to make learning fun by showing her students how lessons on taxes, area and perimeter and more can be applied in life with real-life examples. Mrs. Webster also knows when students need a little extra help with a particular subject and spends quality one-on-one time with each until they understand completely, which Skagen contributes to her good grades. She believes the class feels like family.

Fifth grade student Aly Skagen nominated Mrs. HaLee Webster  Image courtesy Ivar's and Kidd Valley Restaurants
Fifth grade student Aly Skagen nominated Mrs. HaLee Webster Image courtesy Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Restaurants

Second/third grade co-teachers Mrs. Zulauf and Mrs. Bruil were nominated by their student, Kenna Hansen. Mrs. Zulauf was praised for the amazing science and hands-on projects she completes in class, including green slime, a race track, tie dye shirts and the classic volcano eruption. She is also inspiring to others around her because she is always confident and cheerful and listens to what everyone has to say. Mrs. Bruil was nominated for spending extra time with students, even after regular hours, when they need help no matter how big or small. She also created a kit for each student filled with supplies and treats to encourage each student to do well during the Smarter Balanced test.

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:

Kelli Munro: Fifth Grade, Coe Elementary (Seattle)

Kristina Brown: Sixth Grade, Terrace Park School (Edmonds)

Kidd Valley first place winners:

Gary Bass: Sixth Grade, Cascadia Elementary (Seattle)

Denisha Saucedo: Sixth Grade, Kent Elementary (Kent)

Fifteen teachers each also received second place honors which included a $25 Ivar’s or Kidd Valley gift card, including:

Nadia Jessa, Fifth Grade, Cherry Crest Elementary (Bellevue)

Jessica Leuthold, Kindergarten, Brookdale Elementary (Tacoma)

Maria Chavez, Second Grade, Lake Grove Elementary (Federal Way)

Timmi Harrop, Kindergarten, Adams Elementary (Seattle)

Bradley Dean Proffit, Eighth Grade, Madrona K-8 (Edmonds)

Amy Huyser, First Grade, Sawyer Woods Elementary (Kent)

Kristopher Hamper, Fourth Grade, Mukilteo Elementary (Mukilteo)

Craig Arango, Fifth Grade, Bryant Elementary (Seattle)

Heid Hickman, Learning Assistance Program, Pope Elementary (Puyallup)

Richard Musser, Second Grade, Hazel Wolf K-8 (Seattle)

Laura Stafki, Third Grade, Minter Creek Elementary (Gig Harbor)

Kim Majors, Second Grade, Highland Elementary (Lake Stevens)

Denise Cahill, Third/Fourth Grades, Maple Valley Elementary (Renton)

Brian Sherrill, Fourth Grade, Carriage Crest Elementary (Kent)

Aubree Bixman, Fourth/Fifth Grades, McDonald International School (Seattle)

Kidd Valley second place winners:

Jessica James: Fourth Grade, Bryant Elementary (Seattle)

Kristen Young, Sixth Grade, Kamiakin Middle School (Kirkland)

Anna Hymes, Third Grade, Renton Christian School (Renton)

Miriam Choe, First Grade, Olympic Hills Elementary (Seattle)

Zoe Kunkel-Patterson, Kindergarten, Broadview Thomson K-8 (Seattle)

Karla Moreno, Sixth through Eighth Grade, Chinook Middle School (Bellevue)

Lauren Dick, Third Grade, Eastside Christian School (Bellevue)

Jen Sclafani, Second Grade, Thorton Creek Elementary (Seattle)

Denise Peters, Fourth Grade, Meridian Park Elementary (Shoreline)

Jenny Crowell, Third Grade, West Woodland Elementary (Seattle)

Mary Allen, Fifth Grade, The Meridian School (Seattle)

Anna Beckley, Kindergarten, Presidents Elementary (Arlington)

Victoria Cohen, Fourth Grade, Cottage Lake Elementary (Woodinville)

Robin Carlson, Fourth Grade, Maltby Elementary (Monroe)

Wendy Morgan, Kindergarten, Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (Seattle)

About Ivar’s: Ivar’s Restaurants opened on Seattle’s waterfront in 1938. Today, there are 21 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 nationally and internationally. The company also operates regional stadium concessions including Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, Husky Stadium and Cheney Stadium. Learn more at or Follow Ivar’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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 World Famous Garlic Fries and signature fried mushrooms. Kidd Valley began in 1975 in Seattle’s University District. Today, Kidd Valley has seven retail locations throughout Western Washington plus multiple stadium locations throughout western Washington. For more, please visit

– Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Restaurants