Our lives are better because of their work | In Our Opinion

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 YWCA Women of Achievement Awards. Our lives are better because of their work.

They will be honored on April 21 at Kiana Lodge in Suquamish: Patty Glaser, Darlene Iskra, Janet Jones, Amy Lawrence, Ardis Morrow, Sapna Sapori, Stacey Saunders, Tanya Spoon.

Glaser, public information officer for the Bremerton School District, helped develop Kitsap County’s first free all-day kindergarten program and a Spanish Language Immersion Program, and has worked to increase student equity and help students complete high school and go on to college.

Iskra, a retired U.S. Navy commander, broke a glass ceiling in the Navy when she became the first female commanding officer of a commissioned Navy vessel.

Jones, who in a relatively short time rose from dishwasher to clubhouse manager at Kitsap Golf & Country Club, started a nonprofit to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in the wedding industry.

Lawrence, an Olympic College professor, teaches environmental sustainability and helped restore salmon habitat at Chico Creek.

Morrow, a former Port of Kingston commissioner and North Kitsap School Board member, has devoted the last 30 years of her life to strengthening laws to protect children from domestic violence and to provide opportunities for domestic violence survivors to rebuild their lives.

Saunders chairs the Central Kitsap Community Council, is executive director of Central Stage Theatre (aka CSTOCK), worked with the Central Kitsap School District to integrate arts education into the district’s curriculum, and is managing the capital campaign to build a shared community/school theater at Ridgetop Middle School.

Sopori, director of the residential school at Islandwood, advocates for equality for students of color, launched the organization’s diversity and inclusion initiative, mentors graduate students, and founded Islandwood’s Multicultural Environmental Education Conference.

Spoon founded The Manette Clinic and the West Sound Free Clinic, developing partnerships with nonprofit agencies to provide free or discounted services to people who need them.

More protection for children. New lives for domestic violence survivors. Access to health care. Arts education in schools. A more inclusive society. Career obstacles removed. Salmon habitat restored.

Read more about these Women of Achievement in Kitsap Weekly.