BEST Tips for Mentors: June 2022


Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST)


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BEST Events

Mentor Academy 101 

June 15 & 16, 8am- 3pm

June 21 & 23, 8am- 3pm

June 27 & 28, 8am- 3pm

August 2 & 4, 8am-3pm

August 8 & 10, 8am-3pm

August 9 & 11, 8am-3pm

August 15 & 22, 8am-3pm

August 16 & 18, 8am-3pm

Mentor Academy 201

August 3 & 5, 8am-3pm

August 23 & 25, 8am-3pm

Mentoring ESAs *NEW!

Dates TBD for upcoming school year

Mentoring Preservice Teacher Candidates 

June 29, 8am- 3pm

Check out the BEST Events & Trainings page to register for open opportunities! BEST will continue to provide all events online until further notice.

BEST Contacts

Lan Le, Program Administrator

Kati Casto de Ventura, Program Supervisor

Bawaajigekwe Boulley, Program Supervisor 

Contact us:


P: (360) 725-6430

Tips for Mentors
June 2022

Tragedy in Texas: OSPI Response and Resources

After high-profile, tragic events, children may feel that they are in danger, or worry that friends and loved ones are at risk. They will often come to families, teachers, and other trusted adults with questions and to find reassurance, but it isn’t always easy to know what to say. OSPI has gathered resources from experts across the web, including our own laws around school safety, to help inform and guide these conversations. Talking to children about their fears can help alleviate those fears and help young people feel secure.

Read OSPI’s blog post, Supporting Students Through Tragedies, for tips from experts for talking with young people about violence, as well as for an overview of Washington’s school safety laws. You may also read Superintendent Reykdal’s statement on the shooting.

Honing Awareness

Coaches and mentors carry great responsibility to lead professional learning and facilitate reflective discussions with colleagues. When planning and coordinating learning experiences, engage with awareness as a practice. Increased awareness can build trust and essentially strengthen relationships with colleagues. Additionally, increased awareness calls in new voices, perspectives, and knowledges, which is equity in action!  

Here is a resource that will help with honing awareness shared by Patricia Beuke. She learned of this resource from the Bright Morning Podcast by Elena Aguilar: HONING AWARENESS QUESTIONS

Patricia Beuke is the Director of Learning Support at the Olympic Educational District 114.  She is a BEST Mentor Faculty, Induction Coach, ESD Lead, Round Table Facilitator, and Nakia Academy Facilitator.

Gratitude to Patricia for highlighting this important practice of honing awareness that will help us all grow and be better equipped to show up for those we serve.

Story as Pedagogy

Sonia Barry and Hilari Anderson are BEST Mentor Faculty. They co-presented a breakout session in March at our annual BEST conference titled "Opening the Doors of Perception Through Storytelling." Participants explored the ways mentors might use storytelling to dismantle the ways implicit biases limit student and teacher potential. There was time to examine patterns that become cemented in our perceptions and practice ways to "re-see" data. When we imagine alternate stories, we create new neural pathways and behaviors aimed at creating supportive, nurturing learning environments. 

Sonia and Hilari share the article "Why the Best Mentors Use Storytelling" in their presentation.

This Story Video from Roger Fernandes provides an overview of Native American perspective on stories and their role in Native American culture.


Meet Sonia Barry & Hilari Anderson

Sonia Barry is the Assistant Director of Students Services with Central Kitsap School District, a contractor with OSPI and CSTP as a racial equity specialist and staff developer with AVID for Culturally Responsive Teaching. On a personal note, she is a federally enrolled tribal member (Aleut), has lived and worked abroad, and has lived and worked with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This is her 25th year in education. She resides in Poulsbo, WA with her family and she is also a practicing artist.

Hilari Anderson is a mentor for novice educators in the Kent School District, as well as a facilitator for OSPI at the 101 and 201 levels. Through her own career of both successes and missteps regarding racial equity, she sees how supporting new teachers early in their careers can make a difference in dismantling practices that harm BIPOC children. She uses her sphere of influence to help her teachers "see better" (Stembridge, 37) so that they may leverage their brilliance in the cause of advancing racial equity.

Email Sonia and Hilari if you would like to contract with them for professional learning at your school or organization.

Mental Health

May was #mentalhealthawarenessmonth. If you or someone you know is looking for services, City University of Seattle offers a range of free counseling options for the community. For appointments or questions, email