Longtime RSD Administrative Assistant Named District's Classified School Employee of the Year

Longtime RSD Administrative Assistant Named District's Classified School Employee of the Year

Terah Ochoa is described as the heart and soul of River’s Edge High School. She consistently fosters a positive and inclusive environment where all students can thrive, one of the many reasons she is being honored as Richland School District’s Classified School Employee of the Year for 2024.

As the school’s Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Ochoa wears many hats. From coordinating student support services to organizing school-wide events, she makes herself available wherever help is needed.

Mrs. Ochoa is a strong advocate for students who do not have a support system outside of the school setting, often working late hours and over weekends to meet their needs.

“During the time I worked with Terah at REHS, she was ever present, determined to do what was best for students.” said former River’s Edge principal, and current Richland High principal, Nicole Anderson. “Terah has been a crucial part of the efforts to build a community in which all who enter River’s Edge feel loved, heard, and supported.”

Recently, Mrs. Ochoa counseled a student experiencing a mental health crisis. Through her compassion, kindness and unwavering commitment to affirming the student's worth, she was able to help them reflect on the positive impact they bring to the community at River's Edge. The student left feeling loved, valued and excited for the future.

This is just one of many examples of the “selfless commitment to the well-being of others that has earned her the respect and admiration of the entire school community,” said River’s Edge Assistant Principal Tiffany Spencer.

Mrs. Ochoa’s unwavering dedication for helping others doesn’t stop with her students. She works hand-in-hand with her peers to support them in finding ways to improve student outcomes. She is a member of the school’s PBIS, SAT and Attendance teams, helping make decisions that positively impact the students and staff at River’s Edge. 

“Terah is invaluable to our school and my work as a teacher,” said River’s Edge science teacher Jessica Kinney. “She maintains positive relationships with every single student on our campus and helps me celebrate student successes and navigate challenges with individuals.”

Mrs. Ochoa joined the Richland School District in 2014 as a paraeducator at Marcus Whitman Elementary. Since then, she has been the Administrative Assistant at White Bluffs and Jason Lee elementary schools before coming to River’s Edge in 2020.

The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes classified employees from each of Washington's educational service districts every year. Celebrated staff members are chosen for their exceptional work; the respect and admiration they have received from their community; their commitment to professional growth and deepening connections between schools and communities; their collaborative approach to creating positive and successful school cultures and dedication to student success.