Community

Community pays tribute to retiring Bellevue Schools librarian

Paying tribute to retiring Cherry Crest Elementary School librarian, Joanne Furgason, at an event attended by several hundred parents, children, and past and present principals and colleagues. From left: School Board member Betsy Johnson, retired principal George McDonald, Joanne Furgason, and School Board member Paul Mills.  - Marianne Berg Heywood photo
Paying tribute to retiring Cherry Crest Elementary School librarian, Joanne Furgason, at an event attended by several hundred parents, children, and past and present principals and colleagues. From left: School Board member Betsy Johnson, retired principal George McDonald, Joanne Furgason, and School Board member Paul Mills.
— image credit: Marianne Berg Heywood photo

Several hundred people gathered at Cherry Crest Elementary on Wednesday to pay tribute to the 33-year career of retiring Bellevue Schools librarian, Joanne Furgason.

“You’ve set a gold standard for librarian professionalism in every school you’ve served,” said School Board member Paul Mills. “Every child enjoyed a richer elementary school experience because of your unwavering commitment.”

Furgason joined the Bellevue School District in 1974 as a newly minted librarian with a master’s degree from the University of Washington.

“My first job was at Three Points School where Bill Burton was principal,” said Furgason. “In those days we weren’t allowed to wear pants to work.”

In 1975, Furgason joined the staff of Somerset, the biggest and newest elementary school in the District.

“The new Somerset library was so impressive, photos were shared at the UW Library School,” said Furgason. “I was thrilled principal George McDonald took a chance on me to be the librarian.”

Furgason worked 14 years at Somerset, followed by part-time jobs at Phantom Lake and Medina.

For the past 15 years, Furgason has been the librarian at Cherry Crest under principals Greg Schell, Betty Hannaford, Mark Migliore, Marsha Golding and Michelle Carroll.

“It has been such a privilege to be a librarian for the Bellevue Schools,” said Furgason. “I’m a richer, fuller person for having worked in such amazing school communities.”

“Joanne is passionate about connecting individual children with perfectly matched books,” said Cherry Crest principal Carroll. “She’s an incredible librarian and will be hugely missed.”

Furgason has two grown children and lives in Medina with her husband Sam.

Marianne Berg Heywood is a free lance writer living in Bellevue.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.