Chamber’s annual awards given to advocates for area children

The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce honored two people who have both worked as advocates for children as recipients of the Man of the Year and Woman of the Year awards.

The honorees are South Kitsap School District Superintendent Dave La Rose and Sheila Cline, who has worked to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis.

La Rose — who won the Kitsap Scouting Service to Youth Award in 2011 and the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Whole Child Award in 2009 — was chosen by the chamber for his service to local youth throughout his career.

“Dave is a strong advocate for the whole child and believes that in order for every child to succeed, we must ensure that they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged and hopeful,” according to Coreen Haydock, executive director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce.

La Rose’s education and career have taken him across the country.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt., then a master’s degree in education from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.

He began his teaching career in Arizona, then moved to the South Kitsap School District.

His roles at SKSD have included assistant superintendent for school and family support, and principal at Orchard Heights Elementary School.

La Rose is in his fourth year as the district’s superintendent.

Cline has done a much different sort of work for children in the community.

When Kinsey, one of her two daughters, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, Cline began fundraising for the Arthritis Foundation.

Since then, she has worked to raise money and awareness about juvenile arthritis, working with several of her friends to organize a Jingle Bell Run and Walk for the Arthritis Foundation in Port Orchard. The inaugural event will be held Dec. 3 in connection with the annual Festival of Chimes and Lights.

Her additional volunteer work over the past 10 years includes work with the Kitsap Humane Society, Animal Krackers Gala Event and Petswalk.

The chamber awards were presented at a banquet Oct. 14.

The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce has given a Man of the Year award since 1963, adding the Woman of the Year award in 1982.

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