What makes Somerset Soar?

General School Assistants!


General School Assistants (GSAs) are the unsung heroes of our school. They are often the first friendly faces our students see at arrival and the last they wave goodbye to at dismissal. Somerset has a total of 8 GSAs on staff this year, all of whom your children likely know by name: Mr. Anh Le, Ms. Debbie Chiu, Ms. Elsa Fong, Ms. Ilse Orta Mederos, Ms. Janine Le, Mr. Joe Atofau, Ms. Keiko Mohr, Ms. Levanya Gottepu, and Mr. Shun Ren.

Joseph Atofau Debbie Chiu Elsa Fong Levanya Gottepu  
Anh Le Keiko Mohr Shun Ren Janine Le Ilse Orta Mederos

Supporting the GSA program at Somerset is one of the PTSA’s top priorities. Each year, we supplement the school’s GSA budget with a $150,000 grant, which nearly doubles the amount of GSA support available to our teachers and students. The additional hours our grant provides are primarily dedicated to classroom time, where GSAs reduce the adult-to-student ratio, help teachers with small group work, and provide 1-on-1 academic and/or social-emotional support to students. The PTSA’s contribution also increases the amount of safety, security, and supervision available during recess, lunch, and student arrival/dismissal times. 

In our eNews, we will spotlight our wonderful GSAs by sharing who they are and what they love about being a GSA at Somerset. We hope this series spreads awareness and appreciation for the people who work so hard to ensure that our school remains a safe, orderly, and welcoming learning space. 

In the following video, Principal Elder, Ms. Ayers & Ms. Wilbert (Kindergarten), Ms. Embaye (1st grade), and Mr. Pelto (4th grade) highlight how and why GSAs are essential to the school, their classrooms, and most importantly, all of our students.

Our mission is to support the education, health, and welfare of each and every child at Somerset Elementary School. As part of the Washington State PTA, we are a nonprofit membership association bringing together the home, school, and community on behalf of our children.