For outstanding performance, professionalism and loyalty to the Hemet Unified School District, outgoing Trustee Paul Bakkom (right) presents the Governing Board Recognition of Excellence award and a $500 certificate to Idyllwild resident Jason Sonnier, Hamilton High School counselor, to be used toward the district program of his choice. The award was made at last week’s HUSD meeting at Idyllwild School.       Photo by J.P. Crumrine
For outstanding performance, professionalism and loyalty to the Hemet Unified School District, outgoing Trustee Paul Bakkom (right) presents the Governing Board Recognition of Excellence award and a $500 certificate to Idyllwild resident Jason Sonnier, Hamilton High School counselor, to be used toward the district program of his choice. The award was made at last week’s HUSD meeting at Idyllwild School. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Besides the arguments over the salary negotiations, two other significant events occurred at last week’s Hemet Unified School District meeting in Idyllwild.

The evening was the last meeting for Trustee and current board President Paul Bakkom. At the beginning of the session, he honored Hamilton High School counselor and Idyllwild resident Jason Sonnier. Bakkom presented Sonnier with the Governing Board Recognition of Excellence award and a $500 certificate to be used toward the district program of Sonnier’s choice.

Vic Scavarda, the Idyllwild trustee, also congratulated Sonnier and said, “Counselors are important and we don’t have enough.”

Sonnier, a graduate of San Diego State University with two master’s degrees, came to HUSD in 2005 as a substitute teacher. He began his counseling career at Hamilton High School in 2006.

Bakkom was elected to the board in 2010 and retired this year without seeking re-election. “It was probably the most interesting four years of my life,” he told his colleagues. Bakkom taught with HUSD for 36 years. His wife, Holly Guntermann, is the retired Idyllwild School physical education teacher.

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