Kipton Solmonson recognized as GEAR UP West Professional of the Year

Education professionals from the western United States gather at the annual GEAR UP West conference to share best practices for helping low-income and underrepresented students prepare for and succeed in college.

During this year’s conference, Spokane Public Schools’ GEAR UP Liaison Kipton Solmonson received the GEAR UP West Professional of the Year award for his exemplary work as a student advocate and college access practitioner. 

Solmonson, nominated by his peers, draws from his own experiences to inspire a passion for perseverance to the college finish line. Working collaboratively with his GEAR UP and Spokane Public Schools’ colleagues, he developed a full-day, high school transition experience for his 8th grade students. Solmonson shared the practice in a GEAR UP workshop, and since then it has been implemented in other schools, positively impacting thousands of students throughout Spokane County. 

The GEAR UP West Professional of the Year Award is selected by a cohort of GEAR UP education professionals. Two other Washington GEAR UP professionals were nominated for the 2015 award: Alicia Naig, a GEAR UP graduation specialist at Everett High School, and Rosalie Sigler, a GEAR UP site coordinator at West Valley High School.