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Two MIHS graduates to be honored with 2022 Pathfinder Awards at Spring For Schools Showcase and Auction April 24

April 20, 2022 – The Mercer Island School District will present its seventh annual Pathfinder Awards to two graduates of Mercer Island High School whose achievements, strength of character, and citizenship inspire and challenge today’s youth to make significant contributions to humankind.

The 2022 Pathfinder Award recipients are:

Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci Pizza, MIHS Class of 1987

Kirk Robinson - Posthumous Selection, Bothell Fire Department Lieutenant, MIHS Class of 1995

“The work both Matt and Kirk have done to give back to their community are great examples for today’s youth,” said Superintendent Donna Colosky. “To see what these two Pathfinders have done shows how much impact our youth can have in communities big and small. This impact is especially important now as we have all navigated our way through the Covid-19 pandemic and the examples set by our Pathfinders prior to the pandemic, will show our youth the example that support from dedicated individuals is integral to communities thriving under all circumstances.”

They will be honored at the Mercer Island Schools Foundation’s Spring for Schools Showcase and Auction Virtual Event on Sunday, April 24. At Mercer Island High School there is a permanent display that recognizes all Pathfinder Awards recipients as well distinguished graduates recognized prior to the Pathfinder Awards.

The recipients were selected from over 20 nominations submitted by the community and chosen by the Pathfinder Selection Committee comprised of:

Amanda Stoffer – MISD PTA Council President Elect
Andrew Howison – MIHS Junior. Student Representative to the School Board
Annabelle Hegarty – MIHS Sophomore
Daniel Becker – MIHS Class of 2001. Parent of future MISD student.
Ian Henry – MIHS Class of 1991, Communications Coordinator MISD
Joci Besecker – Parent of two MISD students. PTA Volunteer.
Salim Nice – MIHS Class of 1992, City of Mercer Island Mayor
Tammy Shoop – Executive Director, Mercer Island Schools Foundation
Vivek Mehta – MIHS Class of 1989. Parent of two MISD students

Matt Galvin - Pagliacci co-owner, Matt Galvin, employs over 1,000 people but can be found working the line or delivering pizzas at one of Pagliacci’s 24 stores. Even more inspiring is his commitment to supporting local communities to make them better places for all.

Matt has co-owned Pagliacci since 1999. Pagliacci became the third-largest purchaser of green power in all of Seattle under his leadership. Pagliacci was also the first restaurant chain to compost and the first to build a LEED-certified pizzeria. Matt was part of the leadership group of Earth Day NW 2020 and eliminated single-use plastics in all stores.

Since 2006, Matt has helped feed 180 people a day through St. James' Cathedral Kitchen. Not only does he donate pizzas, but he also chairs the Soup Kitchen Fundraising Committee. Additionally, Pagliacci supports Operation Sack Lunch to provide meals to those struggling with hunger.

Matt is on the board of the Third Door Coalition, an organization focused on ending chronic homelessness through permanent supportive housing. Matt also has been the chair of the Plymouth Housing Fundraising Committee for the past two years.

After George Floyd’s death, Matt spearheaded a GoFundMe campaign for Community Passageways, who he’s supported since 2018. This organization helps court-involved youth of color break the school-to-life pathway. The campaign has raised over $153,000.

Seeing Covid-19’s devastating impact on the restaurant industry, Matt bought goods from industry peers, especially minority-owned businesses, as gifts for customers. These Community Giveaways funneled over $500,000 to peers hurt by the pandemic. Matt grew up on Mercer Island and is a proud member of the MIHS Sports Hall of Fame. Matt’s dedication to doing the right thing has made our region a better place. He is an impressive inspiration for the youth of our community. I can think of no one more deserving of the Pathfinder Award.

Amanda Stoffer, Pathfinder Committee member and MISD PTA Council President had this to say about Matt: “In reviewing Matt's nomination, the awards committee was bowled over by the many ways he has given back to his community. Whether through his hands-on work supporting at-risk youth and the homeless, or his impactful commitment to green initiatives at his well-loved Pagliacci chain, it is clear that Matt represents the best of Mercer Island. The committee is thrilled to present him with the Pathfinder Award.”

Kirk Robinson – K-Rob, as he was affectionately known, was a problem solver and community helper who unfortunately passed away in 2019 after a courageous battle against cancer.

Kirk joined Mercer Island’s auxiliary firefighting force in 1999, was an EMT in Mercer Island’s Marine Patrol, and joined Bothell’s Fire Department in April of 2001.

He was a go-to-guy for so many in the Mercer Island community and the Bothell Fire Department community. You could find Kirk helping to put up holiday lights for a neighbor or organizing a community Fourth of July picnic, even though he was in the late stages of cancer, or working with his church to bring groups to Mexico to help build houses.

His favorite stories to share were those of “people helping people” which led him to create the Free Mercer Island Facebook Group. This group, which has over 3,100 members, enables the community to freely give items they would like someone else to use.

On April 5 the Mercer Island City Council voted unanimously to rename the Skate Park at Mercerdale Park to the “Kirk Robinson Skate Park”. The Council’s decision highlights the leader Kirk was in our community and the service he provided to our community. Kirk’s prodigious volunteer work will always be an example for current and future District students.

Salim Nice, Pathfinder Committee member and City of Mercer Island Mayor had this to say about Kirk: “I'm particularly excited about the committee's posthumous award to Kirk Robinson. On October 4th, 2019, this community lost Kirk as we headed into what would become a multi-year pandemic response. We needed to circle back to recognize Kirk for all of his contributions and the countless lives he touched. Kirk anchored so many with his spirit, enthusiasm, and commitment to the service of others. It was natural that we take this moment to reflect on Kirk and all that he gave to so many."