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The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, announced Tuesday, May 19, Oregon’s 2021 Regional Teachers of the Year. From the very beginning of this global pandemic, teachers have stepped up in countless, innovative ways to ensure students are safe, healthy and engaged to reach their full potential. From rural to urban and kindergarten through 12th grade, this year’s regional teachers exemplify best practices in teaching in a wide variety of settings across the state.

“Oregon educators never cease to amaze me with their resilience, creativity and unwavering commitment to student success,” said Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education. “I’m honored and grateful to celebrate these 15 Regional Teachers of the Year for their excellence in this pivotal profession.”

Oregon educators were identified through a regional application and selection process facilitated by local Education Service Districts. Applicants submitted testimonials and letters of support and were assessed on leadership, instructional expertise, and commitment to equity, community involvement, and understanding of educational issues, professional development and vision by a diverse panel of regional representatives.

Each Regional Teacher of the Year will receive a $500 award from the Oregon Lottery, and is automatically considered for the honor of 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year, which will be announced this fall.

“Now, more than ever, I believe there is a new appreciation for the dedicated efforts of our teachers,” said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. “The list of Regional winners is a mere snapshot of the passionate and committed educators found all across Oregon and the Oregon Lottery is delighted to be part of the Oregon Teacher of the Year awards.”

Congratulations to our 2021 Oregon Regional Teachers of the Year!

• Nicole Butler-Hooten, Irving Elementary School, Second Grade, Bethel School District

• JD Cant, Imbler High School, Agriculture Education, Imbler School District

• Kate Fisher Hedeen, Oregon City High School, Biology, Oregon City School District

• Larkin Foley, McKay High School, Language Arts, Salem-Keizer School District

• Melanie Friend, Ashwood Elementary School, Grades K-8, Ashwood School District

• Christina Geierman, North Bend High School, Science, North Bend School District

• Patrick Getchis, Wy’east Middle School, Industrial Tech, Hood River County School District

• Ryan Hamilton, Tillamook High School, History, Tillamook School District

• Brian Hanna, Newport High School, Mathematics, Lincoln County School District

• James Jeffery-West, Madison High School, Social Studies, Portland Public Schools

• Stacey Martin, Adel School District, Grades 4-8

• Mayra Pelayo, Aiken Elementary School, Kindergarten, Ontario School District

• Beverly Scott, Riddle Jr./Sr. High School, Life Science, Riddle School District

• Melissa Stolasz, Ridgeview High School, Science and Mathematics, Redmond School District

• Jordan Werner, Riverside Elementary School, Physical Education, Grants Pass School District

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