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On behalf of the Oregon Department of Education, Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) is proud to announce the selection of Ms. Tia McLean, kindergarten teacher at Helman Elementary School in the Ashland School District, as a 2019 Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year.  Ms. McLean will be honored at a Helman School assembly on March 21, 2019 at 9:30 AM, where she will be awarded a check for $500.00.

SOESD convened a Blue Ribbon Panel made up of diverse and unbiased panel members who equitably represented the geographic region of Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties. The panel, who reviewed six applications from a larger set of nominations, looked for a teacher who exemplified the following attributes:

  • Is an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher in any state-approved or accredited school, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, who is planning to continue in an active teaching status
  • Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence
  • Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success
  • Deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large
  • Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning
  • Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way

The Oregon Teacher of the Year Program started in 1955, and is managed by the Oregon Department of Education.  Anyone can nominate a candidate for the recognition, but teachers may not nominate themselves. Once selected, the Oregon Teacher of the Year is also a candidate to apply for the National Teacher of the Year recognition.  The selected teacher serves as the face and voice of exemplary educators across the state of Oregon, and engages and inspires other teachers and community leaders as a representative of the profession.

The Oregon Department of Education chose in 2017-18 to expand the selection process for the  nominees. The goal of the expansion is to honor teachers in every region of the state. Education Service Districts across Oregon reviewed applications submitted from their geographic region and facilitated a Blue Ribbon Panel using a review process to identify winners in their regions.  Thirteen winners will go on to be considered for Oregon Teacher of the Year, which will be decided in September.

SOESD is proud of the amazing teachers in our three county region, exemplified by Ms. McLean, who are focused on quality teaching, learning, and student achievement.

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