• Nominate your favorite educator for Regional Teacher of the Year

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    Teacher of the Year collage

    Recent winners of the Oregon Teacher of the Year Award from Portland Public Schools are (clockwise from left) Mercedes Muñoz of Franklin High School (for 2020), Matthew Bacon-Brenes of Mt. Tabor Middle School (2018) and Elena Garcia-Velasco of SEIS at Roosevelt High School (2012).

    Do you know a teacher in Portland Public Schools who is making a dramatic difference in the lives of students? Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year Awards.

    The Oregon Department of Education is accepting nominations for awards for the state’s 19 education service districts, starting a process that leads to naming the recipient of the Oregon Teacher of the Year Award. The process, run by ODE in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, is in its third year of expansion into regional winners.

    Teachers from PPS are eligible for the regional award for the Multnomah Education Service District, which also includes the Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Reynolds and Riverdale districts. The winners of the regional awards become the candidates for the Oregon Teacher of the Year Award.

    Last year, Franklin High School special education teacher Mercedes Muñoz won the regional honor in May, then was named the Oregon Teacher of the Year in October. She joined recent PPS statewide winners Matthew Bacon-Brenes of Mt. Tabor Middle School (2018) and Elena Garcia-Velasco of SEIS at Roosevelt High School (2012).

    Nominations can be made at the Oregon Teacher of the Year website. The deadline is Jan. 31. Regional winners receive a $500 cash prize, and the statewide winner gets a $5,000 prize, with another $5,000 going to the teacher’s school.

    Nominees must be a licensed teacher at the PK-12 levels in Oregon and planning to continue to be an active teacher. Among the ODE’s criteria:

    • Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
    • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
    • Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
    • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
    • Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

    Learn more about the Oregon Teacher of the Year program at its website.

    See the Oregon Lottery video about Mercedes Muñoz: