In a surprise assembly, Gloria Pereyra-Robertson, a bilingual kindergarten teacher from Howard Elementary School in the Medford School District, was named Oregon’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Salam Noor was joined by Medford Superintendent Brian Shumate and Howard Elementary Principal Javier del Rio in honoring Pereyra-Robertson for her passion and commitment to Oregon’s students.
“Gloria Pereyra-Robertson is an outstanding example of excellence in the teaching profession. She is a passionate and dedicated educator who shares a deep commitment to equity and the belief that each and every student can learn,” said Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor. “She sets high expectations in her classroom and works tirelessly to help many of Oregon’s youngest students learn and grow. It is an honor to recognize her as this year’s Teacher of the Year.”
A twenty-year teaching veteran, Pereyra-Robertson has spent the last thirteen years serving the Medford community by teaching at Howard Elementary School. Howard Elementary serves a highly diverse student population that has marked increased attendance and achievement levels. “Above and beyond the hard data indicators, our students are, more than ever, embraced by a community of educators, parents, and staff that understands educating our youngsters is without a doubt an unyielding priority,” said Howard Principal Javier del Rio.
The new Teacher of the Year, Pereyra-Robertson, is a fierce advocate for all students who continuously works to ensure students receive instruction that is rigorous and culturally rich. “Gloria demonstrates excellence in teaching by setting high expectations for her students in a supportive, nurturing, and structured classroom that puts learning as the most important goal,” said colleague Apryll Hammers.
Pereyra-Robertson credits her parents — who immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1950’s — as the driving force behind her desire to embrace education and enter the teaching profession. As a child growing up in southern California, her family experienced countless acts of racism and oppression. These formative experiences helped to shape her into an educator who firmly believes that all students — regardless of income, race, or language — can and will succeed if given the supports to do so.
“I am committed to building bridges between our school, parents, and community – one that supports and respects all cultures, languages, and diversity,” said 2017 Oregon Teacher of the Year Gloria Pereyra-Robertson.
The Oregon Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oregon Lottery. The Lottery provides a $5,000 cash award to the Teacher of the Year and a matching $5,000 award to the teacher’s school.
The Oregon Teacher of the Year is selected after an extensive application process. Nominees from schools throughout Oregon submitted packets of information that included testimonials and letters of support from their principals, superintendents, and colleagues. From the written material, applicants were judged on leadership, instructional expertise, community involvement, understanding of educational issues, professional development, and vision.
As 2017 Oregon Teacher of the Year, Gloria Pereyra-Robertson will serve as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers. She will attend the Washington Recognition Week for Teachers of the Year in Washington, D.C. in April, where she will meet the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education. She will also be featured in a television commercial produced by the Oregon Lottery.