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2021 Teacher of the Year

Nicole Butler-Hooton

Nicole Butler-Hooton
2021 Teacher of the Year

Nicole Butler-Hooton

Nicole teaches second grade at Irving Elementary School in Bethel School District where her teaching style goes beyond instruction and serves to build lasting relationships with students and families.

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Our 2021 Regional Winners

The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, presents 2021's Regional Teachers of the Year! Each receive a $500 award. The top three finalists will also receive $2,000!

Kate Fisher Hedeen

Kate Fisher Hedeen

  • School: Oregon City High School
  • Teaches: Biology
  • Grade Level: High School

“When we as educators question our biases and reflect on our practice in meaningful ways, we approach expertise and advance the potential of our youth.”
Patrick Getchis

Patrick Getchis

  • School: Wy'east Middle School
  • Teaches: Industrial Technology
  • Grade Level: Middle School

“With appropriate scaffolds and teacher collaboration across subjects, students can be given space, time and freedom to make their learning come to life.”
Beverly Scott

Beverly Scott

  • School: Riddle Jr./Sr. High School
  • Teaches: Life Science
  • Grade Level: 7-12

“Our students are our beacon. They guide us in our instruction and give us a sense of hope for the future.”
Melissa Stolasz

Melissa Stolasz

  • School: Ridgeview High School
  • Teaches: Science/Math
  • Grade Level: High School

“Students, the thing that will make your eyes light up, the future that you will have, is probably something you don’t even know about yet, so keep every door open that you can!”
JD Cant

JD Cant

  • School: Imbler High School
  • Teaches: Agriculture
  • Grade Level: Grades 7-12

“It is our collective purpose to inculcate and foster a culture where students are connected, valued, and resilient to withstand all that life will bring them on their journey.”
Melanie Friend

Melanie Friend

  • School: Ashwood Elementary School
  • Teaches: All Subjects
  • Grade Level: Grades K-8

“Students will share their victories with you, and in that, it becomes your victory as well. So, know your students, foster those trusting relationships, and watch them succeed!”
Stacey Martin

Stacey Martin

  • School: Adel School District
  • Teaches: All Subjects
  • Grade Level: Grades 4-8

“I am so happy to represent the greatest profession there is. Helping young people find their gifts and see in themselves what we see in them is what all teachers strive to do.”
Nicole Butler-Hooton

Nicole Butler-Hooton

  • School: Irving Elementary School
  • Teaches: All Subjects
  • Grade Level: Grade 2

“My mission is to create an environment where all students feel they belong. I will continue my efforts each day to be an educator who makes a difference for equity and social justice.”
Brian Hanna

Brian Hanna

  • School: Newport High School
  • Teaches: Mathematics
  • Grade Level: High School

“It is truly my pleasure to receive my students’ energy and enthusiasm and let it infuse my teaching. My students remind me every day why I became a teacher.”
Mayra Pelayo

Mayra Pelayo

  • School: Aiken Elementary School
  • Teaches: All Subjects
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten

“By understanding the situations that many of our students encounter each day, our minds and hearts will be open to making sure we are emotionally present for them.”
James Jeffrey-West

James Jeffrey-West

  • School: Madison High School
  • Teaches: Social Studies
  • Grade Level: High School

“Education is powerful, memorable, real, and emancipatory when it transcends the classroom, and these experiences give students reasons to care and engage authentically.”
Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton

  • School: Tillamook High School
  • Teaches: History
  • Grade Level: High School

“I aim to demonstrate what it looks like to be vulnerable, to take chances, to experiment, to collaborate, and to take the kind of risks that evolve learning systems.”
Christina Geierman

Christina Geierman

  • School: North Bend High School
  • Teaches: Science
  • Grade Level: High School

“As an educator, my goal is to create a generation of informed citizens who understand what science is and how it can inform their choices.”
Jordan Werner

Jordan Werner

  • School: Riverside Elementary School
  • Teaches: Physical Education
  • Grade Level: Grades K-5

“I believe in the power of classroom creativity, that movement is for everyone, and that given the right exposure to different activities every student can find something they enjoy!”
Larkin Foley

Larkin Foley

  • School: McKay High School
  • Teaches: Language Arts
  • Grade Level: High School

“Call it a village, call it a community, call it a coalition. As educators and impassioned supporters of education, we know we cannot do it alone.”

About Teacher of the Year

The Teacher of the Year program was created to recognize exemplary public school educators — Oregon teachers who inspire students and make a positive impact in the communities in which they live. The award celebrates knowledge, dedication, innovation and leadership. For 2020, exceptional teachers will be honored in up to 19 regions across the state, with Oregon’s Teacher of the Year selected from among our regional finalists.

How Nominations Work

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1

Nominate a Teacher

Know a great teacher? Fill out the nomination form and tell us what makes them exceptional!

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2

Teacher Applications

We notify qualifying nominees and invite them to apply for Teacher of the Year.

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3

Regional Winner Selected

Each of Oregon’s 19 Education Service Districts review applications from their area and choose a winner for their region.

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4

Statewide Winner Selected

Regional applications will be reviewed by a diverse panel of education advocates and finalists will be interviewed by department staff and recommended to the director for selection.

Deadline to Nominate is

January 31, 2021

Nominate

Deadline to Nominate is

January 31, 2021

Nominate

Oregon Lottery Participation

Oregon Lottery Logo schoolbus driving in semi-rural area

The Oregon Lottery is the proud presenter of Oregon’s Teacher of the Year as well as a valued partner of the Oregon Department of Education. Currently, 57% of Oregon Lottery profits go to Oregon’s Pre-K-Higher Education public schools to help pay teachers’ salaries, build and repair schools, purchase much needed textbooks, computers, equipment and support other essential services. From pre-kindergarten to state universities, from textbooks to teachers’ salaries, Lottery funds help support classrooms and the future stewards of Oregon.

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Together, we learn good things

This biennium Oregon Lottery has contributed $535.7 million towards K-12 education. That's about $460 per student each year!

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A Slew of Scholarships

In 2018, Oregon Lottery contributed $30 million to the Oregon Opportunity Grant which awards college scholarships to students across our state.