Teacher of the Year Small Logo Teacher of the Year Logo

Congratulations 2023 Regional Teachers of the Year

Best Teacher Ever Mug

Congratulations 2023 Regional Teachers of the Year

16 Teachers from around our state were awarded as their region's Teacher of the Year (see below). Nominate an outstanding educator in your life!

Nominate!

Our 2023 Regional Winners

The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, presents 2023's Regional Teachers of the Year! Each will receive a $1,000 award.

Ron Antlitz

Ron Antlitz

  • School: Alder Creek Middle School
  • Teaches: Special Education
  • Grade Level: 6-8

“We have the chance to build a society in which everyone belongs no matter their gender, race, ability, gender identification or sexual orientation. Schools can play a vital role in this work.”
Gwen Bartlett

Gwen Bartlett

  • School: Roseburg High School
  • Teaches: Social Studies
  • Grade Level: 11

“Every student has potential, every student has an important story, every student has a place in our society, and it is our duty to promote and advocate this.”
Sydney Thompson

Sydney Thompson

  • School: Dayville School
  • Teaches: Language Arts
  • Grade Level: 6-12

“My favorite part of teaching at a small school is getting to know every student individually and helping them reach their fullest potential.”
Connie Robbins

Connie Robbins

  • School: Crane High School
  • Teaches: Science/Art
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“I engage my students in real-life problems in their own environment and through worldly events. This helps students see outside themselves and fosters problem-solving skills for later in life.”
Ben Lawson

Ben Lawson

  • School: Redmond High School
  • Teaches: Music
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“Music cannot exist in a bubble it must be shared with friends, family and the community. This can be done when hard-working educators work together and create meaningful and memorable experiences.”
Travis Reeser

Travis Reeser

  • School: Stanfield Secondary School
  • Teaches: Physical Education
  • Grade Level: K-12

“Education is creating individuals who can approach life with an open mind, the ability to face and overcome obstacles, take on impossible challenges, establish morals, character and work ethic.”
Derek Burbank

Derek Burbank

  • School: Culver High School
  • Teaches: Agricultural Science
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“We have an obligation to our community, our state and our country, to provide an education that transcends the classroom.”
Scott Crowell

Scott Crowell

  • School: Academy of Arts & Academics
  • Teaches: Humanities
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“I help my students find a positive balance between academics and mental health by accepting them as they are, and by doing my best to provide them with an engaging educational experience.”
Heather Greel

Heather Greel

  • School: Waldport High School
  • Teaches: Mathematics
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“By focusing on problem solving, I am helping students to improve skills which can be applied to everyday life including perseverance, critical thinking, and communication of ideas.”
Ken Dickey

Ken Dickey

  • School: Nyssa High School
  • Teaches: Science
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“There is an enduring message to our community members that cannot go unnoticed: learning is important, and we care about you and your continued learning.”
Amanda Jensen

Amanda Jensen

  • School: Highland Elementary School
  • Grade Level: 3

“I am a passionate, creative, intentional leader who finds the spark in every student by ensuring a community that fosters safety, individuality, radical empathy and belonging.”
Laury Rodriguez

Laury Rodriguez

  • School: Liberty High School
  • Teaches: Math & Science
  • Grade Level: 9-12

“We need to make sure all voices are heard and all students are part of the decision-making, creating a space for students to speak. ”
David Duncan

David Duncan

  • School: Wallowa High School
  • Teaches: Mathematics
  • Grade Level: 7-12

“Students are encouraged to be free thinkers who solve and explain problems with creativity and clarity by creating an environment where they feel safe, have fun and learn intrinsically.”
Steven Taylor

Steven Taylor

  • School: Pacific High School
  • Teaches: Mathematics
  • Grade Level: 7-12

“My engagement with students and their families shows them that I care about them beyond the classroom, they see that I am there for them whenever they need assistance.”
Erin Green

Erin Green

  • School: Southern Oregon Education Service District
  • Teaches: Language Arts

“Asking students to take risks, think critically, and tell their personal truths is not possible without a safe space where every student has a sense of belonging and a strong structure of support.”
Rosa Floyd

Rosa Floyd

  • School: Nellie Muir Elementary School
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten

“I believe that education is like dance. There are steps we learn, times when we fall, adaptations we make based on who is dancing, tradition, culture, community, and partnership.”

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. 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

Nominate a Teacher icon

1

Nominate a Teacher

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

Teacher Applications icon

2

Teacher Applications

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

Regional Winner Selected icon

3

Regional Winner Selected

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

Statewide Winner Selected icon

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, 2023

Nominate

Deadline to Nominate is

January 31, 2023

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, 53% 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.

checkmark icon

Together, we learn good things

This past biennium, Oregon Lottery has contributed $530.1 million towards K-12 education. That's about $480 per student each year!

star icon

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.