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Congratulations, Colleen Works!

Colleen's creativity, dedication, and ability to connect with students transcend the school environment.

Dawn Tarzian, Corvallis Superintendent

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that Colleen Works, a social sciences teacher at Corvallis High School, has been selected as the 2010-2011 Oregon Teacher of the Year.  As Oregon’s Teacher of the Year, Works attended the National Teacher of the Year forum in Washington, D.C. where she met President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Works succeeds 2009-10 Teacher of the Year Donna DuBois, a fourth grade teacher at Camas Ridge Community School in Eugene.

“The Oregon Teacher of the Year program highlights outstanding educators who exemplify the best the profession has to offer,” said Superintendent Susan Castillo. “Colleen Works is just such an educator – a dedicated, visionary leader who will serve as an excellent role model and spokesperson for Oregon teachers. Colleen passionately believes in what she does and in the vital role teachers have in preparing students for an ever-changing world.”

Corvallis Superintendent Dawn Tarzian said in her letter of recommendation for Works: “Colleen’s classroom moves students from discovery and learning to application and problem solving so seamlessly that her learners are driven to engage in projects that take them well beyond the walls of the classroom. Colleen’s creativity, dedication, and ability to connect with students transcend the school environment.”

Colleen has taught a wide range of students during her career as an educator, from special needs to TAG and from 5th graders through high school seniors.  From these experiences, she has learned how to differentiate instruction and employ a variety of strategies to reach students with distinct needs.  Aware of the diversity in her classroom, Colleen will utilize any source, try any technique, and go to any length to ensure that ALL of her students learn, not only the curriculum, but also the skills that will prepare them for their futures both educationally and as active citizens.

In one of the essays in her application, Works stated: “That my teaching extends out of the classroom into students’ lives and the world after they’ve left my classroom is my proudest achievement.  It shows me that my students practice civic engagement; that they learned to be learners; that they are excited about increasing their knowledge and ability and making their mark on the world; that they feel empowered to make their dreams happen; that they believe the world is an interesting and inviting place where they can have impact.”

Previous Winners

Profile photo of Donna DuBois VanDeurzen

Donna DuBois VanDeurzen

Camas Ridge Community School



Donna DuBois VanDeurzen

Donna DuBois VanDeurzen

  • School: Camas Ridge Community School
  • Teaches: Elementary Education
  • Grade Level: 4

Michael Lampert

West Salem High School



Michael Lampert

  • School: West Salem High School
  • Teaches: Physics
  • Grade Level: High School

Mike Geisen

Crook County Middle School


High Desert

Mike Geisen

  • School: Crook County Middle School

How Nominations Work

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

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Teacher of the Year Applications

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

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Regional Teachers of the Year 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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Oregon Teacher of the Year Selected

Finalists are chosen from among the regional winners, and then the designated candidate will be recommended to the Director of the Oregon Department of Education as the next Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Nominations for 2024-25 have closed! Check back in the fall when we announce the Regional Teachers of the Year!