Environment is much more than how the classroom looks. It is community. It is how students interact with each other, the teachers, and the curriculum.
Donna DuBois VanDeurzen
State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that Donna DuBois, a fourth grade teacher at Camas Ridge Community School, was selected as the 2009-2010 Oregon Teacher of the Year.
“No one works harder to help students obtain the skills they need to succeed beyond high school than our public school teachers. We are so fortunate to have talented educators like Donna in Oregon,” said Susan Castillo. “Her enthusiasm for science is a wonderful gift she shares with her students and fellow teachers. Her leadership, passion for teaching and positive attitude make her an excellent role model for Oregon teachers.”
Wally Bryant, Principal of Camas Ridge Community School said in his letter of recommendation for DuBois VanDeurzen, “Donna was a wonderful mentor for a new teacher who was struggling to adjust to a demanding program. She reached out to the new teacher and under Donna’s leadership they combined their classes of two science units. She is an incredible teacher who is well loved by students, staff and parents. Her enthusiasm for learning and teaching is infectious.”
DuBois VanDeurzen does whatever it takes to help her students learn. The combination of the two science classes was so successful that she came up with the idea of giving away CFL bulbs so that families could be more environmentally responsible and also save money. She contacted the local electrical board and got them to sponsor the program by providing the bulbs. The bulbs were given away by her students to adults in the school community with the understanding that they would then purchase a CFL bulb to give away to someone else. The project is called “Light it Forward.” This type of innovative instruction has energized Donna’s students and school community.
In one of the essays in her application, DuBois VanDeurzen said: “Environment is much more than how the classroom looks. It is community. It is how students interact with each other, the teachers, and the curriculum. It’s the feeling you get when you walk into the room. Our classroom environment is the foundation where enthusiasm for learning is crafted.”
As Oregon’s Teacher of the Year, DuBois VanDeurzen will attend the national Teacher of the Year forum in Washington, D.C. where she will meet the U.S. President and Secretary of Education.
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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.