We all must take a seat at the table and support one another in meaningful ways to create a sustainable, holistic and dynamic educational model.
Keri Pilgrim Ricker
Pilgrim Ricker started classroom instruction in 2007. With a background in biology, ecology and animal science, Pilgrim Ricker guides her students through customized curriculum rooted in inquiry and real-world application. In an effort to promote more diverse and equitable representation in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM), Pilgrim Ricker focused on Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming in 2014 and received her endorsement in CTE Health Services. As the lead of Churchill High’s Health Services Pathway, she works to maintain a collaborative network of healthcare professionals, non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions and families to create dynamic healthcare simulation units aligned to her students’ career interests.
Beyond biological diversity, Pilgrim Ricker’s classroom is focused on diversity of thought, ideas, people and narratives. “When students feel the need to discuss a topic I hold that space,” said Pilgrim Ricker. “We agree to listen, stay present, accept discomfort, speak our truths and accept non-closure. It is not always easy, but we must model civil discourse and provide students an opportunity for practice so they can navigate the workplace and the world responsibly and with empathy.”
For Pilgrim Ricker, collaboration is essential for educational transformation. “I believe education to be a partnership formed between students, educators and the community,” said Pilgrim Ricker. “We all must take a seat at the table and support one another in meaningful ways to create a sustainable, holistic and dynamic educational model.”
Keri works tirelessly to develop engaging lessons that help students find their passion in science and related fields. She cares deeply for each student and strives to ensure the experience in her classes is positive and successful.
Carol Campbell, Principal, Grant High School
Keri meets her students where they are, but, more importantly, helps them imagine and achieve their grandest sense of where their career interest might take them.
Charles R Martinez Jr, Dean, College of Education, University of Texas
Mt. Tabor Middle School
Howard Elementary School
Know a great teacher? Fill out the nomination form and tell us what makes them exceptional!
We notify qualifying nominees and invite them to apply for Teacher of the Year.
Each of Oregon’s 19 Education Service Districts review applications from their area and choose a winner for their region.
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.