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Education Awards

2006 Washington State Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year and Regional Winners


Sue Barnard (right), 2006 Teacher of the Year, pictured with Dr. Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

ESD 113
Susan Barnard
Shelton School District



2006 Regional Teachers of the Year

ESD 101
Karen Azzinnaro
Cheney School District
ESD 105
Judy Dorsett
Yakima School District
ESD 112
Jeff Lewis
Ilwaco School District
ESD 113
Susan Barnard
Shelton School District
ESD 114
Gail Smith
Central Kitsap School District
ESD 121
Mary Margaret Welch
Mercer Island School District
ESD 123
Teri Perez
Pasco School District
ESD 171
James Wheeler
Grand Coulee Dam School District
ESD 189
Terre Shapiro
Blaine School District

 


Regional Teachers of the Year

Karen Azzinnaro
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ESD 101
Karen Azzinnaro
Cheney School District

Karen Azzinnaro was selected as the 2006 Regional Teacher of the Year for ESD 101. She is currently in her seventeenth year of teaching. Karen is a third grade teacher at Sunset Elementary which is part of Cheney School District. This position is a dream for her because she will loop up to fourth grade with her students next year. During her career she has had the opportunity to teach grades Kindergarten to sixth.

Karen received her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and a minor in Alaska History. She began her love of teaching in third grade at Barnett Elementary in Fairbanks. This class was special because she had taken American Sign Language while in college and this enabled two deaf students to be placed in her class. She made them feel part of a regular class for the first time. Karen earned her Master’s Degree in Supervision and Instruction from Eastern Washington University with the hope of becoming a mentor for new teachers. She became a supervisor for student teachers in her classroom and a site supervisor for up to eight student teachers in her building. This provided time together for classroom teachers to collaborate together and build a support system for the student teachers. Karen has also owned and operated a learning center for struggling students to help them gain skills to work at grade level.

Students are Karen’s first priority! She stays abreast of the latest researched-based best practices and matches them to what works for student learning. She goes to great lengths to help her students strive for personal and academic success. She focuses on discovering each student’s interests, learning-styles, and strengths. Once she understands the needs of each, an individualized plan is designed to help them progress. Throughout the year, she engages in frequent progress monitoring to ensure the plan for each child is providing the necessary skills and enrichment they need to make consistent, measurable gains toward meeting the Washington State Grade Level Expectations. Karen truly believes that children are our future and that it is her mission to prepare them to be productive, compassionate, successful citizens in our world.

Karen is a past recipient of the Gates Teacher Leadership Project. Her most cherished award was Teacher of the Month, February 2003 from Eastern Washington University and Q6 television station. This award was by student nomination. Two students, one past and one present, wrote a letter expressing how much she had helped them become better students.

Judy Dorsett
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ESD 105
Judy Dorsett
Yakima School District

Judy Dorsett, Yakima Educational Service District 105’s 2006 Teacher of the Year, has been teaching both as a contracted and substitute teacher since 1967. She currently teaches third grade at Whitney Elementary School in the Yakima District.

Judy graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in English and a minor in professional subjects. She began her life-long teaching adventure at Robertson Elementary School in Yakima. She has taught multiple elementary grades, ELL, and served as a reading specialist. Judy loves the variety and challenge of bringing diverse student populations and ages together in her classroom and facilitating high quality learning. Her reward is student enthusiasm, pride, and ownership in their academic and personal growth.

During her career, Judy has written and secured grants, was a Technology Resource Teacher, taught technology classes, been a MarcoPolo website trainer, served as Washington Reading Corps site supervisor, had seven books for educators and numerous articles, activities and curriculum for children published, has a private tutoring business, and teaches a summer enrichment program for the Yakima Children of Chernobyl group. She also teaches children at her church and does workshops and seminars around the Northwest for interdenominational groups.

Judy is the past recipient of these awards: the Gates Teacher Leadership Project, two SHARE105 grants, 4-H State Youth Achievement Award, PTA Golden Acorn, Yakima County MS Volunteer of the Year, and Stone Church Teacher of the Year.

Jeff Lewis
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ESD 112
Jeff Lewis
Ilwaco School District

Jeff Lewis, 2005 Regional Teacher of the Year for Educational Service District 112, is in his thirteenth year of teaching. He currently teaches mathematics, English and online distance learning courses at Ilwaco High School.

Jeff graduated from Willamette University in 1990 with a BS in Political Science. After completing a teaching program at Western Oregon State University in 1992, he spent several years teaching special education and Title 1 at the high school and elementary level. In 2000 Jeff completed a masters in education program at George Fox University. Jeff has taught in the Ocean Beach School District for the past nine years.

Jeff’s teaching philosophy centers around the concepts of learning to mastery and ensuring that all students are instructed at their correct level of difficulty. Having spent most of his career working with students who struggle in school, Jeff believes that the vast majority of those children really do want to succeed in school. These students will do well if they are provided with an emotionally safe learning environment, a teacher with high expectations, and a challenging curriculum suited to their skill level.

Using those methods, 75% of Jeff’s high school Title 1 students passed the 10th grade reading section of the 2005 Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). Some of those students not only passed the exam, but earned a Level 4 score, the highest possible. Several of his Title 1 students felt so much more confident in their literacy skills that they decided to take the challenge of honors-level English their junior year.

Susan Barnard
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ESD 113
Susan Barnard
Shelton School District

Gail Smith
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ESD 114
Gail Smith
Central Kitsap School District

Gail Smith is Educational Service District 114’s 2006 Teacher of the Year. She has taught at Cottonwood Elementary, Silverdale area for 27 years as a Physical Education Specialist for Grades 1-6 and Special Needs students.

Gail graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Physical Education, the University of Washington with a 5th Year, and Western Washington University with a MA in Elementary Science.

Gail believes that health and P.E. are the foundations for academics. Healthy bodies make for healthy students who learn faster. Every child is a winner when learning becomes alive, purposeful, and fun. Students learn faster by experiencing movement, when encouraged to make mistakes to further their learning, and by being continually challenged academically and physically. Like P.E., science is exciting when it involves the inquiry, hands-on method of discovery.

(P.E.) Gail has used physical activity to heighten community awareness and involvement of children by having students raise money through jump rope-a-thon for another student with terminal cancer. She has also used this activity as a means for students to raise money for a climbing wall and the purchase of 36 unicycles (through the support of over 40 community businesses). Unicycle practice is provided weekly to Grades 1-6 throughout the year. She is one of six teachers instrumental in organizing students throughout the district to unicycle in the local Whaling Days Parade for the past 5 years. Physical activity is promoted in and outside of class through a “Mileage Club” open to all students and staff at recess. Gail works with students with autism, multiple handicaps, and pervasive developmental disorders. She continually collects data and adjusts her program to tailor to individual student needs. Students from Grades 4-6 serve as peer-tutors for these children as well as Grades 1-3. In addition, she works closely with her music teacher to create musical programs with multicultural, environmental, holiday, and health themes. She was also a leader in redesigning Cottonwoods Gr. K-6 playgrounds, earthquake preparedness, and a citizenship school-wide program called Make Your Day.

(Science) - Gail has been the 6th Gr. Outdoor Education director and staff member for over 20 years creating a greater appreciation for nature. She taught Pacific Science Center sponsored “Science Celebration” classes to area children, mentored students in Grades 4-6 with “Science Champions” and presently organizes the Outreach Van for area schools. During last year’s science fair, Gail organized businesses, high school clubs, and volunteers to provide demonstrations on various fields of science. She also volunteers at a raptor rehabilitative center and presents education programs with owls and hawks.

Gail is the past recipient of the PTSA Golden Acorn award, Teacher of the Year for Cottonwood Elementary, and the Honor Roll of Teachers National Association of Science/Technology Center Award.

Mary Margaret Welch
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ESD 121
Mary Margaret Welch
Mercer Island School District

Teri Perez
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ESD 123
Teri Perez
Pasco School District

Teri Perez, southeastern Washington’s Educational Service District’s 2006 Regional Teacher of the Year, has 30 years of experience in bilingual education. She began teaching first grade in Othello, Washington as part of a Title VII dual language program in 1975 and has been in the Pasco School District since 1980. There she has held a variety of positions from migrant resource specialist to regular classroom teacher serving children K-12. Teri is currently a full time ESL teacher at Pasco High School as well as the English Language Development Department Chair.

Teri graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in Spanish Literature and from Eastern Washington University with a master’s degree as Curriculum Specialist. She spent her junior year in Mexico City at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She credits her Jesuit education with her “calling” to serve students and families who are new to the American school system.

Teri strives to organize learning experiences that promote a sense of comfort, challenge and a high level of engagement. Her students are held accountable for responding to literature, for writing essays, and for important homework assignments. Teri practices a variety of strategies to differentiate the learning in order to accommodate the range of proficiency levels and stages of language development in her classroom. She plans her lessons based on her philosophy of teaching. Teri often consults current authors who concentrate on the “science” of teaching and continually searches for teacher and student learning strategies to help her ESL students become independent readers. By the end of the school year, her students are proud of their ability to approach difficult texts.

During the past few years, Teri has been assembling a program and curriculum guide for Pasco High’s four-year ELD course of study. This on-going project includes a complete and specific alignment of standards, content teaching outlines and resource materials, thus enabling teachers to place students appropriately and efficiently along a continuum.

Teri has been a guest speaker for classes at WSU Tri-Cities. She was a past “Unsung Hero,” awarded by the Mid-Columbia Educational Alliance. Teri says she has, “…the nicest kids at Pasco High…” and to be a good language teacher one must have,…“a humble sense of humor and a flexible approach to everything.”

James Wheeler
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ESD 171
James Wheeler
Grand Coulee Dam School District

Jim Wheeler, North Central Washington Educational Service District’s 2006 Teacher of the Year, is in his 30th year of teaching. He serves as the Transition Coordinator for Grand Coulee Dam School District and the high school Special Education teacher at Lake Roosevelt High School.

Jim graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BAEd in Physical Education and began his teaching career at Nespelem School District. He earned his MS in Education from Portland State University. Jim transferred to Grand Coulee Dam School District where he has taught for the past 22 years.

Jim has been active in developing transition activities for students in his district through summer institutes and grants to develop programs. Jim and his students are currently participating in the Project STEPS as part of a county wide transition project. Jim has also participated in summer institutes on assistive technology for students with learning disabilities and presented the programs at summer institutes and conferences.

Terre Shapiro
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ESD 189
Terre Shapiro
Blaine School District

Terre Shapiro is the 2006 Regional Teacher of the Year from the Northwest Educational Service District 189. She teaches in Blaine School District at Blaine Primary School. Terre has been teaching for 19 years, all of which have been in self-contained, primary aged classrooms.

Terre was a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 1985 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a Science Teaching minor. Upon graduation, she relocated to Lincoln County School District in Lincoln City, OR and taught 3rd grade. In 1989, she moved to Blaine School District where she taught in 1st and 3rd grade classrooms. Terre received her Master’s of Education Degree in Science Education for Elementary Educators from WWU in 1992. Terre has supervised a number of student teachers and practicum students during her career. From 1997-1998 Terre was an adjunct professor at WWU where she taught Science Methods courses to Elementary Practicum students in the Science Education Department. Terre also is an ELIC ( Early Literacy In-service Course) Facilitator. She has taught ELIC classes to teachers in Blaine, Ferndale, and Nooksack School Districts.

Terre has a passion and enthusiasm for education that she radiates to her students. She believes that children are capable of learning much more than what is typically expected of them. When students are shown a personal purpose for learning, they approach activities with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. For this reason and to address the academic diversity in her classroom, Terre uses a wide range of instructional techniques including: a balanced literacy program, facilitating the use of multiple intelligences, using hands-on inquiry based learning, integrating the curriculum to show real life connections, using cooperative learning, simulations, and active student participation. Her authentic assessment techniques underpin her daily objectives to individualize her curriculum for all students.

Mrs. Shapiro’s class is known as “Shapiro’s Heroes!” She is most effective by creating a strong team sense among her students and their families. This team extends beyond the walls of the school as “Shapiro’s Heroes” travel all over Blaine to learn about their community, discover new careers and opportunities, and find local heroes. The students also learn about citizenship and behavior expectations as they represent their school on these walking field trips. The “Shapiro’s Heroes” theme is woven throughout the year, as the students recite the Student Pledge of Success daily and use these concepts when solving problems that arise.

Her teaching career has also brought her a variety of accolades and awards. Besides the 2005 Blaine School District and 2006 ESD 189 Regional Teacher of the Year awards, she was awarded the 1995 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, the 1994 Washington State Conservation Teacher of the Year, the 1991 Washington award for Excellence in Education (Christa McAuliffe Award), 1989 Oregon Reading Association Teacher of the Year, the 1988 Business and Professional Women Regional Young Careerist award, the Rachel Royston Scholarship, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Alpha Sigma State Scholarship.

   Updated 9/18/2012

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