The pivotal role of teachers has become especially evident in these last several months as schools have transitioned to distance learning in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Teachers have stepped up in countless, innovative ways to ensure students are safe, healthy and engaged to reach their full potential, making this a fitting opportunity to recognize the excellence of Regional Teachers of Year throughout the state.
Ridgeview High School’s science and mathematics teacher, Melissa Stolasz was named High Desert’s 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year. Stolasz wins a $500 cash prize and is in the running for Oregon’s 2020 Teacher of the Year — to be announced this fall.
“Students, the thing that will make your eyes light up, the future that you will have, is probably something you don’t even know about yet, so keep every door open that you can,” Stolasz is quoted from her application.
Regional Teachers of the Year are nominated by students, colleagues, administrators, friends or family members to apply for the award, and are selected by a diverse panel of regional representatives. Later this fall one of the Regional Teachers of the Year will be named the 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year.
Thanks to the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery, the 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year receives a $5,000 cash prize (with a matching $5,000 going to their school) and serves as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers. Three finalists will receive $2,000 with a matching $2,000 going to their school. Please visit OregonTeacheroftheYear.org for more information.