And the next Washington State Teacher of the Year is...

Year after year, it’s always the same: I see the amazing educators being honored at the Washington State Teacher of the Year awards ceremony, and suddenly…I want to be a teacher! I want to affect students’ lives, I want to make a difference, I want to be THEM!

Washington State Teacher of the Year awards ceremony

And then I snap back to reality. These nine regional winners have more passion for educating our youth in their pinky fingers than I could ever have in all of my 6’ frame.

What makes them great? They love other people’s children just as their own. They want to see them succeed, they know they can succeed, and they make it happen – no matter what it takes!

They truly go above and beyond for their students, and it’s inspirational. I’m thankful the children in this state get to learn from teachers like them. And I have to admit, I’m thankful that I wasn’t on the selection committee that had to choose the Washington state Teacher of the Year from among this amazing group!

 beautiful hand-blown glass apple teacher award

The awards ceremony was held at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and hosted by the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI). It was a packed house – plenty of the regional winners’ friends, family, and colleagues came to cheer them on.

Each of the regional winners received a beautiful hand-blown glass apple award, and PEMCO will cover the costs for them to travel around the state over the next year to share their expertise with community groups, businesses, and future educators.

Zillah High School science teacher Jeff Charbonneau

The previous Washington state Teacher of the Year, Zillah High School science teacher Jeff Charbonneau (at right), recounted some of his experiences from the past year – including winning the NATIONAL Teacher of the Year award!

As you’d expect, he got to do some pretty cool things. Here’s one highlight:

And then, it was time to announce this year’s state Teacher of the Year:

Congratulations to Katie Brown from Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham. We’re so very proud of the work you’re doing with our students! 

 Katie Brown from Shuksan Middle School

The exciting ride begins for Katie. Go get 'em at the national competition! 

Now, it’s back to reality for me… until next year, when I get the itch to become a teacher again!

Allison Leep, PEMCO Insurance Education Field Representative (and wannabe teacher)

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