Michael Lindblad developed his school's International Baccalaureate history program and advocated for students of color

At a school celebration attended by friends, family, students and educators, the Oregon Department of Education on Friday, Oct. 31, named Michael Lindblad, a Gresham High School social studies teacher, Oregon's 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Left to Right: Gresham City Councilor Kirk French, Gresham City Councilor Lori Stegmann, Oregon Teacher of the Year Michael Lindblad, Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel, Gresham-Barlow Superintendent Jim Schlachter, and Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton.Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton praised Mr. Lindblad's clear commitment to educational equity and his focus on preparing all students for the rigors of college and the workplace.

"Michael is a master teacher with a strong commitment to equity, high expectations for all of his students, and a passion for preparing today's young people to be engaged, globally aware citizens," Saxton said. "He is an outstanding representative of the teaching profession, and it is my honor to name him Oregon's 2015 Teacher of the Year."

A press release from the Gresham-Barlow School District said that throughout his 18 years of teaching, "Lindblad has consistently demonstrated his commitment to his students and to being a leader in his profession."

Among other things, Lindblad developed his school's International Baccalaureate history program, and then advocated for intensive outreach to recruit more students of color into the course. He designed a special history class for English language learners that paired high expectations with an appreciation for their language and culture.

His classes weave the Common Core's focus on reading, writing, discussion and analysis into the study of history so that students not only master important content but also learn key skills they can apply in other courses.

"All of my students are capable of so much and part of the joy of teaching is watching them learn and grow past what they thought possible," Lindblad said. "I'm deeply committed to helping many of my students become the first in their families to attend college, and one way I can support that is by encouraging all of my kids to take rigorous IB college prep classes. In my classes, we have a keen focus on literacy. Students are constantly reading, participating in animated, student-led discussions, and writing on-demand essays that allow them to practice vital literacy skills as they learn about and explore our nation's history."

In addition, Mr. Lindblad has given back to the profession by mentoring more than 20 student teachers. As Teacher of the Year, Lindblad will serve as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers and will attend the Washington Recognition Week for Teachers of the Year in Washington, D.C., in April where he will meet President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Lindblad also will receive a $5,000 cash award.

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