The Oregon Department of Education and Woodburn School District announced Friday, Sept. 16, that Nellie Muir Elementary School kindergarten teacher Rosa Floyd has been named Willamette ESD's 2023 Regional Teacher of the Year.
Floyd is one of 16 teachers statewide to receive the honor, which is presented by the education service district in partnership with ODE and the Oregon Lottery.
The honor comes with a $1,000 cash prize, and Floyd is in the running for Oregon's 2023 Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in few weeks.
Regional teachers of the year are nominated by students, colleagues, administrators, friends or family members to apply for the award, and they are selected by a diverse panel of regional representatives.
ODE spokesman Peter Rudy noted that the Oregon Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence, with the state Teacher of the Year serving as the face and voice of exemplary educators across Oregon. Candidates are regarded as exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled, licensed public-school educators in grades preK-12.
Floyd's Nellie Muir cohorts agree with that assessment.
"Rosa has elevated our community partnerships to a completely different level throughout her time at Nellie Muir," Principal Oscar Belanger said. "'Mamá Floyd' has become an inspiration and role model in different ways: as a teacher, as a mentor for future educators — we even have some of her student teachers as classroom teachers in the building today — as a colleague, as a friend, as a dancing instructor, as a mother and as a strong Latina woman."
Floyd is the founder of Nellie Muir's Folkloric dance group.
"She has not only pushed her students to strive, but also everyone who works with her, including me," Belanger added. "Through her actions she shows you that she truly believes in each one of her students. Thanks to her high expectations and candid touch, she is the perfect example of what a 'warm demander' looks like. In Rosa's classroom everyone strives. Ms. Floyd is an extraordinary teacher, but more importantly, a superb human being."
ODE officials stress how changes in the educational environment of recent years has magnified the importance of versatile, high-caliber educators.
"Through countless challenges in the past several years, Oregon educators have continued to consistently come through for Oregon's students," said ODE Director Colt Gill. "It is with high honor that we celebrate these 16 Regional Teachers of the Year from across the state!"
ODE's partnership with the Oregon Lottery will award the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year, who will serve as a spokesperson for all Oregon teachers, with a $10,000 cash prize and $5,000 to the teacher's school. Three finalists will receive $2,000 with a matching $2,000 going to their school.
"The Oregon Lottery is honored to play a role in celebrating Oregon educators' hard work, passion and dedication," said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. "The Teacher of the Year Program provides well-deserved recognition to teachers across Oregon who are helping their students build a foundation for the future."
Oregon's 2023 Regional Teachers of the Year*
Ron Antlitz, Alder Creek Middle School, North Clackamas School District
Gwen Bartlett, Roseburg High School, Roseburg School District
Sydney Thompson, Dayville School, Dayville School District
Connie Robbins, Crane Union High School, Harney County School District
Ben Lawson, Redmond High School, Redmond School District
Travis Reeser, Stanfield Secondary School, Stanfield School District
Derek Burbank, Culver High School, Culver School District
Scott Crowell, Academy of Arts and Academics, Springfield School District
Heather Greel, Waldport High School, Lincoln County School District
Ken Dickey, Nyssa High School, Nyssa School District
Amanda Jensen, Highland Elementary School, Gresham Barlow School District
Laury Rodriguez, Liberty High School, Hillsboro School District
Steven Taylor, Pacific High School, Port Orford - Langlois School District
Erin Green, The Valley School of Southern Oregon, Medford School District
David Duncan, Wallowa High School, Wallowa School District
Rosa Floyd, Nellie Muir Elementary IB School, Woodburn School District
Additional information about the program can be found at oregonteacheroftheyear.org.
To view photos of WSD's celebration of Floyd's award, click here.
*School and district information as of 2021-22 school year.
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