May 24, 2016 marked the 7th Annual OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education Award ceremony. Since the inception of this program OnPoint has recognized 50 outstanding teachers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. This year we received a tremendous number of extremely worthy and inspiring applications.
We announced four finalists for the Educator of the Year Award at the awards ceremony, held at Meriwether’s restaurant in Portland, OR. Our winners this year were Emily Ferguson and Doug Beardsley. Our outstanding 2016 Educators of the Year will each have their mortgage paid for one school year. Additionally, each of their schools received $2500 for resources and supplies.
Emily Ferguson, a language arts teacher at Winterhaven School, inspired the judges with her work and obvious impact reflected in the many creative projects and opportunities implemented for her students. One of the most notable is the 8th grade capstone project: a rock opera – written, performed and directed entirely by her students. A colleague noted, “She has spent her career as an educator fostering a belief that her students already are writers and that her job is to help them focus their existing creative skills to find their own voice.”
Doug Beardsley, a Biology teacher at Reynolds High School, was recognized not only for his accomplishments in creating an Honors Biology program and developing curriculum for the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, but for the words of sincere gratitude sent in from his former students. One student wrote in a letter to Doug, “I came into class on that first day of sophomore year and all I was told was that you were a hard teacher…nobody told me you would change my life.”
Reid Kimura, a second grade teacher at Columbus Elementary, and Lindsay Hathaway, an alternative learning teacher at Skyview High School, were announced as our runners-up, each receiving a $2500 cash award and $1,000 donation to their schools.
Read more about all of our finalists here.
We also introduced a new award, the Community Choice Award, a $500 grant given to four schools for a special project of their choice. The grants were awarded to Tom McCall Upper Elementary, Alder Middle School, Aloha High School, and Willamina Elementary for special projects.
Author: Sarah Sims, Marketing Specialist | Marketing Services