OnPoint Community Credit Union Announces 10th Anniversary of Prize for Excellence in Education

Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore. February 28, 2019—OnPoint Community Credit Union is announcing the details for the 10th annual OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education.

The 2019 contest will award up to $85,000 to deserving public and private K-12 teachers and schools, including paying the mortgage of two winning teachers for one full year. Now in its 10th year, the annual campaign has awarded nearly $300,000 in prizes to 236 local educators and schools.

“We are so pleased to honor the outstanding teachers and schools who participate in the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education,” said OnPoint President and CEO Rob Stuart. “We know that strong communities are nurtured by the meaningful work happening every day in local classrooms and schools.”

Founded in 1932 by 16 school teachers, OnPoint continues its commitment to strengthening local education by supporting students, schools and educators. The OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education is the centerpiece of OnPoint’s support for education in the communities it serves.

The 2019 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education includes several awards; recipients will be announced on May 21.

  • Educator of the Year:
    • One teacher representing grades K-8 and one representing grades 9-12 will be named Educators of the Year. OnPoint will pay their respective mortgages for one full year and donate $2,500 to their schools.
    • One K-8 teacher and one 9-12 teacher will be named Educator of the Year finalists and will each receive a $5,000 cash award and $1,500 for their schools.
    • Six additional teachers will be named to the Circle of Excellence and will each receive a $1,500 cash award and $1,000 for their schools.
  • Community Builder Award: Four schools will receive $1,000 for a project of their choice. A fifth school, selected by community votes, will receive $2,000.

Last year, Lucas Houck, a middle school teacher at Corbett Middle School in Corbett, OR, was named K-8 Educator of the Year. Houck’s dynamic approach to motivating students was recognized by his colleagues and school community. He develops an innovative curriculum to engage students with coursework in unique ways.

Also in 2018, Janine Kirstein, choral music teacher at Gresham High School in Gresham, OR, was named 9-12 Educator of the Year. Kirstein’s skill, patience and dedication challenge and inspire her students to excel. She uses her passion for music and pursuit of excellence to teach her students teamwork, perseverance and musicianship.

“For those considering nominating a co-worker for the OnPoint Prize, I encourage you to think about how much every teacher impacts their students,” said Lucas Houck, 2018 K-8 Educator of the Year. “Most people will realize they are surrounded by incredible teachers who deserve to be nominated.”

Information about the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education and nomination forms are now available at www.onpointprize.com. Submissions will be accepted until 5:30 PM PDT on April 8, 2019. Anyone can nominate an educator, and educators may also nominate themselves. Applicants must be a full-time or job-share classroom teacher, counselor or librarian of grades K-12 in an accredited public, private or charter school located within any county that OnPoint serves (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon, and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington). For information about the campaign, additional qualifications and contest rules, please see www.onpointprize.com.


OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 360,000 members and with assets of $5.4 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 13 Oregon (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503.228.7077 or 800.527.3932.

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