OnPoint Community Credit Union Announces 2023 Prize for Excellence in Education Community Builder Winners and Educator of the Year Finalists

Press Release

The 14th annual celebration of outstanding education will award $193,000 to K-12 educators and schools, including awarding five schools a cash prize for a special project of their choice

PORTLAND, Ore., May 10, 2023 — OnPoint Community Credit Union has named the five schools winning this year’s Prize for Excellence in Education Community Builder awards. Each school will receive a cash prize for a special project that positively impacts their school and community. Additionally, OnPoint announced the eight Educator of the Year finalists in the running to have their mortgage or rent paid for one year. They will also receive $2,500 for each of their schools. OnPoint will announce the four winners in each category (K-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Gold Star) on May 25, 2023. The remaining four runners-up in each category will receive a $5,000 cash award and a $1,500 donation to their schools for resources and supplies.

“Every year, as we review nominations, we are humbled by the incredible teachers and schools who are making tangible and lasting impacts on their students and communities,” said Rob Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer, OnPoint Community Credit Union. “An educator’s influence goes beyond the classroom; they truly have the power to change the trajectory of a young person’s life. We are proud to lift up some of the schools and educators making real progress on creating inclusive learning environments, supporting student mental health and inspiring curiosity.”

In the 14 years since the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education began, it has awarded more than $650,000 in prizes to 313 local educators and schools. The 2023 campaign will award an additional $193,000 to deserving public and private K-12 educators and schools.

Learn more about the 2023 Community Builder award winners and Educator of the Year finalists below:

Community Builder Awards
OnPoint has recognized five schools from across the region with its Community Builder awards. Four schools will receive $2,000 from OnPoint for a special project of their choice, and one school determined by online community votes will receive $5,000.

$5,000 Community Builder Award Winner

Gaffney Lane Elementary School in Oregon City is a Title 1 school that is still working to transition back from the COVID-19 pandemic. The school’s current furniture does not support collaborative learning, which is a priority for the school. The school aims to provide students with the flexibility to stand and work, move their desks into groups, sit with a partner, or sit alone on more updated furniture. The population of students at Gaffney Lane who require additional or alternative supplies to be successful is growing, and the funding from the OnPoint Community Builder grant will help offer these students options so they don’t feel so different from their classmates. The school plans on purchasing as much furniture as it can to meet the needs of its various learners.

$2,000 Community Builder Award Winners

  • Buckman Arts Focus Elementary: Multicultural Family Art Nights (Portland Public Schools, Portland, Ore.) supports Buckman’s focus on the arts and offers space for families to share their unique backgrounds with the school and each other, increasing a sense of belonging among BIPOC students.
  • Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary: Supplemental Food Relief/Dispensa de Alimentos Program (Eugene School District 4J, Eugene, Ore.) provides a food pantry program for its students and their families to address food insecurity. The program will expand to provide culturally-relevant, supplemental food to a larger number of students and families. The program also includes emergency grocery store gift cards, a culturally-specific food drive, and sharing traditional recipes to promote cultural fluency.
  • Desert Sky Montessori: Outdoor Book Nooks (Bend, Ore.) provides six child-sized reading nooks, each with waterproof storage areas for pillows, blankets and mats, and mini libraries stocked with a range of books for grades K-6. These nooks will create spaces for students to gather and hang out with friends, or to simply serve as a quiet space for reading with a snack.
  • Marylhurst School: Relaxation Room & Calming Center (Oregon City, Ore.) supports student mental health and creates a safe space for them to take time to calm down, refocus and let go of frustration. It will be equipped with various sensory materials to help students restore calm, including weighted blankets, plush bean bags, watercolor materials, plants, resistance bands, noise-canceling headphones, books and puzzles.

Educator of the Year Finalists (listed by category, then alphabetically by last name)

OnPoint also revealed its eight finalists for 2023 Educators of the Year. Winners will have their mortgage or rent paid for one full year and receive $2,500 for each of their schools. The remaining four finalists will receive a $5,000 cash award and a $1,500 donation to their schools for resources and supplies.

K-5 Finalists

  • Caryn Anderson – 4th Grade, Abernathy Elementary School, Portland Public Schools
  • Tiffany Koyama Lane – 3rd Grade, Sunnyside Environmental School, Portland Public Schools

6-8 Finalists

  • Lucas Dix – 6-8th grade Media Arts, Journalism, Rowe Middle School, Clackamas School District
  • Nicholas Krissie – 6-8th grade Science, Lincoln Middle School, Oakland School District

9-12 Finalists

  • Dustin Long – 9-12th grade Computer Science, Gladstone High School, Clackamas School District
  • Willie Williams – 9-12th grade History, Economics, Roosevelt High School, Portland Public Schools

Gold Star Finalists (includes pre-kindergarten teachers, school counselors, substitute teachers, librarians or school administrators)

  • Samuel Platt – Principal, Tumalo Community School, Redmond School District
  • Darcy Rudnick – Library Media Specialist, Buckman Elementary School, Portland Public Schools

Click here to learn more about OnPoint’s 2023 Educator of the Year finalists. Winners and runners-up will be announced on May 25, and the announcement will be broadcast live on KGW-TV. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists and to every educator and school making a difference in our community.

Honoring Founders’ Legacy of Excellence in Education

Founded by 16 schoolteachers in 1932, OnPoint continues to honor its legacy today by improving access to quality education for everyone. Click here to learn more.



OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 516,000 members and with assets of $8.9 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, 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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