OnPoint Community Credit Union Announces Winners for the 2018 Prize for Excellence in Education

Press Release

PORTLAND, Ore., May 23, 2018—OnPoint Community Credit Union has announced its Educator of the Year award winners. Lucas Houck was named the K–8 Educator of the Year and Janine Kirstein was named the 9–12 Educator of the Year. Both winners will have their mortgages paid for one school year, while a $2,500 donation will be awarded to their schools for resources and supplies.

The OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education is an annual award that recognizes educators throughout Oregon and southwest Washington for their exceptional work to inspire students and positively impact their schools and communities. At the conclusion of its ninth year, the initiative has awarded more than $275,000 in prizes to 84 local educators and schools.

“Even beyond their direct work with students, inspiring and innovative teachers have a positive impact on our entire community,” said OnPoint Community Credit Union President and CEO, Rob Stuart. “We have a rich history supporting educators, having been founded by 16 schoolteachers 85 years ago, and the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education is our way of showcasing the exceptional work they continue to provide today.”

K – 8 Educator of the Year

Lucas Houck
6-8th Grade
Corbett Middle School
Corbett, Oregon

Lucas Houck’s dynamic approach to motivating students is exceptional and recognized by his colleagues and school community. He develops innovative curriculum to engage students with coursework in unique ways, like the March Madness-style debate he created to teach students about historical figures and events. Houck adjusts his curriculum to meet every student’s needs – from those who require intervention assistance to those who need more challenging coursework. His impact extends beyond the classroom to his daily rallying of students and staff during the school-wide Morning Meeting assembly. Houck is described as the spirit of Corbett Middle School. This summer, he will take a group of students to Europe to conclude their two-year study of European history from ancient times through the Renaissance. Houck will receive his mortgage paid for one school year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus his school will be awarded $2,500 for resources and supplies.

9- 12 Educator of the Year

Janine Kirstein
Gresham High School
Gresham, Oregon

It is Janine Kirstein’s skill, patience and dedication that challenge and inspire her students to excel. Kirstein uses her passion for music and pursuit of excellence to teach her students teamwork, perseverance and musicianship. She challenges her students with complex musical pieces, as in her highly-praised production of Les Misérables. In her 16 years as the Choir Director, the Gresham High School Concert Choir has been named Mt. Hood Conference Champions 12 times and placed in the top five at the OSAA State Choir Championships eight times. The Gresham High School choirs have won a National Heritage Festival every year since 2003. Kirstein will receive her mortgage paid for one school year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus her school will be awarded $2,500 for resources and supplies.

Educator of the Year Finalists

OnPoint will award $2,500 to the following 2018 finalists and make a $1,000 donation to their schools for resources and supplies:

  • Sandra Moreno – K-8 Finalist
    Dual Language Immersion (Spanish) – 3rd Grade
    Vose Elementary School
    Beaverton, Oregon
  • Holly Neill – 9-12 Finalist
    Math & Science
    Valor Christian School International
    Beaverton, Oregon

Circle of Excellence

Six additional teachers have been named to the Circle of Excellence. These educators will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and a $500 donation to their school.

  • Ricky Almeida – Counselor, West Sylvan Middle School, Portland, Oregon
  • Matt Bradley – English & Leadership Studies, Sisters High School, Sisters, Oregon
  • Angela Gausman – 6th Grade, Cascade Heights Public Charter School, Clackamas, Oregon
  • Cameron Glogau – 3rd Grade, Tom McCall Elementary School, Redmond, Oregon
  • J Geurts – Math Intervention, Floyd Light Middle School, Portland, Oregon
  • Richard Schuler – Language Arts & History, Levi Anderson Learning Center, Beaverton, Oregon

2018 Community Choice Award Recipients:

OnPoint also announced the recipients of the Community Builder Award. The following four schools will receive a $1,000 donation to help fund a special school project:

  • Clackamas High School – Clackamas, Oregon – Winter Rage
  • Gervais Elementary School – Gervais, Oregon – Free Little Library
  • La Center Middle School – La Center, Washington – Character Strong Interactive Display
  • Vernon K-8 School – Portland, Oregon – Vernon Voices Documentary Project

Learn more about the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education at www.onpointprize.com.


OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 347,000 members and with assets of $5.2 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 13 Oregon counties (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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