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4J Educator Named Oregon’s Top Teacher

Churchill High School teacher is Oregon Teacher of the Year

One of Eugene School District 4J’s outstanding educators has won the highest teaching recognition in the state: Keri Pilgrim Ricker, health sciences teacher at Churchill High School, is the 2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Colt Gill came to Eugene to announce the award in a surprise assembly at Churchill High School on Tuesday, September 18.

“Education gives our students the ability to create their own futures, and we need to give students the tools to match their determination and hard work,” said Governor Kate Brown. “More time with great teachers, like Keri, is key to helping every student make the connection between classroom and career, and graduate high school with a plan for their future and the skills to make it a reality.”

“The need for career-connected experiences for students in Oregon cannot be overstated,” Colt Gill said. “The relevance and rigor of content demonstrated in Keri’s classroom is a model of excellence for CTE in Oregon and I look forward to Keri spreading that message across the state as Oregon’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.”

Ms. Ricker coordinates and teaches health sciences in Churchill’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) Health Services Pathway. With a background in biology, ecology and animal science, Ms. Ricker guides her students through a customized curriculum rooted in inquiry and real-world application. She believes that collaboration is essential for educational transformation.

“I believe education to be a partnership formed between students, educators and the community,” said Ms. Ricker. “We all must take a seat at the table and support one another in meaningful ways to create a sustainable, holistic and dynamic educational model.”

As for herself and the many other talented teachers in our district and our state, Keri told the students at the assembly, “We wake up every morning and do this hard work because we want you to be successful and be your best selves, even when it’s hard.”

Last spring, Ms. Ricker was selected as Oregon’s 2019 Regional Teacher of the Year for the South Valley region, which put her in the running for the state Teacher of the Year award.

As the 2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year, Ms. Ricker will serve as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers. She will attend the Washington Recognition Week for Teachers of the Year in Washington, D.C. this spring, where she will meet the President and the U.S. Secretary of Education.

In the News:
Eugene District Educator Named Oregon Teacher of the Year (Register-Guard)
And the Oregon Teacher of the Year Is … Here in Eugene! (KVAL)
Eugene Educator Named Oregon Teacher of the Year (KMTR)
Eugene Teacher Named Oregon Teacher of the Year (KEZI)
2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year Honored at Churchill High (KLCC)
Eugene Educator Named Oregon’s Teacher of the Year; Will Meet President (KXL)
Eugene Health Careers Teacher Named Oregon Teacher of the Year (Oregonian)
Eugene High School Teacher Named Oregon Teacher of the Year (Seattle Times)
Eugene Educator Named 2019 Oregon Teacher of the Year (Oregon Department of Education)



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