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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

October 25, 2010

Colleen Works Named 2010-11 Oregon Teacher of the Year

Corvallis – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that Colleen Works, a social sciences teacher at Corvallis High School, has been selected as the 2010-2011 Oregon Teacher of the Year. As Oregon’s Teacher of the Year, Works will attend the National Teacher of the Year forum in Washington, D.C. where she will meet President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Works succeeds 2009-10 Teacher of the Year Donna Dubois, a fourth grade teacher at Camas Ridge Community School in Eugene.

“The Oregon Teacher of the Year program highlights outstanding educators who exemplify the best the profession has to offer,” said Superintendent Susan Castillo. “Colleen Works is just such an educator - a dedicated, visionary leader who will serve as an excellent role model and spokesperson for Oregon teachers. Colleen passionately believes in what she does and in the vital role teachers have in preparing students for an ever-changing world.”

The Oregon Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Intel Corporation, the state’s largest private employer and a consistent supporter of education programs, particularly in math and science. Because of Intel’s support, Oregon is able to offer a $5,000 cash award to the Teacher of the Year.

Corvallis Superintendent Dawn Tarzian said in her letter of recommendation for Works: “Colleen’s classroom moves students from discovery and learning to application and problem solving so seamlessly that her learners are driven to engage in projects that take them well beyond the walls of the classroom. Colleen’s creativity, dedication, and ability to connect with students transcend the school environment.”

Colleen has taught a wide range of students during her career as an educator, from special needs to TAG and from 5th graders through high school seniors. From these experiences, she has learned how to differentiate instruction and employ a variety of strategies to reach students with distinct needs. Aware of the diversity in her classroom, Colleen will utilize any source, try any technique, and go to any length to ensure that ALL of her students learn, not only the curriculum, but also the skills that will prepare them for their futures both educationally and as active citizens.

In one of the essays in her application, Works stated: “That my teaching extends out of the classroom into students’ lives and the world after they’ve left my classroom is my proudest achievement. It shows me that my students practice civic engagement; that they learned to be learners; that they are excited about increasing their knowledge and ability and making their mark on the world; that they feel empowered to make their dreams happen; that they believe the world is an interesting and inviting place where they can have impact.”

“Intel is honored to help recognize outstanding educators through sponsorship of the Oregon Teacher of the Year program,” said Aubrey Clark, Education Relations Manager at Intel Oregon. “Colleen Works has the passion, dedication, innovation and ability to connect with students that mark an outstanding educator and our state is lucky to have teachers like her in our classrooms.”

The Oregon Teacher of the Year is selected after an extensive application process. Nominees from schools throughout Oregon submitted packets of information that included testimonials and letters of support from their principals, superintendents, and colleagues. From the written material, applicants were judged on leadership, instructional expertise, understanding of educational issues, professional development, and vision.

Intel Corporation is the principal sponsor of the Oregon Teacher of the Year Program. Other sponsors include SMART Technologies, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Salem Trophy.

Audio Clip - Quote from Superintendent Castillo on Oregon Teacher of the Year: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/10-22-10-TOTY.MP3

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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