Meet the Washington State Educators of the Year!

Sep 15, 21

State Educators of the Year
Image credit: OSPI - From left to right – Back row: Brenda Hitchins, Janis Campbell-Aikens, Tina Nicpan-Brown, Adriana Vanbianchi. Second row from back: Boo Balkan Foster, Andres Gonzalez, Sarah Manus, Becky Adderson. Middle row: Tammy Oommen, Linda Johnson, Nancy Baldwin. Front row: Nadine Owen, Jerad Koepp, Randi Krieg.

Congratulations Washington State Educators of the Year!

North Thurston Public Schools Native Student Program Specialist Jerad Koepp has been named 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year, and Kelso School District McKinney-Vento Liaison Nancy Baldwin has been named 2021 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year.

Jerad Koepp, 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year
Mr. Koepp’s role in North Thurston extends beyond a single classroom. Mr. Koepp teaches and supports Native students across the district, guest teaches on Native issues across grades, and co-teaches in the district’s Native Studies program.

“With Mr. Koepp’s leadership, our collaboration with the Nisqually Tribe has grown into a significant partnership,” writes Kate Frazier, Director of Equity and Languages at North Thurston Public Schools. “Within two years, our district adopted a Land Acknowledgement, flies the Nisqually flag at every district site, and coordinates government-to-government consultation meetings between the Nisqually Tribal Council and our School Board. He is by far one of the most transformative leaders and teachers I have ever had the privilege to work with.”

Read more about Jerad Koepp on OSPI’s website

Nancy Baldwin, 2021 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year
In her role as McKinney-Vento Liaison, Nancy works with students experiencing homelessness to move forward in their education, knowing that they are important, worthy, and valued. Mrs. Baldwin helps students to monitor their grades, missing assignments, absences, and immediate needs.

“For students and families experiencing homelessness, Nancy may serve as their liaison, but she also serves as their counselor, confidant, graduation specialist, and community service provider… as well as their inspiration,” writes Don Iverson, Director of Student Services at Kelso School District. “Nancy exemplifies our district’s commitment in doing whatever it takes to graduate 100% of our students. Nancy delivers services and supports to our students and families with professionalism and compassion. We are so proud of her!”

Read more about Nancy Baldwin on OSPI’s website

Both Mr. Koepp and Mrs. Baldwin will move forward to the national competition for their awards. Koepp will compete for the
National Teacher of the Year award. Baldwin will compete for the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) award.

See a list of the regional winners on OSPI's website

Congratulations to all the winners of these prestigious awards, and thank you to all our teachers for your hard work and dedication!

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