OSPI NEWS RELEASE: Camas Educator Amy Campbell Named Washington Teacher of the Year

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Camas Educator Amy Campbell Named Washington Teacher of the Year

Amy Campbell

Olympia—September 9, 2019 – Amy Campbell, a special education teacher at Helen Baller Elementary in Camas, has been selected as the 2020 Washington State Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made today by Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction, at the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle.

“Every year we celebrate excellent teaching through the Teacher of the Year program,” Reykdal said. “These exceptional educators dedicate themselves to their students and their communities, and their passion for helping their students succeed is inspiring. Mrs. Campbell is a great example of what exceptional teaching means in Washington state.”

Campbell has been working in the Camas School District for 12 years, planning and implementing instruction for students with disabilities, and supporting students in participating in the whole school community.

Campbell believes that all children can learn, and to achieve her vision of academic success for all, she implements innovative strategies geared to students’ strengths. She believes in the power of inclusion, where everyone can participate in learning together and experience diversity as an asset.

Julie, a parent of one of Campbell’s students, praised Campbell’s commitment to whole school inclusion for students with disabilities. As Julie’s son’s teacher, Campbell focused on success and developed routines that played to Julie’s son’s strengths, working to teach him to speak and feed himself.

“My son is beloved by both staff and students at his school,” Julie wrote. “I attribute this, in large part, to the willingness of Amy to get him out into the ‘community’ and help him shine. For example, he needs frequent breaks and she makes those productive teaching opportunities by having him deliver the school mail. He feels successful. He loves school.”

Reykdal was impressed by the way Campbell works to ensure an inclusive school for her students. “Amy’s commitment to finding ways to increase her students’ time in the general education setting with their peers is remarkable,” Reykdal said. “Her collaborative nature, working tirelessly to build a school community that welcomes all learners, is an immense benefit to her students.”

Reykdal noted the commitment to the whole child in all of this year’s Regional Teachers of the Year. “These teachers are dedicated to their students’ success. From helping them find success despite childhood trauma; to teaching them the skills to live confident, healthy lives; to focusing on learning literacy skills and helping students with disabilities succeed in their world; these teachers are focused on ensuring the whole child is supported and successful.”

2019 Regional Teachers of the Year

The Regional Teachers of the Year represent each of the state's nine educational service districts (ESDs).

Analisa McCann
Northeast ESD 101 | Central Valley SD | Broadway Elementary

Stephanie King
ESD 105 | Granger SD | Granger High School

Lisa Summers
Capital Region ESD 113 | Tumwater SD | Black Hills High School

Kathryn Lebuis Hartman
Olympic ESD 114 | Port Angeles SD | Roosevelt Elementary

Reid Sundblad
Puget Sound ESD 121 | Highline SD | Chinook Middle School

Rebecca Estock
ESD 123 | North Franklin SD | Connell Elementary

Malia Renner-Singer
North Central ESD 171 | Cascade SD | Cascade High School

Tamara Caraballo
Northwest ESD 189 | Snohomish SD | Glacier Peak High School

Photos of each of this year's finalists are posted on the OSPI education awards webpage.

Next steps

Throughout the next year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession will provide professional development for all nine Regional Teachers of the Year.

As the state Teacher of the Year, Campbell will be considered for National Teacher of the Year, which is awarded by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The winner will be announced in a special ceremony at the White House this spring.

More about Washington's Teacher of the Year Program

The selection committee includes previous teachers of the year and representatives from the following organizations: the Professional Educator Standards Board, Washington Education Association, Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council, Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Washington State Parent-Teacher Association, Ready Washington Coalition, and the Association of Washington School Principals.

Teacher of the Year is the nation's oldest and most prestigious teacher award program. It is a project of CCSSO and is presented by VOYA Financial. Washington's program is supported by educational service districts, school districts, education organizations, a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the following business and nonprofit partners:

  • Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession
  • The Charles Beresford Company
  • PEMCO Insurance
  • Inspirus Credit Union
  • MoPOP