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distinguished educator 2011-2012

November 2011 - Lisa Reamer


Today we awarded Lisa Reamer 5th grade teacher at Whitworth the Distinguished Educator Award during the school team time.


Here is what Lisa's colleagues had to say about her:


Lisa insists her students succeed so she is constantly challenging herself as a teacher. She keeps meticulous notes of what works from lesson to lesson and year to year. She knows where each of her students is in their progress through 5th grade. Her strengths lie in organization, assessment and consistency when managing students and the curriculum. She is gracious, warm and caring toward our staff and students. She is always willing to help and expects nothing in return and helps organize special events such as retirements for the school. She is a leader and "official" photographer at our school. She is always at each event taking pictures. She also prepares a staff bulletin board with pictures of each staff member so that parents and students can get to know each member of our large staff. She has high expectations of herself and of her students. Students leave her room with many life skills and the knowledge that they can be successful.  Lisa does all these things and many more because she cares about each and every student. She is an amazing teacher!


Here is what her students had to say about her:

  • She is calm, organized and has fun projects like art

  • The table with the most points at the end of the week gets to be in front of the line and to sit on the couch

  • We get to do cool things and be in cool places

  • We do easy projects and she is really nice

  • She is the best teacher I ever had, she makes things fun

  • She pushes us to work hard, if we work hard we get free time!


Please join us in congratulating Lisa Reamer! Lisa is an amazing teacher, a strong leader among her colleagues and committed to high standards for her students.



January 2012 - Connie Olliff and Laurie Wilson


Today we awarded Connie Olliff and Laurie Wilson team teachers in 3rd grade at Lyle Elementary the Distinguished Educator Award during the school team time.


Here is what their nominator Jana Fogg  had to say about them:


What I have seen from these two amazing ladies is a heart bigger than Oregon itself. My daughter comes home from school telling me about all of the amazing things that these two teachers do that are above and beyond. Not only do they teach what is required, but they also teach what is expected of each student in school and how they should treat one another. Be responsible, be accountable, be good people. They see the challenges that our children face every day and I believe they look to the future and find solutions for those challenges now. They are creative, compassionate, kind, with just the right mix of tow the line, be responsible, and lets have fun.


Here is what their students have to say about them:

  • They make it fun in class.

  • They help with science.

  • She's awesome!

  • They make science and all stuff fun.

  • Mrs. Wilson give us homework.

  • Mrs. Olliff does too.

  • They teach us about the body.

  • They teach us how to communicate with our class mates kindly.

  • It makes me happy they can be my teachers. 


Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Olliff and Mrs. Wilson! What a fun morning to get to honor these two exceptional ladies.  They were so surprised by the award and their student(every one of them) were eager to share what made them both exceptional educators.  A true testament to who they are as teachers!!!!



February 2012 - Julie Petersen


Friday we awarded Julie Petersen, Physical Education and Leadership teacher at LaCreole Middle School, the Distinguished Educator Award during a school-wide assembly.


Here is what her nominator Mr. Welsh  had to say about her:


Recently my son had been asked to become a member of Leadership. During his time in Leadership with Mrs. Petersen, he has become very confident and interested in school. He talks about projects they are doing and is genuinely proud to be a part of the group. He has gained so much confidence in himself and in his abilities. He has gained something working with Mrs. Petersen that I believe will benefit him the rest of his life. I am thankful for Mrs. Petersen seeing enough potential in him to give him the opportunity to excel. It is experiences like this that give kids the enthusiasm to better themselves and I am seeing this first hand.


Here is what her students have to say about her:

  • She is respectful and responsibl

  • She takes care of everyone

  • She is our PE teacher

  • She is fun and creative

  • She is very fit

  • She cares for her students and is supportive

  • She is hilarious


Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Petersen! The best part of the assembly was how long it took her to realize we had called her name.


March 2012 - Mr. Fischer


Today we awarded Mr. Fischer, teacher at Morrison, the Distinguished Educator Award during a school-wide assembly.


Here is what his nominators Annette Anderson (staff member ), Elizabeth Melton, Alyssa Stacey, and Harvey Henry (students) had to say about him:

He is kind, compassionate, and deeply concerned about the welfare and education of all Morrison students. His profound influence on matters of life and learning leave a lasting impression. He has a unique ability to transform the attitude of the most discouraged students. He is a teacher that will push a student to do their best, day after day, he is the best teacher I have ever come across. He believes in students to the point where: even if they had previously had no self-confidence in their skills, they end up having faith in themselves. He believes in our futures.


Here is what his students have to say about him:

  • He is more than a teacher, he's our hero!

  • Mr. Fischer is amazing.

  • A great teacher!

  • You can come to him for anything, school related or not.

  • He will help you solve your problems.

  • Mr. Fischer was my biggest supporter encouraging me to get back in school.


  • He deserves this more than any teacher I know.


Please join us in congratulating Mr. Fischer! It was a very fun morning to surprise Mr. Fischer with the award. He was greeted by his wife, brother, daughters and grandchildren when we presented the award with his Morrison students.  He cares deeply about the success of each and every student and is committed to our school district.



April 2012 - Mary Jo Hamptom


Today Mary Jo Hampton, educational assistant at Whitworth Elementary was presented the Distinguished Educator Award during a school-wide assembly.


Her nominators consisted of 11 of her colleagues at Whitworth and here are some of the comments they shared in their nomination of Mary Jo:

  • She goes above and beyond what is “required of her” taking classes that the teachers take

  • She’s all about the kids

  • She gives of her time selflessly

  • She calls every child friend and greets each student by name every morning

  • Finds creative ways to help kids learn

  • Always the first one to volunteer her services

  • An ideal example of a quality educator for elementary students, fabulous role model in many young lives

  • Patiently helping children with their reading

  • Always tries to figure out solutions to problems

  • She has our respect and admiration and is a vital employee in the Whitworth family


Here is what Whitworth students have to say about Mary Jo:

  • She explains things that are hard

  • She is humorous but serious when she needs to be

  • Mrs. Hampton makes it a lot easier to get help

  • She helps us give a full answer

  • That Mrs. Hampton, she’s just jolly


Please join us in congratulating Mary Jo! She is amazing with students, wonderful as a colleague and an inspiration to many.


May 2012 - Terri Hethorn


Friday, Terri Hethorn, ELL Program Teacher at Lyle Elementary was presented the Distinguished Educator Award during a school-wide assembly.


Her nominators consisted of two of her colleagues and a parent, here are some of the comments they shared in their nomination of Terri:

  • She helps her students learn to read and write

  • She has a way of teaching children to work hard and thereby learn better

  • She has a fun way to teach vocabulary

  • She is an educator that truly thinks about and questions what she does

  • She not only works with our ELL population, but still contributes to teacher development and growth in the areas of reading and writing

  • She guides students with love and boundaries

  • She is kind and caring at school, but also has shown additional support for her students outside of the school days

  • She has secured grants for money to take families shopping for school supplies and clothes

  • She has planned many events for family involvement

  • She is caring, thoughtful, and fun

  • She encourages students to strive to do their best in life and at school


The parent who nominated Terri is a Spanish speaking parent and Terri has her children in her ELD class. The parent came and spoke about Terri in the assembly while Trina Gloria translated.  Terri is also a teacher leader in our school district and as many of you know is a SIOP trainer for us. We believe she has been instrumental in helping us meet our language benchmarks with our ELL students. 


Please join us in congratulating Terri on this award.



June 2012 - Diana Christensen


Monday,  Diana Christensen, Special Education Teacher (DLC) at Whitworth Elementary was presented the Distinguished Educator Award during a school-wide assembly.


Her nominators were four of her classroom assistants, here are some of the comments they shared in their nomination of Diana:

  • She cares about the needs of students with disabilities.

  • She has high expectations for students.

  • She teaches her students independence and self-reliance.

  • She puts her student’s learning first and pushes them to do their best while giving them attention, support, and the tools they need to succeed.

  • Gives 100% not only to students on her caseload, but to any student she comes in contact with.

  • She is patient, kind, helpful, fair, and compassionate when working with students.

  • Since being a Special Education teacher can be challenging at times, she always manages to keep a sense of humor and maintains composure in stressful situations.

  • She is a wonderful teacher, co-worker, and friend!


Diana also received a nomination from one of her former student’s parents. This family has moved out of state, but wrote about the impact Mrs. Christiansen had on their daughter and the growth she made in her program. 

Diana has built an incredible program for our 4th and 5th special education students at Whitworth. She is dedicated, structured and provides support to families outside of the classroom.

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