Peninsula Daily News
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Valadez teaches Native American studies and the Klallam language at the Port Angeles High School.
She received the cultural awareness award April 25 at a reception in Bellevue, where the keynote address was given by Seattle/King County NAACP President James Bible.
Valadez “is highly dedicated to keeping the Klallam language and culture thriving,” said Port Angeles School District para-educator Barbara Gapper, who nominated Valadez for the award.
As noted on the WEA website, the “cultural awareness category recognizes someone who designs and initiates programs to encourage the use of multicultural teaching materials; promotes human relations training within education; or works beyond the call of duty to eradicate racial inequities in education.
Gapper said: “Education is important to Jamie, and she opens her Klallam language class to all students, not just Klallam youth.”
Valadez has compiled four booklets on the Klallam culture and is a contributor on a fifth, Gapper said.
“She is a role model for everyone, adults and youth,” Gapper said.
Valadez received a $500 award, which she plans to use for textbooks for her class.
Other awards were given for community service, student involvement and international peace and understanding.
Community service awards went to the staff of Quil Ceda-Tulalip Elementary School and to Suquamish School Superintendent Joe Davalos.
The English Language Learners Family Literacy Program received recognition for student involvement.
Elaine R. Akagi, a retired educator who taught for 38 years in public schools, posthumously received the International Peace & Understanding award.
For more information about the WEA Human and Civil Rights Honorees, view the WEA website at http://tinyurl.com/cghln5y.