Port Angeles instructor regional teacher of year;Quincy teacher chosen as state teacher of year

The person who nominated John Gallagher his “impact on students at Port Angeles High School is profound.”

John Gallagher

John Gallagher

PORT ANGELES — John Gallagher, Port Angeles High School teacher, is regional teacher of the year.

Camille Jones of Pioneer Elementary in Quincy was named Washington’s 2017 Teacher of the Year at an awards ceremony Monday. She is the state’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year, which is awarded by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The next U.S. president will announce the winner in a special ceremony at the White House in the spring.

Gallagher was chosen as a finalist in the state award for the Olympic Educational Services District, which includes North Olympic Peninsula public school districts as well as districts in Kitsap County.

Port Angeles High School Principal Jeff Clark nominated Gallagher, saying his “impact on students at Port Angeles High School is profound.

“Not only is he instructionally effective, but he is a crusader for student success and an advocate for understanding of the relevance of science in students’ lives.”

“John has a long record of demonstrating passion for teaching and promoting student success,” Clark continued.

Gregory Lynch, superintendent of the Olympic ESD, notified Clark in a letter, saying, “We are delighted to be able to recognize this employee.”

Clark said that as science teacher, Gallagher uses inductive questioning to challenge students to develop their curiosity.

”John’s lessons are hands-on and high-energy, and he helps students learn to work effectively in teams to create questions and test their hypotheses using inquiry and the scientific method of experimentation.”

Gallagher also gets students out of the classroom, Clark said.

“By putting together resources such as grants and collaborations with the local YMCA, John has created opportunities for students in the PAHS Science Club to attend science-related events in the Seattle area, such as lectures at the University of Washington, a tour of the Burke Museum and a recent astrobiology concert at Benaroya Hall.”

He also is the leader of the Rider Crew program, in which upperclassmen mentor incoming freshmen to ease the transition to ninth grade and he plans Freshman Rider Day each August prior to the first day of school.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn praised all teachers at the event Monday.

“The Teachers of the Year remind us that innovative teaching happens in every corner of the state and with every level of student — from preschool to high school,” he said.

Jones serves as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) enrichment teacher, providing opportunities for all students.

She facilitated Pioneer’s first international collaborative project, which involved more than 40 schools in seven countries creating a “Big Friendly Monster” for display in each participating school. She also led a team to “Destination Imagination,” a student-led, problem-solving competition.

Program sponsors PEMCO Insurance and Saxton Bradley Inc. each donated cash awards and scholarships for classroom improvements for both Jones and the Regional Teachers of the Year.

Other regional winners are Tim Larson of the Odessa School District, Jose Corona of Toppenish, Kendra Yamamoto of Vancouver, Carol McKay of Olympia, Alisa Louie of Auburn and Elizabeth Loftus of Oak Harbor.

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