Teacher of the Year program

  • Nominate a Teacher of the Year from your district!

    ESD 105 facilitates the Regional Teacher of the Year program, which annually honors an educator who exemplifies teaching excellence in our south central Washington region.  Our regional honoree also serves as one of nine candidates statewide for Washington State Teacher of the Year (which is announced each fall).

    Nominations for the 2019-2020 ESD 105 Regional Teacher of the Year closed on March 1.  The ESD 105 Regional Teacher of the Year will be announced toward the start of the school year in the fall. 

    For more information about the program, see OSPI's Teacher of the Year website.

    OSPI will contact nominated teachers with information and submission deadlines for turning in application materials.  Selection of our Regional Teacher of the Year occurs during the end of summer and is traditionally announced near the start of the new school year.  The Washington State Teacher of the Year selection committee then contacts and interviews the finalists for the statewide award in September.

    Since the Washington State Teacher of the Year was first presented in 1952, six educators from the ESD 105 region have been named Washington State Teacher of the Year: Jeff Charbonneau of Zillah (for 2013), Susan Johnson of Cle Elum-Roslyn (2009), Tamara Steen of Mabton (2004, and one of four finalists for the national award), Yvonne Ullas of Naches Valley (1998), Dan Zeutenhorst of Yakima (1977), and Robert Tormey of West Valley (1974).

    In 2013, Zillah science teacher Jeff Charbonneau became the fourth educator from our state to be named the National Teacher of the Year.  Charbonneau spent the 2013-2014 school year as the Councils of Chief Secondary School Officers' ambassador for education in appearances throughout the nation and overseas.

    Others from Washington who have been named the National Teacher of the Year are Mandy Manning (2018, Newcomer Center teacher at the Spokane School District's Ferris High School), Andrea Peterson (2007, Granite Falls School District elementary music teacher), Johnnie Dennis (1970, Walla Walla School District high school physics teacher), and S. Elmon Ousley (1963, Bellevue School District high school government teacher).  Since the program's start in 1952, Washington has fielded the National Teacher of the Year more times than any other state except for California.

    For more information on the Teacher of the Year program, contact David Goehner, ESD 105 Public Information Officer.
    Additional information for Teacher of the Year
    OSPI's Teacher of the Year Web site 

    2019 Classified School Employee of the Year

    Nominations for the 2019 ESD 105 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year will close on Friday, January 25.  The Classified Employee of the Year award honors an outstanding secretary, custodian, cook, paraprofessional, bus driver, or other classified school staff member.  Anyone can submit a nomination for a member of your school community -- just click here to use OSPI's online nomination form.  For further details about this program, go to OSPI's Classified Employee of the Year page.  
    Our regional winner for 2019 was Lola Sarsfield, a special educatoin paraprofessional for the Mt. Adams School District.  She is representing ESD 105 as our candidate for the Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year being announced at OSPI in Olympia in the spring of 2019.  
    Previous recipients of the ESD 105 Regional Classified Employee of the Year:
    • 2010: Joy Kaasa, special education paraeducator, Wahluke School District
    • 2011: Sara Benjamin, math paraprofessional, Wahluke High School
    • 2012: David Peterson, network operations manager, Sunnyside School District
    • 2013: Cynthia Cisneros, special education paraprofessional, Artz-Fox Elementary (Mabton School District)
    • 2014: Donna Kelly, guidance specialist, Stanton Academy (Yakima School District)
    • 2015: Pam Gamache, K-5 paraprofessional, Adams Elementary School (Wapato School District)
    • 2016: David Hinojosa, intervention coordinator, Harrison Middle School (Sunnyside School District)
    • 2017: Dan Holzer, custodian, Terrace Heights Elementary School (East Valley School District)
    • 2018: Reed Hornung, athletic director, Sunnyside School District
    • 2019: Lola Sarsfield, special education paraprofessional, Mt. Adams School District
  • ESD 105 Regional Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019:

    Michael Clinton holding award

    – Michael Clinton – 
    Science teacher 
    White Swan High School
    Mt. Adams School District

    Michael Clinton began his teaching career in 2012 at White Swan High School and is known for promoting instructional methods and activities that emphasize inquiry-based learning for his students.  He developed an articulation agreement that allows his biology and chemistry students to earn college credits through Heritage University, and has taken students to tribal lands along the Columbia River as part of the "People of the Big River" field class to learn about tribal issues related to science.  He also developed White Swan's Freshman Seminar class, and advises the school's Knowledge Bowl program.  
    Read more about Michael Clinton on page 2 of our Fall 2018 "Class" newsletter.
    "Personal connections to the content help students engage and stay engaged with the content.  If done intentionally and consistently, students start to see the connections for themselves and eventually they want to learn more about the world around them."