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Agriscience teacher Randi Krieg of Goldendale is our 2021-22 Regional Teacher of the Year!

Randi KriegRandi Krieg, whose work has harvested numerous statewide and national achievements for Goldendale students involved in the Future Farmers of America program, is the Educational Service District Regional Teacher of the Year for 2021-22

Krieg is the first teacher from Goldendale to receive the title since the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction introduced regionally-based awards in 1996 to its longtime Washington State Teacher of the Year program (which has existed since 1952).

She will formally receive her Regional Teacher of the Year award from ESD 105 superintendent Kevin Chase during a presentation to be scheduled later in September at Goldendale Middle School.

Our new Regional Teacher of the Year will serve as south central Washington’s candidate for the 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year.  Nine educators from regions throughout Washington will be vying for that statewide title, which the Olympia-based Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will announce during a Facebook Live presentation on Sept. 13 starting at 11:00 a.m.  The eventual recipient of the Washington State Teacher of the Year title will advance as a candidate for the 2022 National Teacher of the Year award that will be announced next spring.

Krieg has been involved in promoting agriscience programs for Goldendale’s 7th-12th graders since joining the school district’s teaching staff in 2015.  Her primary assignment is with Goldendale Middle School, where she teaches 7th grade science courses through a natural resources framework that promotes career and technical education.

After coming to Goldendale, Krieg helped start the school district’s middle school chapter of the Future Farmers of America.  Through that work, she has been part of a leadership team that has gained high student involvement in FFA activities as well as extensive levels of statewide and national achievements for Goldendale students in that program.  She is the co-advisor of Goldendale’s FFA with her husband Josh Krieg, who teaches agriscience at the high school as well as career and technical education.  Collectively, about 125 of the approximately 400 high school and middle school students at Goldendale are involved in FFA.

Through the assistance of Mrs. Krieg’s leadership, more than 20 of Goldendale’s high school and middle school students have participated in projects that have advanced to FFA recognition at the national level.  In recent years, the school’s group has earned the Three Star National Chapter Award – FFA’s highest honor – for having numerous high-quality activities that grow leadership, build communities, and strengthen agriculture.  In 2020, the Goldendale chapter was also a top 10 national finalist – out of 2,013 activities submitted nationally – for its recruitment program that awarded gold stars for placement on individual locker jackets for each FFA event that its members attended.

Several Goldendale students have become national finalists in recent years for their agriscience projects in areas such as solar heating, erosion control, fertilizer efficiency, and produce ripening.

“The reason they keep getting selected is because they have very involved ideas,” said Mrs. Krieg.

Among her other achievements:  Krieg developed a scientific investigation unit for her students to assist Goldendale's community swimming pool in resolving a situation in which killdeer birds were laying their eggs on the facility's gravel parking lot.  She's also developed programs involving career professionals to interest girl students in fields such as welding and interest boy students in fields such as plant biology.  She also oversees student volunteers at a local soup kitchen.

In her application for the ESD 105 regional award, Krieg wrote:  “As a career and technical education teacher, it is my responsibility to ensure students practice 21st century skills.  My instruction must integrate opportunities for my students to communicate their thinking, collaborate in their learning, think critically about the subject matter, and apply creativity when developing solutions.  They must develop the skills of lifelong learners and be prepared for school, work, and life.”

Krieg earned her bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from Washington State University and her master of science degree in agricultural education from the University of Arizona.  She started her career as a 9th-12th grade agriscience teacher at the Elma School District in 2008-2009.  She then taught 7th-12th grade agriscience at the Mabton School District during 2009-2015 before coming to Goldendale.

Eleven teachers from the region were nominated and completed application materials for this year’s award.  The 10 other nominees for this year were:  Naches Valley High School math and science teacher Jennifer Mickle; Royal’s Red Rock Elementary School Spanish teacher Mario Godoy-Gonzalez; Royal Middle School 7th grade science and leadership teacher Theresa Piper; Wahluke High School career and technical education teacher John Ellsworth; Wahluke’s Sentinel Tech alternative school teacher Lauren Venera; West Valley Middle School English teacher Amber Stiles-Gill; Yakima’s Gilbert Elementary School special education teacher April Daughtery; Yakima’s Hoover Elementary School 1st grade teacher Sarah Frewaldt; Yakima’s Hoover Elementary School 3rd grade teacher Sylvia Mendoza; and Yakima’s McClure Elementary School special education teacher Kimberly LaMarche.