SPRINGFIELD – A middle school teacher in Springfield is one of 16 educators awarded Regional Teacher of the Year by the Oregon Department of Education.

During the pandemic, teachers have overcome ongoing challenges requiring transitioning instructional models, developing new ways to create important student connections and learning new teaching platforms. Ricci Huling teaches 6-8th grade math and arts at Agnes Stewart Middle School, and she did just that. She is the only Lane County educator to have received the award.

Ricci Huling

“Throughout this year of navigating countless challenges and demands, Oregon educators have consistently come through for Oregon’s students,” said Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education. 

“Every child in our country deserves the opportunity to experience an education that engages their mind and sparks their curiosity,” Ricci said. 

Oregon educators were identified through a regional application and selection process facilitated by local Education Service districts. Applicants submitted testimonials and letters of support and were assessed on leadership, instructional expertise, commitment to equity, community involvement, understanding of educational issues, professional development and vision by a diverse panel of regional representatives.

“Teachers are the foundation-builders for the future,” said Barry Pack, Oregon Lottery director. 

Each Regional Teacher of the Year will receive a $500 award from the Oregon Lottery, and is automatically considered for the honor of 2022 Oregon Teacher of the Year which will be announced this fall.