June 12, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Chávez Elementary teacher Mariah Engle named Lane County’s best

2 min read
Chávez Elementary kindergarten teacher Mariah Engle told students and colleagues: "You are my reason that I show up every single day, and I want to do my best because of you."

from Eugene School District 4J

Congratulations to Mariah Engle, kindergarten teacher at Chávez Elementary School, for being honored as Lane County’s top teacher and named one of four finalists for Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Engle was recognized as one of Oregon’s 17 2023-24 Regional Teachers of the Year during the first assembly of the new school year. She received a $1,000 check. The Oregon Lottery, which runs the annual Teacher of the Year program, will announce the 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year next month.

Ms. Engle said she’s inspired by the students and her colleagues who show up every day striving to do their best.

“You are my why,” Ms. Engle told the crowd that included district leaders, including Superintendent Andy Dey, school board members and her son, husband and mother-in-law. “You are my reason that I show up every single day, and I want to do my best because of you. Thank you for this recognition and the inspirations and lessons — and, most of all, thank you for the love we have for each other. I’m so grateful to call you my family.”

Superintendent Dey praised Ms. Engle’s dedication, innovation and inclusivity, noting the profound influence she has on her students and their families.

“Her commitment to celebrating diversity in her classroom and ensuring that every child has what they need to thrive and succeed is truly inspiring,” he said. “She creates a nurturing and safe environment where our youngest students feel welcomed and supported as they begin their educational journey.”

A parent who’s had all three of her children enrolled in Ms. Engle’s kindergarten class nominated her, saying she’s an exceptional teacher.

“My daughter describes her as the best teacher she’s ever had. My son stated, ‘I wish I could have Ms. Mariah every year!’ My youngest, who currently has her as a teacher, is always smiling and so happy when she talks about Ms. Mariah,” the nominating parent wrote. “They have always excelled above my expectations, educationally and socially, after a year in her class. We love Ms. Mariah.”

Ms. Engle joined 4J as a classroom teacher in 2017, starting at Howard Elementary School before moving to Chávez the following year.

Regional Teachers of the Year are each nominated and then selected with the assistance of the Oregon’s 19 education service districts. Nominators submit testimonies and letters of support, and these applications are judged by a panel on the attributes of leadership, instructional expertise, commitment to equity, community involvement, and more.

Since 1995, when the Oregon Lottery began allocating revenue to public education, more than $9 billion has been transferred to school districts across the state. This past year, 4J received more than $9 million in state lottery dollars.

Incredible job, Ms. Mariah. You’ve made your school and our district very proud!

Whole Community News

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