North Thurston Public Schools Native Student Program Specialist Jerad Koepp has been named 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year, and Kelso School District McKinney-Vento Liaison Nancy Baldwin has been named 2021 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year.

Both Mr. Koepp and Mrs. Baldwin will move forward to the national competition for their awards. Koepp will compete for the National Teacher of the Year award, to be announced in Spring 2021. Baldwin will compete for the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) award, administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Jerad Koepp, 2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year

2022 Washington State Teacher of the Year Jerad Koepp has been a teacher for the last 16 years, the last eight of which as Native Student Program Specialist at North Thurston Public Schools in Lacey, WA.

Mr. Koepp’s role in North Thurston extends beyond a single classroom. Mr. Koepp teaches and supports Native students across the district, guest teaches on Native issues across grades, and co-teaches in the district’s Native studies program.

Nancy Baldwin, 2021 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year

2021 Washington Classified School Employee of the year Nancy Baldwin has worked with students experiencing homelessness for more than 20 years, 18 of which have been spent with Kelso School District.

In her role as McKinney-Vento Liaison, Nancy works with students experiencing homelessness to move forward in their education, knowing that they are important, worthy, and valued. Mrs. Baldwin helps students to monitor their grades, missing assignments, absences, and immediate needs.

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The state educators of the year were named by Superintendent Chris Reykdal in a ceremony live-streamed from the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP).

Watch the ceremony >

Congratulations to all of the regional finalists!

Read more about each region’s award recipient:

2022 Regional Teachers of the Year

Becky Adderson Special Education Teacher, Lincoln Middle School, Pullman School District, ESD 101

Boo Balkan Foster Seqacib Teacher, Chief Sealth International High School & Denny International Middle School, Seattle Public Schools, Puget Sound ESD 121

Brenda Hitchins Baking & Culinary Teacher, Washougal High School, Washougal School District, ESD 112

Linda Johnson ECEAP Teacher, The Early Learning Center, Richland School District, ESD 123

Randi Krieg Agriscience Teacher, Goldendale Middle School, Goldendale School District, ESD 105

Mary Krzysiak 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Grade Multiage Teacher, Dry Creek Elementary, Port Angeles School District, Olympic ESD 114

Sarah Manus Pre-AP English Teacher, Everett High School, Everett School District, NWESD 189

Tina Nicpan-Brown STEM Virtual Educator, Wenatchee Internet Academy, Wenatchee School District, North Central ESD 171

2021 Regional Classified School Employees of the Year

Janis Campbell-Aikens Executive Director, Child Nutrition Services, Auburn School District, Puget Sound ESD 121

Keven Gebeke Lead Custodian, Shiloh Hills Elementary, Mead School District, ESD 101

Andres Gonzalez Technology Director, Yakima School District, ESD 105

Holly Hernandez Kitchen Manager, Chief Joseph Middle School, Richland School District, ESD 123

Tammy Oommen Paraeducator in School Intervention, Laventure Middle School, Mount Vernon School District, NWESD 189

Nadine Owen Restorative Room Supervisor, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Olympia School District, Capitol Region ESD 113

Sheri Schmidt Special Education Paraeducator, Poulsbo Elementary, North Kitsap School District, Olympic ESD 114

Adriana Vanbianchi School District Nurse, Methow Valley School District, North Central ESD 171