Civic Educator of the Year Honorees
The Civic Educator of the Year Award is given each December at the Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers. The honoree must be an Oregon K-12 educator who has had significant impact on their students and on the Oregon civics community.
- 2020-21: Deborah Mueller, Village Home
- 2019-20: Courtney Wertz, Paisley Middle / High School
- 2018-19: Matt Kellogg, West Linn High School
- 2017-18: Barbara Rost, Classroom Law Project
- 2016-17: Ray Brown, Eastern Oregon University
- 2015-16: Nance Case, Terra Linda Elementary School
- 2014-15: Amanda Alonso, Madison High School
- 2013-14: Drew Moneke, West Salem High School
- 2012-13: Karen Rouse, West Sylvan Middle School
- 2011-12: Richard English, Parkrose High School
- 2006-07: Diane Thelen-Sager, Grant High School
- 2005-06: Terry McElligott, Chehalem Valley Middle School
- 2004-05: Susan Marcus, Classroom Law Project
Deborah obtained her B.A. and M.A. in French Language and Literature, and then her J.D., from the University of Hawaii. She taught French at the university level and later practiced commercial litigation in Honolulu before deciding to educate her four children full-time. After two years in Northern Virginia, her family moved to Oregon, and she began teaching at Village Home in 2010. In addition to teaching social studies, language arts, and French, Deborah manages Destination Imagination teams, leads the Beaverton Learner Council, and coaches the VH Mock Trial team. She is also the resident Harry Potter nerd! Deborah cherishes every day she gets to learn along with the amazing learners at Village Home.
Paisley Middle / High School
Because of the variety of students and subjects Courtney teaches each day, she has become a flexible and creative master educator. She has infused civic dispositions and civic education into all the subject areas and grades that she teaches, and she constantly finds ways to excite her students about being active participants in their community. Because Paisley is so distant from many of the opportunities in Oregon, Courtney goes the extra mile to make sure her students get a variety of experiences. She brings her high school students all the way to Portland to take the Courthouse Experience Tour, and her middle schoolers have presented Project Citizen portfolios at the Capitol in Salem.
Courtney travels hundreds of miles just to participate in professional development opportunities every chance she gets. At workshops and seminars, she has proven herself a leader and mentor, and she continues to pursue professional learning at every opportunity.
West Linn High School
Matt Kellogg began his teaching career at the Isabella County Jail, where he worked with incarcerated adults to earn their GEDs. After moving to Oregon, he worked in alternative middle and high school programs, based out of Clackamas Community College. He has been teaching at West Linn High School now for 23 years. to learn more about Matt.
Classroom Law Project
When Barbara received her award at the Oregon Civics Conference last December, she looked out at the room full of teachers and said, “No, really, this award is for YOU.” So deeply is civic education engrained in her spirit, that she had to share the celebration with her dear community.
When she joined the CLP board in 1994, Barbara probably didn’t expect to spend a quarter century being an integral part of the organization. After four terms on the board, she joined the staff, infusing CLP’s programs with her spark and enthusiasm.
She’s taken on many roles: teacher, student, judge, writer, lobbyist, arbiter, organizer, and advocate. No matter what the task, her motivation was clear – giving Oregon’s teacher the best tools to inspire their students to become engaged, informed members of their communities.
Barbara leaves a strong foundation on which future programs will rise to challenge and preare the next generations. Thank you, Barbara. Really, this is for YOU.
Eastern Oregon University
Ray Brown enjoyed 30 years teaching in urban California with all its hustle and bustle, opportunities and accolades, challenges and rewards. Then he moved to tiny Imbler.
Ray introduced the rural northeast Oregon community to AP classes and mock trial. From
there he stirred things up in Eastern Oregon University’s School of Education.
Demonstrating leadership, scholarship, and active citizenship to EOU’s future teachers, Ray modeled what it means to be a great teacher. His long list of to-do’s included traveling over the mountains with students to CLP’s annual Civics Conference for
Teachers at the state capitol.
Then he moved to Warren in Oregon’s northwest corner. Retired now for the third time, Ray is the principal at a public charter school where he continues to walk the talk. Congratulations, Ray, on being named the Civic Educator of the Year!
Terra Linda Elementary
If you didn’t think fifth graders could be Constitutional scholars, our dear friend and colleague Nance Case is happy to prove otherwise. A model teacher at Beaverton’s Terra Linda Elementary School, Nance’s patience, perseverance, and passion combine to build well-informed, active citizens.
Nance has planted seeds of active citizenship in her students for over 30 years. Each year, she begins with lessons on how and why our country was founded, and ends with students presenting mock congressional hearings to legislators, judges, teachers, civic leaders, and proud and amazed parents. Nance’s students don’t just learn about the Constitution, they own it. And Nance doesn’t stop with 5th graders. She mentors other teachers so they, too, can inspire active citizens in their classrooms.
With Nance Case, the future is in good hands. We are proud to recognize her as the Civic Educator of the Year.