Chamber names 2018 ‘Teachers of the Year’

Camas High teacher Doug Huegli, Washougal first-grade teacher Darcy Hickey honored

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The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce has named its Teachers of the Year for 2018, and will honor Camas High School photography/graphic arts teacher Doug Huegli and Cape Horn-Skye Elementary first-grade teacher Darcy Hickey at an upcoming awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, at Camas Meadows Golf Club.

Camas High’s Doug Huegli ‘great example of lifelong learning’

Camas High teacher Doug Huegli started creating graphic arts for the Camas School District in 1990. He transitioned from his role as the district’s print shop manager into a photography, digital drawing and graphics design teacher job in 1997.

“Doug is a great example of lifelong learning for his students,” Derek Jaques, career and technical education director, said. “He stays current with photography, graphic design and other digital tools used in his trade. Doug continually updates his knowledge and skills along with the technology in his classroom. His classroom is a blend of technology, high expectations and learning by doing.”

Huegli dabbles in a fair amount of commercial photography and has worked with Chase Bank, LA Fitness and Red Robin.

He often talks to his students about his professional process, so they can see the small steps that it takes to get to a finished product and see how what they are learning is relevant to the real world.

“For me, I try to keep what I bring to the classroom very commercially available,” Huegli said. “I share a lot of my outside work to convey the problems that I go through and the challenges that I have to work through to satisfy client needs.”

The most rewarding part of being a teacher is seeing students develop, Huegli said.

“Seeing their growth, seeing their excitement,” he said of his students. “When they bring friends around, it’s kind of cool to see them get excited about what they’re doing. Or, when they come back from vacation and are excited to show me things that they’ve captured.”

Huegli said his students seem to feel comfortable in his classroom.

“I’ve got students here hanging out all the time,” he said. “Sometimes they’re working on classroom stuff, but a lot of the time they’re just working on projects.”

The photography teacher said he hopes students learn to be patient with their work.

“I’m hoping that they learn that it’s not an overnight thing, there is growth that takes place.” he said.

When students complete a project today, he hopes they will be able to look back in about a month and see how much their skills have developed, he said.

“Doug’s skillful instruction and coaching is matched only by his zeal and commitment to the growth of his students, many of whom leave his classroom with an advanced skill set in graphic arts,” Jaques said.

Cape Horn-Skye’s Darcy Hickey ‘takes time to know and connect with students’

The chamber’s Washougal teacher of the year, Darcy Hickey, is a first-grade teacher at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary school.

She has taught grades K-5 for 13 years and this is her 10th year working for the Washougal School District.

“Hickey is an exceptional educator who takes time to know and connect with students, working with every child’s strengths to help them succeed,” Penny Andrews, Cape Horn-Skye principal said. “She is accepting of every student. She spends hours thinking of ways to make their educational experience meaningful, engaging and successful.”

Hickey said she has always wanted to become a teacher, but an act by her sixth-grade teacher made a significant impact on her choice.

Hickey was able to witness when a classmate, who usually came to school in ragged clothes and worn out shoes, opened a box from their teacher that was on his desk.

“Inside the box was a brand new pair of shoes, and not just any shoes, but the ones that all the cool kids wore,” she said. “That is the teacher I strive to be. The lesson he taught me on that day will forever be ingrained in me.”

Hickey said she wakes up in the morning and is excited to go to work.

“My students motivate me. Watching them run down the hallway every morning with excitement on their faces motivates me,” Hickey said. “Trying to find out the ‘key’ for how each child learns motivates me. Listening to their questions, their wonderings about how their world works, motivates me. Loving on kids, especially those who need it the most, motivates me. Working with a team of professionals, who support and encourage me, motivates me.”

Andrews said the honored teacher has been instrumental in highly successful school programs such as the Crazy 8 Math Club, an after school math group designed to engage reluctant learners; and the school’s highly popular science night.

She serves as a science liaison at Cape Horn-Skye and brings professional development to her peers. Hickey researched and implemented Cape Horn-Skye’s Healthy Habits for Great Leaders program, which culminated in a motivational hip-hop speaker and trainer as well as a “passing the torch of leadership” assembly.

“Being a lifelong learner myself, I love that I have a job where I can learn something new everyday. My favorite parts of the year are those moments when we, the students and myself, are learning together,” Hickey said.

Sometimes, students become teachers in Hickey’s class.

“Kids often think that teachers know everything, and I love when I prove them wrong,” Hickey said. “They teach me new ways to think about math and science and history. They teach me daily about compassion, resilience (and) perseverance. My job isn’t so much to ‘teach’ them, but to allow them the space they need in order to grow, learn, thrive and love.”

Hickey said that, when students leave her classroom, she wants them to leave as better people.

“Being better at math, reading, writing or science is great, but if they aren’t better people, then I haven’t done my job,” she said. “I want my students to still be curious about the world and want to discover the answers when they leave my classroom. I want my students to leave my classroom knowing that there is one person who has their back, who loves them unconditionally and who will do anything to help them succeed, even as they move on in life.”

Click here to read about Citizen of the Year and Business Person winners.