Camas educator to vie for state ‘Teacher of the Year’

Amy Campbell is one of nine in race for 2020 honor

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Helen Baller Elementary School teacher Amy Campbell speaks during a March Camas School District school board meeting. Campbell has been selected as the Education Service District 112's "teacher of the year." (Doug Flanagan/Post-Record)

A Camas educator is one of nine finalists for the 2020 Washington Teacher of the Year award.

Representatives from Education Service District 112 (ESD 112) recently named Amy Campbell, a special education teacher at Helen Baller Elementary School, the regional “teacher of the year” nominee for the 2020 competition.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will announce the state winner later this year.

“Amy exudes everything we believe possible for public schools,” Camas School District Superintendent Jeff Snell stated in a news release. “I have never seen a teacher be more devoted to ensuring the well-being of her students. Amy is simply the best.”

Campbell is part of the Structured Inclusion Support program at Helen Baller, which serves students with a broad spectrum of challenges such as physical, cognitive, neurological communication and social deficits.

“Sometimes we lose sight of the inherent value of educating everyone together,” Campbell stated in a news release announcing her ESD 112 honor. “Intentional integration of every student is necessary for building a community and culture that values all learners. (I have) seen the beauty and benefit when all students achieve together.”

Campbell, who has taught in Camas for the past 12 years, was one of 11 certificated staff members from schools around the region nominated for the award.

A statewide committee will consider the regional winners’ written applications, interviews and mock keynote addresses to decide which candidate best exemplifies the statewide Teacher of the Year criteria.

In a nomination letter, Snell wrote that Campbell is beloved by her colleagues, students and families.

“Amy exemplifies what it means to be a learner for her students and colleagues. She excitedly embraces new challenges and opportunities to further develop her skills as a teacher and facilitates learning amongst her support staff,” Snell stated in his letter. “Amy is a combination of enthusiasm and energy that brings people together. She knows that having her students included in the community beyond her classroom is critical for their development and happiness. Amy truly loves each of her students and their families. It is extraordinary and inspires us to do more.”

Earlier this year, Campbell told the Post-Record that she was optimistic about her chances of being selected for the ESD 112 honor.

“Watch out, world. I’m competitive,” she said. “You’re (talking about) my biggest pride in life. If you ask me what I do, and I talk about teaching, watch out, because I’m going to tell you how much I love it and how awesome my students are. I think that stands on its own.”