From a June 17, 2019, Northwest Educational Service District 189 News Release.
Tami Caraballo was selected as the 2020 Regional Teacher of the Year from a competitive group of seven teacher nominees from across the Northwest Educational Service District Region.
Colleagues describe Caraballo as an innovator who is able to make connections between school, family and culture, and the local community. One example is her partnership with Snohomish Education Foundation (SEF) to start one of the first molecular biology programs in the state. Through the SEF she was able to fund one of the first 3-D printers to use in her curriculum.
In her application essay, Caraballo wrote, “Our mission is to prepare students to lead extraordinary lives. I am working toward the fulfillment of this mission by giving all students the opportunity to develop and utilize leading-edge biotechnology skills and equipment to inspire lifelong engagement in rigorous and valid science.
Science is a fascinating and dynamic subject that is constantly changing. New ideas, information, problems, and technology are continually being developed at an accelerated rate.
My biotechnology program is a reflection of efforts to motivate, move, expose, and inspire students using innovative technology and science. They should leave this program with the understanding that they can make a difference in the health and welfare of the world.”
“Tami excels at helping students find their place and significance in the bigger world. She helps students think globally through the relationships that she has fostered with larger organizations such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Nexus Global Health Challenge, University of Washington, Shoreline Community College and Bioquest Academy,” stated Dawn Ipsen, PharmD, FACA, FACVP Owner.
“Tami is a one of a kind, ‘out of the box’ thinker who transforms her classroom into a research center where her students take on the role of legitimate scientific researchers,” said Jeff Larson, Glacier Peak High School Principal.
“Tami Caraballo makes education much more than the mere attainment of knowledge. It is the application to our world that brings it alive, makes it relevant and impacts students for a lifetime,” commented Kent Kultgen, Snohomish School District Superintendent.
“During the classroom visit with Tami at Glacier Peak High School, I was impressed by the project-based learning going on in each of the small groups. Students were working on models of the proteins of plants and animals in the pursuit of improving global health to algae and fish in the pursuit of biofuels and feeding the world. Her classroom is where science meets real-world problems that scientists are working to solve,” added David Forsythe, Assistant Superintendent of Operations NWESD.
NWESD’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations, David Forsythe, helped guide the selection process of the recipient of NWESD’s Regional Teacher of the Year.
The Regional Teacher of the Year program recognizes educators for their excellence in teaching while giving them a platform to advocate for educational issues of particular interest to them. Some other Regional Teacher of the Year duties include:
- Contributing to a collection of teacher tales to be shared with legislators, educational leaders, and other stakeholders called From Seed to Apple.
- Traveling the state to share expertise with community groups, businesses, government officials, and future teachers.
Glacier Peak High School teacher Tami Caraballo in her classroom. Photo courtesy of Northwest Educational Service District 189.