The season of gratitude is a special time at Premera. Each year, we celebrate the critical role educators play by asking the community to nominate a Hero in the Classroom. This year, we were overwhelmed by the nominations that poured in for school employees who work tirelessly on behalf of their students. From the nominations, we selected three winners to surprise with a gift of $2,000 for school supplies, a personalized jersey, and a Seahawks home game experience.
Meet our 2022 Heroes in the Classroom and learn about the incredible impact they have had on their schools.
Salvador Gómez, a Spanish language teacher at Cascade Middle School received more than 20 nominations from students at Cascade who expressed their gratitude for the way he has helped them grow. “He cares about every little thing and shows us how some things that you think are really little can hurt others. I’m just inspired by him and want to be like him when I grow older,” said one of his nominators. “Not only is he a teacher but he is an amazing soccer coach and football coach. He centers us becoming better people on and off the field. He has taught us so much about life and I am so grateful about that. We need more teachers like Señor Gómez,” said another nominator. It is clear that Señor Gómez has become a role model for his students well beyond the classroom.
Xiomara Rincón is a third grade teacher at Olympic Hills Elementary School and was nominated by a parent for the positive impact she has on her students. Ms. Rincón is from Columbia and had to complete a second teaching program to become certified in the US after her move. She worked evenings and weekends to make her classroom a special place for each child. “I know she truly loves each kid and will do everything she can like buying snacks, creating a peace corner, filling the classroom with books from multiple cultures, wearing a Britney Spears style microphone, adding fun activities like ‘cuteness Friday,’ and joyfully teaching every single day to make this a great year for her students,” said her nominator. “She teaches with respect for each individual and as a mother of a child in her room I’m confident my daughter will be a better, empathetic, hard-working, open-minded human because of Ms. Rincón.”
Jennifer Scott, an Instructional Facilitator, built a program for the Camas School District that made learning to read an exciting adventure. Not only does she help teachers in her district learn skills and best practices in literacy instruction, she also runs a mobile library during the summer. The Camas Book Bus travels to district elementary schools each week so families can take new books home to read for free. To top it off, a shaved ice truck follows Jenn from school to school for a tasty treat, and elementary principals, school board members, and the district superintendent are invited to bring their favorite books to share with young readers. “Through all of Jennifer’s efforts is evidence of the passion she has for reading instruction and the strongly held belief that all children can read. This impacts our entire district and community as we raise up strong literate students with an understanding of how they read as well as what they read. Jenn is a hero to us all,” said one of her nominators.