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On the Radar

Filipino-American teacher named Oregon's 2022 Teacher of the Year

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Filipino-American teacher named Oregon's 2022 Teacher of the Year
Filipino-American teacher Ethelyn Tumawad
Screengrab from Oregon Teacher of the Year website

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American teacher Ethelyn Lonzon Tumalad was named as Oregon's 2022 Teacher of the Year. 

The Clackamas High School teacher was surprised that she got the award in a Zoom staff meeting with Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill and Deputy Director Carmen Xiomara Urbina together with North Clackamas School District Superintendent Shay James and Clackamas High School Assistant Principal Alyssa Engle. 

Ethelyn was described as an exemplary educator, student advocate and equity champion.

“Inside and outside of the classroom, Ethelyn is a strong advocate, a wonderful listener, and an empathetic colleague, teacher and friend. Educators like you are the shining stars our students need,” Governor Kate Brown said in a video shown in the meeting. 

According to the Oregon Teacher of the Year website, Ethelyn is a first generation immigrant who came to the Pacific Northwest from the Philippines with her family at the age of five. In her role as a Language Arts and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher, she leans into her identity as a Filipino woman and immigrant to support students in finding their own voices, recognizing the beauty of their diversity and being unapologetically themselves. 

“Ethelyn infuses her classroom with community, belonging and empathy – all critical components for ensuring students feel welcome and safe. As this new school year begins and students work to make meaning of the challenging last 19 months, Ethelyn will serve as an outstanding model for Oregon educators who are working to support the social-emotional, mental and physical needs of their students,” said Director Gill. 

The Oregon Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Education in partnership with the Oregon Lottery. Tumalad was awarded as a Regional Teacher of the Year in May, and receives a $5,000 cash award as 2022 Oregon Teacher of the Year. A matching $5,000 is also awarded to Clackamas High School.

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