Regional Teacher & Classified Employees

Regional Teacher & Classified Employees
Posted on 07/18/2022
regional winners Julie and StephanieESD 123 is thrilled to announce the selection of our regional winners for this year's Teacher of the Year and Classified School Employee of the Year awards! Read more about Regional Teacher of the Year winner, Julie Nuntananusit, and Regional Classified Employee of the Year, Stephanie O’Brien-Green, below.

Regional Teacher of the Year:  Julie Nuntananusit (Connell High School, North Franklin School District)

Julie NunsitJulie Nuntananusit has taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish at Connell High School in the North Franklin School District for more than 30 years. She will go on to represent our region in the statewide Teacher of the Year competition.

Over her career, Mrs. Nuntananusit has helped expand the Spanish curriculum at Connell High School to meet the needs of a growing Spanish-speaking student population, from adding Native Spanish curriculum for bilingual students to creating a Spanish Literacy class for students who speak Spanish at home but have little or no understanding of the written language.

“Language is a gift that we inherit from those we interact with, whether it be a parent, guardian or children on the playground,” she says of her passion for language programs. “Developing a second language at the same time as learning in a first language is an unequaled task.”

Mrs. Nuntananusit’s colleagues say her knowledge and experience, her “heart for her students,” and her commitment to advocating for her students and community make her an exemplary teacher and mentor. In addition to her recognition as a Regional Teacher of the Year recipient, Mrs. Nuntananusit also received recognition as a winner of the Crystal Apple Award in March 2022.

As a regional Teacher of the Year recipient, Mrs. Nuntananusit will compete against finalists from Washington’s eight other ESDs in hopes of being named the 2023 State Teacher of the Year. The Washington Teacher of the Year program is organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Regional Classified School Employee of the Year:  Stephanie O’Brien-Green (William Wiley Elementary School, Richland School District)

Stephanie O’Brien-Green, Administrative Assistant at William Wiley Elementary, has been named ESD 123’s Regional Classified Employee of the Year. The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes excellence in the work of public school employees such as paraprofessionals, food service workers, secretaries, custodians, and more. Mrs. O’Brien-Green is one of nine regional winners who will go on to compete for the State Classified Employee of the Year award through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

As administrative assistant, Mrs. O’Brien-Green is often the first point of contact at the school for families, students, and other staff. She says her own difficult childhood has informed an approach to students focusing on compassion and understanding to build strong relationships with them, so she can “talk with them on their good days as well as the bad days.” To this end, she has regular morning check-ins with students to address behaviors in the classroom or give them a chance to talk about their needs and makes herself available throughout the day if students or teachers need a little extra help.

“You might walk down our hallways and hear every student or staff member wave, smile or hug Mrs. Green!” says one Wiley Elementary teacher in a nomination letter. “She connects in ways that others may not make time to or even think about.”

Stephanie O’Brien-Green’s compassion, positivity, and dedication exemplifies the qualities of the dedicated educational professionals in the ESD 123 region and across Washington State.
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