EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – An elementary school teacher in Eugene has been named Oregon’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, making her the first Bethel School District teacher to win since the award program started in 1955.

The Register-Guard reports Nicole Butler-Hooten was named to the top spot by the Oregon Department of Education on Tuesday afternoon.

After 14 years working at Irving Elementary, the second grade teacher is described by district leaders as a driven and consistent educator who pushes her students toward tough but attainable standards.

As a Siletz woman and member of the Apache Tribe who identifies strongly with her indigenous lineage, her teaching centers around equity and connecting with families.

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