Kindergarten Educator Rosa Floyd Named 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year

Kindergarten Educator Rosa Floyd Named 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year  Rosa Floyd, a kindergarten educator at Nellie Muir Elementary IB School in Woodburn, Oregon, has been named the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year. Her surprise announcement during an early morning staff meeting was met with applause and admiration from Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill, Governor Kate Brown, and Woodburn School District Superintendent Joe Morelock.

Expressing her humility, Rosa Floyd spoke from the heart, acknowledging the collective efforts of her fellow teachers, stating, “This is not for me. It’s for all of us.” Her selflessness and recognition of the collaborative nature of teaching highlight her deep commitment to the profession.

Governor Kate Brown applauded Rosa Floyd’s ability to connect with her students on a profound level, saying, “The best teachers meet their students where they are––they know their passions, struggles, and aspirations. Especially those who have walked in their students’ shoes.” Governor Brown emphasized Floyd’s dedication to integrating culture and creativity into her teaching, as well as her remarkable efforts to bridge the gap between the classroom and the community.

The Oregon Teacher of the Year’s journey in education began in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she acquired a diploma in folkloric dance and a graduate degree in architecture and interior design. Her multicultural background and experiences have allowed her to create a learning environment that is inclusive and representative of her students’ diverse identities and backgrounds.

Recognizing the importance of addressing the needs of Spanish-speaking students, Floyd changed her career path and pursued a teaching license. Her teaching experience includes six years in an immersion Spanish program at a private school before joining the Woodburn School District. For the past 22 years, she has made a significant impact as a dual-immersion kindergarten teacher, actively fostering connections between the school and the community.

Colt Gill, the Director of the Oregon Department of Education, lauded Rosa Floyd’s invaluable contributions to the Woodburn community. He commended her efforts in developing a district preschool program, launching a parent education program, and creating a Mexican Folkloric dance group that unites students, staff, and families. Gill described her as a mentor and advocate who brings people together, leaving a lasting positive impact on the lives of students and families.

Rosa Floyd’s recognition as the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year not only celebrates her individual achievements but also highlights the profound impact that dedicated educators can have on their students and communities. Her approach to education, centered around cultural understanding, community engagement, and personalized instruction, serves as a shining example for teachers across the state.

As she takes on the role of Oregon Teacher of the Year, Rosa Floyd will serve as a spokesperson and representative for all teachers in the state. This prestigious honor provides her with an opportunity for professional development and networking with other exceptional educators through the National Teacher of the Year program.

The recognition bestowed upon Rosa Floyd is a testament to her unwavering commitment to educational excellence, her belief in the power of cultural diversity and her relentless dedication to empowering students and communities through education. Her impact will continue to be felt for years to come, inspiring teachers and students alike to reach new heights of success.

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