|(Originally published in print edition of Nov. 10, 2012 Oregonian SW Community section) Oregonian story link online|
Two teachers in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District were honored last month with the first Crystal Apple Awards.
The award is sponsored by the West Linn-Wilsonville Education Foundation and the Wilsonville and West Linn chambers of commerce.
The winners were Kevin Egan, band and orchestra teacher at West Linn High School, and Maura Hanlon, a fourth-grade teacher at Boones Ferry Primary School in Wilsonville.
The award was created to “shine light on high-quality teaching” within the West Linn-Wilsonville School district, said Kathryn Whittaker, foundation president. “People shared these stories, especially with Kevin Egan, of how he affected the community, and the same thing came through for Maura Hanlon.”
Egan and Hanlon stood out among 112 nominations.
“Maura and Kevin have the highest level of performance as teachers. Part of that is that they are also excellent learners and always looking at ways to improve their practice,” said Jane Stickney, deputy superintendent for West Linn-Wilsonville School District.
The awards are crystal apples from Tiffany & Co. Hanlon received hers in a scheduled ceremony at the district office, but Egan was leading the pep band at West Linn’s homecoming game at that time. He received his Crystal Apple at the stadium, where he spends many of his fall Friday nights with his band.
“It’s incredibly humbling, but it’s really about the larger music program. I’m reaping the benefit of great middle school band directors,” said Egan, who has been teaching for 28 years. This is his fifth year at West Linn. “It’s all about building community.”
And Hanlon, who came to teaching later in life, said, “It’s remarkable, I’m in such good company.” This is her fourth year teaching (and fourth year at Boones Ferry). “This means a lot to our school’s community. This school is what public education should look like.”