Last month, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction selected Blaire Penry, Auburn Online and Olympic Middle School teacher, as the 2024 Washington State Teacher of the Year. She is the first teacher from ASD to be selected for this award.
Penry was the ASD high school teacher of the year in the spring of 2023. She was then selected as the Puget Sound ESD Regional Teacher of the Year and was moved on for consideration as one of nine finalists for the state award. Her selection of State Teacher of the Year was announced September 30.
A true equity driven educator, Penry has led in the creation of student equity groups, developed and facilitated equity and diversity professional development for a 1st-12th grade faculty, and committed to working with local leaders to make sure all students are prepared for the future that they choose.
Her vision and voice are integral in continually shaping policies and initiatives that cultivate a reflective, empowered staff and student body at Auburn Online and across ASD. She has served as high school faculty lead, on the building leadership team, co-leader of Visible Learning, on the school improvement team and the equity faculty lead. She has been an active member of Auburn Equity Leadership Academy, promoting culturally responsive practices throughout ASD. She has volunteered in DECA programs, participates in the Black/African American affinity group and served on career and technical education advisory committees.
In every learning experience Penry facilitates, her students drive and lead the learning. Her positivity for her students is a key reason she is so impactful. She loves her job and said she gets to laugh with her students every day.
“Mrs. Penry is an outstanding teacher. The way she shows her students how much she cares about them and the energy she brings to the classroom everyday constantly making you want to be there is amazing,” said student Jekyla Beasley.