Northwest NEWS

May 13, 2002


Colleran and Parrish named Northshore's Teachers of the Year

Woodmoor Elementary's Renee Colleran and Timbercrest Junior High's Ann Parrish are Northshore's Teachers of the Year for 2002-2003.
   The Certificated Inservice Committee selected the pair based on four criteria: 1) demonstration of ongoing professional development; 2) achievement in innovative curricula and/or teaching methods; 3) active involvement with colleagues and/or the community in support of education; and 4) commitment to being in the district in the 2002-03 school year.
   Colleran and Parrish will now be considered for Washington State Teacher of the Year.
   Renee Colleran
   Physical Education
   Renee Colleran looks beyond the personal when discussing her Teacher of the Year Award seeing it as validation for work done by all in her field.
   "It gives emphasis and credibility to physical education and physical education teachers that we do teach and we just don't 'throw out the ball,'" she says. "We have a curriculum and we want our students to be fit and healthy."
   The award has also inspired her to become more of an advocate for youth fitness.
   "I feel I need to work even harder at being a spokesman for children's fitness and to work on the whole child."
   Her focus is to give students confidence in movement and basic skills while instilling positive attitudes toward a healthy lifestyle through cooperation, fitness, and fun.
   Colleran has teamed with Woodmoor's music teachers to develop Team Time, a connected curriculum of music and physical education for first and second graders.
   "Physical education and music have natural connections and we use these connections to build consistency," she said. Last year Colleran was named Northwest District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year for Sports & Physical Education by the National Association for Sports and Physical Education.
   "Renee has extraordinary vision for the health and fitness needs of her students, then she is able to meet those needs in creative, fun and worthwhile ways," says Woodmoor Principal Steve Wharton. "Her contributions of time, energy, and expertise are a tremendous asset for our entire school community.
   Colleran is finishing her 10th year at Woodmoor and 14th in Northshore having also taught at Maywood Hills.
   Ann Parrish
   Science/Social Studies
   Ann Parrish firmly believes her paycheck doesn't come from the business office, but from feedback she receives from her students, their parents, and her peers.
   Her selection as Northshore's Teacher of the Year was, as she put it, "one real big paycheck.
   "Paychecks are important," she continues, "but I've never used one to measure the effectiveness of my work. Teachers work to ensure each student is learning and that means putting in the hours necessary to stay abreast of subject matter."
   Like Colleran, Parrish sees her award as a signal to become more active in educational issues.
   "I'm concerned about our country's attitude toward teachers and public education and if this award gives me a soapbox, why not?"
   When she learned she'd won the award, the first person she e-mailed was her first principal, Edna deLarios. "Filling out the forms was fun because it made me think about how I got to where I am and I thought of her. I started working for her in 1970 and she has served as a good friend and mentor since."
   Adds her Principal Larry Little, "Ann has high expectations, a good knowledge base, experience, and a good heart for kids. She is a hard worker who receives satisfaction and success from putting in the time and effort to help others become successful."
   Parrish, who is in her 10th year in the district, taught at Northshore and Kenmore junior highs before moving to Timbercrest when it opened in 1997.