OSD Teachers of the Year to be honored Feb. 22

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OSD Teachers of the Year to be honored Feb. 22
Centennial ES Teacher of the year

Congratulations to this year’s Olympia School District Teachers of the Year: Centennial Elementary School PE teacher Kristen Draper, and Olympia High School Environmental and Physical Science teacher Heidi Heiser.

Both teachers learned of the honor during impromptu after-school staff meetings. Superintendent Patrick Murphy announced the recognition, and Board President Hilary Seidel presented the honorees with flowers as a roomful of colleagues cheered and clapped.

Draper and Heiser will be honored during a special Olympia School Board recognition at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2024. The recognition will be held at the Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E. in Olympia. The regular board meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the same location.

In a letter nominating Draper as Teacher of the Year, Centennial Elementary Principal Shannon Ritter praised her as an educator known for her “positive, can-do attitude, collaborative spirit, willingness to share ideas, and commitment to the overall well-being of the school community.”

Ritter also commended Draper as someone who has “a student-centered classroom that is engaging and exciting. It is a classroom where all students are celebrated and made to feel successful no matter their skill level. Talk about a sense of belonging!”

OHS Teacher of the year 2024 In a letter nominating Heiser as Teacher of the Year, Olympia High Principal Matt Grant described her as someone who “makes every day a new opportunity to connect with the real world.”


 Grant also wrote, “One need only to peek into her class to see that students are engaged and having fun … she wants her students to succeed and will go to great lengths to accomplish their achievement and believe in themselves.”