Olympic ESD 114 announces the 2014 Regional Teacher of the Year, Eric Samson from Central Kitsap Junior High, in the Central Kitsap School District
Eric Samson did not plan on being a teacher. “I was going to be a petroleum geologist and bring home huge paychecks…” he writes in his professional biography. “I came to realize that being a professional educator would be more rewarding than being a professional geologist.” What can be more rewarding that being recognized as an outstanding teacher? The Olympic ESD is pleased to announce that Eric Samson is the OESD 114 Regional Teacher of the Year. His name will be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for consideration for the 2014 Washington State Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Samson has served as a science teacher at Central Kitsap Junior High since 1990. He designed and implemented the Honors Physical Science curriculum that prepares ninth graders to take Advanced Placement Chemistry as tenth Graders. This curriculum is taught at all junior high schools in Central Kitsap School District. However, this class is not restricted to those identified as gifted. Many students sign up for the classes, and he says “My greatest rewards are the occasional correspondence from former student thanking me…”
He also completed the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Mr. Samson says about the NBPTS, “More than anything else, it got me to see that success in the classroom was more about the student as the learner than it was about me as the teacher…It helped me to see that teaching is fundamentally about building trusting relationships.”
Mr. Samson believes that in order to restore the public’s trust in education, students need to be enthusiastic about learning. He says, “The way to close the enthusiasm gap is not with tests or gadgets or new standards, it’s with exceptional, dedicated, and inspirational teachers.” Congratulations, Mr. Samson, for being one of those teachers.Pictured in the group photo are Central Kitsap School District Board President Mark Gaines, Olympic ESD Superintendent Greg Lynch, OESD 114 Regional Teacher of the Year Eric Samson, and Central Kitsap School District Interim Superintendent Hazel Bauman.