The Olympic ESD 114 is pleased to announce that the 2013 Regional Teacher of the Year is Mr. Richard Newell. Mr. Newell is a Spanish Teacher at Central Kitsap High School in the Central Kitsap School District.
Working in education for 32 years, Mr. Newell has served as a Spanish teacher for 25 years with Central Kitsap School District. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Education from Southern Oregon University and a Master’s Degree in European Language and Literature from the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Newell has taught Advanced Placement Spanish, Advanced Placement Spanish Literature, Spanish and German. He has also been involved as a reader for the College Board, grading Advanced Placement Spanish exams. Mr. Newell believes humor and personal connections lead to a better learning environment, “As a teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to see each individual as a unique human being, with his or her own strengths and personality traits, all worthy of respect. That viewpoint drives what I do in the classroom and how I view my day to day interactions with my students.”
Within the Central Kitsap School District, Mr. Newell has served as the World Language Department Chair for 21 years, worked on various committees and served as Advisor of the Spanish Culture Club. Within the community, he has served as a translator, and spearheaded a partnership at his church, bringing students from Basque, Spain to visit the US in a “Summer in the USA” program. This program includes study abroad for students, finding host families, traveling and translating. He has also paired his love of travel and other cultures in supervising mission trips in Mexico.
As stated by peer Randy Templeton in his letter recommending Mr. Newell, “Mr. Newell is a master at encouraging students to achieve at the highest levels possible by building self-confidence and strong language foundations. He employs a variety of techniques and is innovative in adopting new approaches to the teaching of language…Countless former students have gone on to study Spanish at the university level and now use the language in jobs in business, government and education. We have Mr. Newell’s teaching expertise and infectious enthusiasm to thank for that.”
Mr. Newell’s application will be advancing as the OESD regional nominee for the OSPI State Teacher of the Year Competition. In September the regional nominees will enjoy a weekend of recognition and a leadership retreat in Olympia, followed by the Awards Ceremony at Experience Music Project in Seattle.