By Holly Brown, Redmond School District public information officer
REDMOND, Ore.- Two amazing teachers from Redmond School District were recognized at the Oregon Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) conference in Bend on Friday, April 14th. Alan Wheeler from Redmond High School was named Oregon ACTE teacher of the year for his construction program and Josh Davis from Ridgeview High School was named Oregon ACTE New CTE teacher of the year for his computer science program.
Wheeler starts his construction classes off with industry expectations, he lets the students know that a plan and the right attitude make a difference in the workplace. His own attitude is one that leaves no wonder why students enjoy being in his classroom so much. With 17 years of teaching under his belt, Wheeler still feels sharing his passion in the woodshop brings him purpose.
“I want to connect young people to their passions and help them discover their potential,” Wheeler said. “I see many students who struggle to believe they can succeed at school. I want to challenge students to do the hard work of exceeding their own expectations.”
During class Wheeler is on a swivel, watching for safety and helping students make decisions for their projects. Ryan Sale, a community volunteer, visits the construction class three days a week to also keep an eye out for safety and to assist students with their projects.
Sale recommended Wheeler for the award and said Wheeler’s first priority is always safety, followed by teaching life and technical skills to help students find and keep employment in their chosen fields.
“He is constantly introducing state-of-the-art equipment to the class to make their skills more marketable in today’s rapidly changing world,” said Sale.
Josh Davis is also bringing students up to speed in a rapidly changing field of computer science. Davis has been teaching for 23 years at RSD, beginning as a math teacher. He bridged over to computer science three years ago after completing certification requirements and has since worked with the High Desert ESD in designing standards-based, industry-aligned courses.
Amanda Ditto, RVHS assistant principal, said that all of Davis’ course work is student-centered, project-based learning. “His outcomes hold real world connections while challenging students to push the envelope.”
A student of Mr. Davis recommended him for the ACTE award, writing in his letter; “Mr. Davis has an engaging, effective, and enjoyable teaching style that is deserving of your recognition. Some days he teaches us important concepts, while constantly asking us questions and doing his best to get everyone in the classroom engaged. Others, we work on projects and are free to experiment with the programming tools. Davis always encourages us to go above and beyond with our projects, rewarding creativity and extra functionality. Davis teaches us the concepts we need to be successful and then allows us to create our own programs using said concepts.”
When visiting Davis’ classroom prior to the award announcement, the students were beaming with excitement about the possibility that their “beloved” teacher would be recognized at the state level. Several students had no doubt that he would be the chosen recipient.
“What is really unique about both of these teachers is that not only are they incredibly talented in their field and in the way they inspire students, but they also care about their community. They are both involved in projects that bring the students and the community together in a meaningful way that also helps students gain real world experience,” said Dr. Charan Cline, RSD superintendent.
Redmond School District | 145 SE Salmon Drive. | Redmond, OR | 97756 | P: 541.923.5437
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The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination:
District 504 Contact:
Tami Nakamura, Director of Student Support | Email | (541) 923-8258
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Kelly Hicks, Director of Human Resources | Email | (541) 923-8922
Heather Petersen, Assistant Director of Human Resources/DEI Specialist | Email | (541) 923-8924