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NWPE’s Tim Larson 2017 ESD 101 Teacher of the Year!
posted by: Cindy Omlin | September 22, 2016, 12:06 AM   

ESD 101 reported on Tim’s award in Teacher of the Year:  Tim Larson, Odessa, WA:

tim larsonIf imitation is the highest form of flattery, Tim Larson has reached a higher level than most people will ever know.  Just how high? High enough that other people have named their kids after him.
Twice in his teaching career, parents have been so appreciative of the impact he had on their children that their next-born boys were given Timothy as a first or middle name. How do you top that for a high compliment?
Recognition from colleagues is a good start. And if you are a teacher in the seven-county NEWESD 101 region, there is no higher honor than being named regional Teacher of the Year – the title Larson recently received for 2017.
The veteran third grade teacher at Odessa Elementary School in the Odessa School District, wears that honor following his selection for the award in August.
Larson, who is entering his ninth year at Odessa, started his career in a much larger district, Vancouver. Family ties (his wife Jill also is an Odessa teacher) eventually prompted a return to Eastern Washington, where the couple and their two children enjoy the close relationships and sense of community unique to small towns.
Larson is a difference-maker. “Knowing every child can succeed, regardless of ability, is one of Tim’s greatest beliefs,” says Odessa Principal Jamie Nelson. “His attitude is infectious and his students all believe they can learn and achieve and are proud to show their documented growth.”
Parent and fellow teacher Jeff Wehr calls Larson one of the finest teachers he has known in a nearly two-decade career – arriving early, working late, staying positive and mentoring students who “respond with incredible state exam scores and high expectations, both academically and socially.”
Wehr knows of what he speaks. In 2011, he was the region’s Teacher of the Year.
For Larson, success begins with relationships. Every child is known, not just by name, but by need. He understands their learning styles, meets them at their level and – critically – reassures all students they have his unconditional support.
“Students can’t succeed if they are saddled with fear,” he says. “In Odessa, students know we care and want them to succeed. If someone falls out of the boat, they know we will turn around and pick them up.”
Therein lies the kindness and empathy that are the foundation of Larson’s success – and the foundational qualities that describe a very deserving Teacher of the Year.

Congratulations to Mr. Larson for his outstanding career helping students achieve their highest potential in academics and life.  We are grateful and proud!

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