Corvallis teacher wins award

Katie McNutt, an elementary school teacher at Hoover Elementary School in Corvallis, has been named the third term recipient of the 2012/2013 Education Celebration Award, presented by the Oregon College Savings Plan. McNutt, who teaches a grade one/two loop, received a $1,500 award for herself, and a $5,000 check for her school today at a surprise morning assembly, where nearly 400 students celebrated the announcement. The Oregon College Savings Plan annually presents the Education Celebration Award to three educators — one per term — in the Oregon K-12 educational system that have motivated and inspired children to be better students.

McNutt, who was both surprised and overwhelmed, stated, "It is a wonderful experience to feel the warmth and support of our community."

A total of 68 nominations were received from around the state; McNutt received nominations from seven parents, including Nicole Winward. According to Winward, “Ms. McNutt strives to encourage the students to see how all knowledge is interwoven, often blending together math and nature or art and science topics. She also helps children understand that participation in discussion is important; they seem unafraid of criticism of their opinions and ideas as long as they are honestly offered. This encouragement of communication and inquiry is one of the greatest gifts she has given to so many of her students.”

McNutt utilizes a process teaching style, which evolved out of The Daily 5 and CAFE system of literacy assessment. Her approach involves a combination of scheduled, integrated tasks during the course of a school day, including reading, remembering, explaining, adult feedback and journaling. According to McNutt, process teaching works well for high achievers while giving her time to spend with kids who need more attention.

McNutt originally planned to be a lawyer, but stumbled upon a teaching internship in college, and found her passion in teaching children. Her first foray into the classroom was in 1974-75 in California, and with the exception of 12 years off to raise her own children, she has been teaching kindergarten through fourth grades ever since, with a particular passion for all day kindergarten.

“We are so thrilled to have Katie receive this recognition," stated Hoover Elementary principal Bryan Traylor. "She is an amazing educator, and her teaching style has caused many of our staff to shift their thinking about teaching and student learning. She believes in and expects so much more from her students than does convention, and they always rise to the occasion."

The Education Celebration program, which began in the 2011/2012 academic year, has featured winners from Roseburg, Halsey, West Linn, Albany, Portland, and now Corvallis. In total, the Oregon College Savings Plan has awarded $41,000 to schools and educators since founding the program.

About The Oregon College Savings Plan
The Oregon College Savings Plan, which is part of the Oregon 529 College Savings Network, launched in January 2001 and has grown to more than $900 million in assets as of April 31, 2013. The plan is managed by TIAA‐CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. For more information about the Oregon College Savings Plan, its investment options and how to enroll, visit www.oregoncollegesavings.com or call toll free 866‐772‐8464.

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