NCESD Announces 2025 Regional Teacher of the Year and 2024 Classified School Employee of the Year

Published On: June 5th, 2024|Categories: Awards, News|
NCESD Announces 2025 Regional Teacher of the Year and 2024 Classified School Employee of the Year

The North Central Educational Service District (NCESD) has selected the recipients of the 2025 Regional Teacher of the Year and 2024 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year for the North Central Washington region: Kristy Bishop (Moses Lake School District) and Maria Valle (Quincy School District), respectively.

Both Bishop and Valle are now eligible for state honors through the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. State winners will be announced in September.

2025 North Central Regional Teacher of the Year – Kristy Bishop

Kristy Bishop was selected by the regional selection committee as the 2025 North Central Regional Teacher of the Year. Bishop is a mathematics and finance teacher at Moses Lake High School in the Moses Lake School District.

Kristy Bishop

A lifelong resident of Moses Lake, Bishop’s goal was to return to her hometown to inspire her community’s students as she was so inspired by her teachers and her parents, both retired educators. Her classroom is a respectful, professional, and compassionate learning environment; and her commitment to her students, coworkers, and community is exceptional.

Bishop was nominated for the recognition by a colleague, who happens to be a past student. She was recognized for her kindness, patience, and compassion towards students. But her care extends to her peers as well. “She is always making sure her coworkers have what they need to be a successful educator. Kristy is one of the main reasons I chose to go into education, and I hope I become half the educator she is.” 

Inspiration for teaching comes to Bishop daily. Whether it is challenging students mathematically, fostering personal connections, or encouraging students to be their best selves, Bishop is driven by bringing authenticity into her classroom. 

“Making [real-world] connections for students is not something that happens in a given lesson or activity,” Bishop explained. “It is a daily commitment to learning about and supporting my students as they work to accomplish their own goals.”

For example, Junior and Senior students in Bishop’s Consumer Finance course gain valuable exposure to personal finance topics like insurance, investing, income, banking services, education costs, credit, debt, and consumer rights. Through a culminating project, students focus on creating a financially independent young adult budget. Students research possible expenses when living independently such as rent, streaming services, transportation, and food costs. Bishop gives the students a tremendous amount of choice, which she has found to be a powerful and authentic experience.

“Often what we teach is equally important as how we teach,” Bishop said. “Using different approaches in explaining and exploring content while emphasizing compassion, kindness, and communications allows students to find value in and personalize their learning experiences.”

2024 North Central Regional Classified School Employee of the Year – Maria Valle

Maria Valle was selected by the regional selection committee as the 2024 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year. Valle is the Family and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Quincy School District. Valle started at the District in 2011 and has previously served as a Migrant Student Advocate and Migrant Recruiter.

Inspired by her experience as a migrant student, Valle has lived through the challenges families face in navigating the education system. “I have dedicated my career to empowering parents to support their students in overcoming the challenges I once faced,” Valle said. “Every day I see the critical need for family engagement and I am passionate about supporting parents in becoming more involved in their children’s education because that engagement is key to student success.”

Valle was nominated by a colleague for her dedication and impact within the Quincy School District over the past several years. “Maria’s unwavering commitment to our district and families shines through her work and accomplishments – especially during these challenging times when family engagement is so important. Her exceptional ability to listen, foster trust, advocate for families, and find solutions sets her apart.”

A cornerstone of Valle’s work involves fostering genuine relationships with families to integrate them into the Quincy School District community. Through her role as the District’s Migrant Education Program (MEP) Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) Coordinator, Valley works alongside a dedicated group of parents and students to address the needs and successes of families in Quincy. The MEP Family Festival is one of the many accomplishments of the collective effort.

Originating six years ago, the Family Festival was conceived as an annual gathering to equip families with resources and activities to foster continued learning in reading and math during the summer months. What began with 200 participants has grown into a district-wide celebration, drawing in 600 attendees including families, staff, staff, and community members. Valle coordinates the event while working closely with the PAC to refine and enhance it every year. 

“Witnessing parents and students evolve into leaders has been profoundly rewarding, knowing that this journey prepares them for a brighter future,” Valle said. “I firmly believe that students gain immense knowledge and inspiration from observing their parents actively involved and aspiring to leadership roles themselves.”

About OSPI Teacher of the Year and Classified School Employee of the Year Program

Since 1963, the Washington State Teacher of the Year program has selected one outstanding educator annually to serve as the Washington State Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year is selected from a slate of up to nine regional candidates representing Washington’s nine Educational Service Districts. Washington began naming Classified School Employees of the Year in 2010 and follows the same process.

Anyone can nominate someone for Teacher or Classified School Employee of the Year. Nominees complete a written application and enter the regional selection process. Each region recommends a regional finalist to the state program. The State Teacher and Classified School Employee of the Year are selected from among these regional finalists by a committee made up of diverse educators, families, students and education stakeholders.

Learn more at the OSPI website:

About North Central Educational Service District

The North Central Educational Service District provides a wide array of programs, services and support to the 29 public school districts in the North Central Washington region of Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan county. The service district provides professional and timely tools to meet the needs of individual schools and districts, and a reliable point of education-related information for the communities served. The NCESD is one of nine respected educational service districts in Washington state.

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