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Tigard teacher nominated for national teaching award

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Sherry Farquhar, right, a kindergarten teacher at Templeton Elementary School in Tigard, has been nominated for a national teaching award for her work to help the district prepare for full-day kindergarten.A Tigard kindergarten teacher is in the running for a national award for her work to prepare students, parents and teachers for new state laws.

Sherry Farquhar-Joyce, a kindergarten teacher at Templeton Elementary School, was nominated for the national LifeChanger of the Year award this week.

The award, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, recognizes teachers across the country who make a difference in the lives of students.

Farquhar-Joyce is one of two Tigard-Tualatin teachers to plan the district's approach to full-day kindergarten, which began this year. Farquhar-Joyce piloted the program in her classroom last year, meeting with parents and students over the summer in order to assess their needs before school began and help them transition into school.

Farquhar-Joyce was nominated by her friend Scott Maitland, a Portland financial planner.

“Sherry’s passion and enthusiasm is infectious,” Maitland wrote in his nomination form. “…She always maintains a cheerful attitude with her students and can often be seen smiling and laughing with them.”

The award has hundreds of nominations a year.

Winners receive cash prizes and a matching donation to their school.

The top three winners will be honored at a national awards ceremony in the spring.

This year, National Life Group will announce winners in a new catergory, the LifeChanger Spirit award, for teachers who demonstrate the most support for their nomination.

“Support can be demonstrated through positive comments on the nominee’s profile page, social media posts, and school and community recognition activities,” LifeChanger of the Year .

Nominations close in January.

So far, Farquhar-Joyce is one of four nominees from Oregon, including middle school teacher Julie Becksted and elementary School teacher Aaron Fox, both of Medford, and Reina Estimo, a college and career readiness coordinator in Madras.

Winners receive:

National Grand Prize winner (one winner)

     • $5,000 cash prize

     • $5,000 donation to their school

National Grand Prize finalists (four finalists)

     • $2,500 cash prize

     • $2,500 donation to their school

LifeChanger Spirit Award winner (one winner)

     • $2,500 cash prize

     • $2,500 donation to their school

LifeChanger Award winners (10 winners)

     • $1,500 cash prize

     • $1,500 donation to their school


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