Nora Wynne, a Spanish teacher and instructional coach at McKinleyville Middle School, has been named the 2020 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year.
“Congratulations to Ms. Nora Wynne for being selected as the 2020 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley. “Nora is an exemplary teacher who deeply cares about the success of all students. Her ability to provide excellent instruction while fostering community within her classroom transcends into a strong, engaging and equitable learning environment. She serves as a true teacher leader that is highly respected in our community for her integrity, commitment to excellence and advocacy.”
This marks the second consecutive year a Spanish teacher has received the honor – Eureka High’s Tim Olson was one of two recipients of the award in 2019.
“It means a lot to me to get the Humboldt County Teacher of the Year award” Wynne said. “I feel honored. I know that there are so many people in our profession working really hard to serve their community, who deserve recognition too. To be given this award makes me feel seen and feel that my work is appreciated, which is all we can ask for.”
Wynne was chosen from among the 13 local educators who received the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Excellence in Teaching award in May. She now has the opportunity to represent Humboldt County as nominee for the California Teacher of the Year.
After starting her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala in 1997, Wynne started teaching locally in 1999, and has been doing it ever since. In addition to teaching Spanish at McKinleyville Middle School, she is the Immersion Coordinator for Spanish Immersion schools in McKinleyville, and has taught in Humboldt State’s Secondary Education program since 2000. With a Master’s degree in Multicultural Education, with a focus on racism and homophobia in Teacher Preparation, she teaches future teachers about Classroom Management, Multicultural Issues, and more.
“After serving in the Peace Corps, I realized how much privilege I have, and how much inequity there is, and felt that I had a duty to serve my community,” Wynne said. “I love kids, and I love teaching, and it has been a good fit. Speaking two languages opened so many doors for me, that I want to offer that to every student. By learning another language, I know that my students will appreciate other people, other cultures, and many ways of being.”
McKinleyville Union School District Superintendent Heidi Moore-Guynup was thrilled to hear of Wynne’s achievement.
“Nora Wynne is the most deserving recipient of Humboldt County’s Teacher of the Year ever,” said Moore-Guynup. “She is a talented and committed educator who has helped to shape hundreds of lives but it goes far beyond that. She is a tireless advocate for equitable practices, inclusion, and for the underprivileged, and has worked relentlessly to assist her colleagues and others to recognize the imperative need to lift all students up regardless of their life circumstances. She is a perpetual learner, coach and mentor. The McKinleyville Union Elementary School District and our broader McKinleyville community is stronger and better because of the efforts of Ms. Wynne. She is an absolute treasure!”
Wynne’s Excellence in Teaching featured video and more information is available at http://hcoe.org/awards/.