Humboldt County Office of Education: Kencke Named Humboldt County Teacher of the Year

Kencke Named Humboldt County Teacher of the Year

Kencke Named Humboldt County Teacher of the Year

EUREKA (May 15, 2024) – Joe Kencke, a first grade teacher at Ridgewood Elementary School in the Cutten School District, has been named as the 2024-25 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year by the Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Davies-Hughes.

“Joe Kencke represents the best of the teaching profession,” said Davies-Hughes. “He’s passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of his students, innovative and nimble in responding to the diverse needs of learners, and committed not only to his classroom and school but also to elevating the importance of education in our community.  I’m thrilled that Mr. Kencke will be Humboldt’s ambassador for teaching during the 2024-2025 school year!”

Kencke was one of seven educators honored by the Humboldt County Office of Education with the Excellence in Teaching Award in May. The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes classroom teachers from Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade who have been identified as exemplary by their colleagues, students or school communities. Honorees must have a minimum of five years teaching experience.

“I am very honored to be selected as the 2024 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year and to join the long list of incredible educators who have received this award,” said Kencke. “Being a teacher and having the privilege of positively impacting future generations is one of the great joys of my life.”

Kencke started his post-secondary work at College of the Redwoods and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies Elementary Education from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2002. Kencke’s teaching career began in 2003 as an elementary school substitute teacher for Eureka City Schools. Kencke had the opportunity to substitute for several Districts until he was hired by Cutten School District to teach in 2015.

Kencke has continued his professional development focusing on Creative Mathematics, Reading, Physical Education, Writing, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics). He has presented at the California Kindergarten Conference twice.

“Joe is committed to teaching and to making a positive impact in the field of education. Joe’s peers often look to him for professional advice,” said colleague Melissa Seymour. “He is eager to collaborate and share his ideas with others. Joe has designed a number of hands-on math games to strengthen students’ understanding through play. In addition, he uses these math games in a cross curricular way by adding physical movement. Joe has shared these invaluable resources with the teachers in our district and recently, with educators around the state. He is a teacher that is continually reflecting and improving his craft.”

As the Humboldt County Teacher of the Year, Kencke now has the opportunity to be considered for the California State Teacher of the Year, traditionally announced in October.

CONTACT:  Stacy Young, Community Outreach and Engagement Director,  (707) 445-7024

Joe Kencke Excellence in Teaching Profile Video

Watch the video of Joe Kencke that was shown at the Excellence in Teaching awards below: