OnPoint Community Credit Union Names 2015 Educators of the Year

Rob Stuart, President/CEO at OnPoint Community Credit Union, and Joe Donlon of KGW NewsChannel 8 honor Kevin Topolski and Eric Smedsrud as Educators of the Year. Not pictured: Samuel Ormson, co-winner with Smedsrud. Photo by Alan Weiner Photography.

OnPoint Community Credit Union today announced that Kevin Topolski was named K-8 Educator of the Year and Samuel Ormson and Eric Smedsrud, job share co-applicants, were jointly named 9-12 Educator of the Year. The top prize includes each teacher having his mortgage paid for a portion of the school year plus $1,000 for each school for resources and supplies. 

The annual OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education recognizes exceptional teachers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington for their ability to encourage creativity, inspire enthusiasm for learning, and positively impact their students. Since 2010, hundreds of teachers have been nominated by their peers, students, parents and communities for the OnPoint Prize.

Topolski, who teaches sixth grade English at Ron Russell Middle School in Portland, was recognized for creating an environment of engaged students built on mutual trust, empowerment and critical thinking. An inspirational leader among peers, Topolski’s exemplary methods have been recognized in his appointment to the district-wide instructional improvement team in which he has modeled successful classroom techniques to more than 50 peers and administrators in four years.

Topolski’s leadership has contributed to the marked increase in sixth grade reading scores at Ron Russell Middle School, as reported by the Oregon Department of Education in 2014. Topolski will receive his mortgage paid for one school year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus $1,000 for his school to be used for resources and supplies.

Since 2005, Ormson and Smedsrud, who teach band and orchestra at Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Washington, have worked tirelessly to advance the instrumental music program at Mountain View High School. Ormson and Smedsrud have been lauded for their focus on student experience, group achievement and individual growth.

Their model, which focuses on educating students in successful team building, habit-setting and conflict resolution, has produced increased enrollment in the music program to 18 percent of the Mountain View student body. Several of the program’s ensembles have been awarded prestigious performance invitations including the Band of America National Concert Band Invitational and Washington State Music Educators State Conference (2014).

Ormson and Smedsrud will each receive their mortgages paid for six months by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus $1,000 for their school to be used for resources and supplies.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Awards.