Return to Headlines

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12 and we are celebrating our amazing teachers all week-long! We appreciate all of our teachers and certified staff throughout our district. We asked our principals to select some teachers that deserve to be recognized. Follow along with us this week as we share some of our incredible teachers at OSD.

Ruth Marez- 1st grade teacher at Orting Primary School

Ruth Marez

"Ruth is a veteran teacher who joined OPS from another district. She has stepped up by taking on HiCap this spring, hosting a student teacher, will be mentoring a new teacher next year and, most importantly, has built strong relationships with her students where they feel safe and cared for, allowing them to learn at high levels." - Christi Ellenwood, Orting Primary School Principal and Erynn Alvers, Assistant Principal

"I teach because students deserve to have an environment to learn, grow, be heard, have support, be loved and to know that one day they will contribute something amazing to our world," Ruth shares why she is a teacher. "Teaching is more than a job, it is a passion to be able to guide students to be the best they can be and to love learning.  I love to see the growth in each student and how they develop their individuality with the support of those around them. I teach because their voice matters in our community."

Valerie Patterson- Life Skills teacher at Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary School

Valerie Patterson

"Valerie explores new learning opportunities for her students to make connections between academics and the real-world. She is an advocate for all students and her commitment to her students and strong communication skills with families and the community help to build a collaborative connection between home and school." - Nikkii Mesa, Ptarmigan Ridge Principal and Nita Hill, Assistant Principal

Shana Smith- Special Education teacher at Orting Middle School

Shana Smith

"Shana goes above and beyond to meet the needs of each of her students and builds strong relationships with students and families. In addition to this, Shana is a leader on our staff, serving on the Falcon Leadership Team and the MTSS Team. Shana makes a huge difference in the lives of her students and is a vital contributor to our school!"- Kevin Collins, Orting Middle School Principal and Earle McWright, Assistant Principal

"I love kids!" Shana Smith says about why she is a teacher. "I want them to believe that OMS is a place where people care about them and are here to support them and that what we do really does connect to life beyond school."  

Sarah Ahmann- English teacher at Orting High School

Sarah Ahman

"Mrs. Ahmann has gone above and beyond with her English and Leadership students to empower and connect students to their learning. She is engaging her students in project-based learning that is creating opportunities for students beyond the classroom." - Cliff Fries, Orting High School Principal, Matt Carlson and Tia-Michelle Marquez, Assistant Principals

"I know what it is like to feel unheard and unseen and, because of that, I want kids to feel as though they are more than just "students"--but people," Sarah Ahmann shares about why she became a teacher. "I want them to feel like their ideas, curiosities, and personal experiences are valuable and worth exploring. I believe people are naturally inquisitive and that part of my role is to help kids find joy in the discovery and learning process."


We appreciate all of our teachers, and thank them for all that they do! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Posted 5/8/2023