• The Pasco School District proudly celebrates staff achievements in education. Here you will find past Teacher of the Year recipients, Classified Employee award winners, North Star Award Winners, Staff Achievement recipients, and Crystal Apple winners.

    Educational Service District 123
    2015 Regional Teacher of the Year: Omar Escalera


    Omar Escalera, an 8th grade teacher at McLoughlin Middle School, was honored in Olympia on Monday as the Education Service District 123 Regional Teacher of the Year for 2015. Escalera is the eighth Pasco teacher in 11 years to earn this recognition.

    “This award is recognition of the team I work with rather than for me personally,” says Escalera. “It is a testament to what I have learned from others and how they have influenced me.”

    Escalera began his career with the Pasco School District in 2001 as a bilingual tutor at Longfellow Elementary. While working there, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Bilingual K-8 Education through Heritage University. After earning his degree, he spent a year teaching 1st graders in the Two-Way Dual Language (TWDL) program at Angelou Elementary. He then taught  4th grade for two years, then moved to the TWDL program at McLoughlin. While teaching 6th grade, he was the District’s TWDL facilitator.

    Escalera works to build strong, meaningful relationships in the community that helped him achieve his dreams.  As a teacher, coach, tutor, counselor and mentor, he feels it is important to be out in the community and be visible to students and parents. 

    “This creates a deeper level of trust and it makes me an ally rather than an outsider,” he says. “When students and parents know that you are one of them, they place complete trust in you and the relationship that is built translates to higher student achievement.”

    Escalera was raised in Mexico and his earliest influencer was his father, also a teacher, who instilled the knowledge that an education could be his ticket out of the violence and poverty that surrounded him.

    “Omar is a teacher who has built his life and career around the relationships with his students and their families,” says Superintendent Saundra Hill. “He demonstrates that his heart is in educating and building hope in our students to achieve great success both academically and in their lives. Omar is an excellent representative of the outstanding teachers we have throughout our schools.”   

    Past Winners

    Bernie Hanan
    Chiawana High School

    2011-12 Winner
    Jaime Silva
    Longfellow Elementary 

    John Kerr
    Pasco High School
    Science Teacher

    Aimee Simingston-Pearce
    McLoughlin Middle School
    Life Skills Teacher

    Toni Cuello
    Emerson Elementary
    Kindergarten Teacher

    Laura Jones
    Pasco High School
    Business and Marketing Teacher 

    2006 Winner
    Teri Perez

    Pasco High School
    ESL Teacher