Mandy Vance Honored as 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year
November 1, 2023
By Oregon Trail School District
In an exciting surprise announcement shortly after lunch time today, Mandy Vance, an Oregon Trail School District middle school teacher, was named and celebrated as Oregon’s 2023-24 Teacher of the Year! Vance has taught 6-8th grade at Boring Middle School for 15 years and is on special assignment this fall at Cedar Ridge Middle School.
“Teachers like Mandy are so important to making sure that every child has a safe place to receive a high-quality public education. Her commitment to volunteerism and empowering students is incredible, and I’m thrilled to see her efforts that go above and beyond for her students being honored,” said Governor Tina Kotek.
Mandy Vance grew up in Portland, Oregon and discovered her love for working with youth while serving as a student mentor at Franklin High School, and as a camp counselor during the summer. She graduated from Corban University, earning a Bachelors of Science in Social Studies Education, and other honors for her leadership and athletic achievements. Her global volunteer work and overseas teaching experiences led her to pursue a Masters of Science degree in English to Speakers of Other Languages. Upon graduation, she found her teaching home in Boring, Oregon, where she has taught a wide range of students and subjects. As a lifelong learner, Vance earned her Doctorate in Education from Concordia University, where her research focused on the relational needs of Generation Z athletes. With this knowledge she empowers students to be leaders in her classes, on her athletic teams, and in the clubs she advises.
“Mandy Vance is an educator who has consistently demonstrated care for students in significant ways,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, Director of the Oregon Department of Education. “This is a teacher who both empowers students and holds them accountable, who sees the unique identity of every scholar and helps them to see themselves and all they have to offer, and who will meet every student where they’re at and then challenge them to do more than they ever thought they were capable of.”
“As a relational educator, I know much of my success in the classroom is because I take the time to get to know each of my students. While this is extremely important, I am just one cog in the wheel of academic success,” Vance said in her application. “Alone we can only do so much, but when we know our students’ stories, are each willing to contribute our own gifts and expertise, and operate with gritty determination to discover what works for each student, this is when they are able to succeed in our schools.”
“This achievement has brought a spotlight on the impact Mandy has had and on the many outstanding teachers within our district who have worked tirelessly to benefit the students in our community and to help them attain the future they deserve,” Aaron Bayer, Oregon Trail School District superintendent said.
The Oregon Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Education in partnership with the Oregon Lottery. Vance was celebrated as a Regional Teacher of the Year in September, and will receive a $10,000 cash award as the 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year. A matching $5,000 is also awarded to Oregon Trail School District.
“The Oregon Lottery is proud to support the Oregon Teacher of the Year program,” said Oregon Lottery Director Michael Wells. “Mandy Vance has shown an extraordinary commitment in her community to improve students’ mental and social wellness and foster belonging. The positive impact of her work will have a lifelong effect on the students and families touched by her abilities.”
The Oregon Teacher of the Year is selected after an extensive application process. Nominees from schools throughout Oregon submitted packets of information including testimonials and letters of support from administrators, students and colleagues. From the written material, applicants were assessed on leadership, instructional expertise, community involvement, understanding of educational issues, and on professional development and vision.
As the 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year, Vance will serve as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers. She will also receive year-long professional development and networking with other state Teachers of the Year through the Chief Council of State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year program.
Do you know an outstanding teacher? Please nominate them as the 2024-25 Oregon Teacher of the Year by visiting oregonteacheroftheyear.org.