Parkrose High biology teacher wins regional teaching award

Meet Kerryn Henderson; she’s been named Multnomah County Education Service District’s 2022 Regional Teacher of the Year …

Just outside of the Parkrose High School office, biology teacher Kerryn Henderson points out the banner announcing her award.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In late May, it was revealed that the Multnomah County Education Service District’s 2022 Regional Teacher of the Year is Parkrose High School AP Biology teacher Kerryn Henderson, who is now in the running to become the whole State of Oregon’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.

The Oregon Department of Education’s Regional Teachers of the Year are nominated by students, colleagues, and administrators; friends or family members are also welcome to nominate for the award. The winners are selected by a diverse panel of regional representatives.

Asked about her background, Henderson told East Portland News, “I first worked in Edinburgh, Scotland, so I started my teaching career overseas. I took a tenured ‘career break’ to raise my family, and then came back to teaching – here, at Parkrose High.

“And no, I’m not Scottish. I went, as an exchange student, to the University of Edinburgh,” she quickly added.

“After taking time off to raise my family, I was so fortunate that I was able to come here as a student teacher – and then, to be hired by Parkrose High,” Henderson said appreciatively.

In her Parkrose High biology lab – here, empty of students for the day – Kerryn Henderson reveals her love of learning, and teaching, biology.

Why did she choose to teach her chosen topic? “It’s because I love biology,” responded Henderson. “When we think about how the world works, it is all related to living processes, and into how everything comes together; all these different species and ecosystems, and how we as humans treat them – it’s really important to me to help students to know a lot about these interactions.

“When students learn about how so much is interrelated, they can make really great decisions moving forward, and tackling some of the problems that our world will be facing in next 100 years, 50 years, 20 years – and now,” explained Henderson.

After she was nominated, Henderson said she wrote a series of essays that were sent to the Oregon Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year program.

The award is wonderful, says Kerryn Henderson, and the check will help her to better teach her students.

“Then, I got called into the school’s office for a meeting with my supervisor and Principal Ouche, and the superintendent – and I was relieved to see them smiling, and holding this big check!

“Thinking back on this, I feel proud, really proud,” Henderson remarked. “I think there are so many excellent educators in Multnomah County, in the Parkrose School District, and here, in Parkrose High, who could have been selected. I think any of these people would’ve been great, but for me to be this year’s representative for Multnomah County is so great.

“I hope will represent well all the other excellent teachers that are doing such great work too.”

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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