Seattle Public Schools

Balkan Foster 2022 Regional Teacher of the Year

Boo Balkan Foster Recognized as 2022 Regional Teacher of the Year

We are thrilled to announce that the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) has recognized Boo Balkan Foster of Seattle Public Schools as the Regional Teacher of the Year!

Boo Balkan Foster is a šəqačib teacher in the Native Education Department. She teaches a leadership class, working in partnership with Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School, serving students in grades 6-12. She is a veteran educator with 26 years of experience as a teacher. When asked to describe how she helps students make connections between school, their family and culture, and their local community, she shared, “šəqačib is a Southern Lushootseed word meaning ‘raising hands.’ We raise hands to say hello, good morning, thank you, and to show respect. However, it’s much more. It essentially means, ‘I hold you in the highest esteem.’ Viewing students through this lens is the first step in supporting connection to school, family, culture, and community.”

Recipients for this award were nominated, evaluated, and selected for the awards based on their professional biographies, outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration, and any other unique qualities or circumstances. Award recipients are now qualified as candidates for the Washington State Educator Awards, which will be announced by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in the fall. Award recipients participate with their cohort in extensive training in communications, advocacy, and policy.

“This is a first for Native Education at SPS, and I couldn’t be prouder,” says Gail Morris, Native American Education Program Manager at SPS. “Boo has committed her professional life to teaching high school students, particularly Native American, Alaskan Native, and First Nation students. Her love for our students is apparent, as many of her colleagues wrote letters of testimony for her, in her nomination for this esteemed recognition. I knew she was going to win. She deserves this, she earned this, and her students, families, and community love her. Ms. Boo has also recently received the Enduring Spirit Award from Native Action Network.”

Congratulations to Ms. Boo for this well-deserved recognition!

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