NEWPORT — Yaquina View Elementary School teacher Marcy Doyle has been selected as the runner-up for Oregon Teacher of the Year, and was visited by superintendent Karen Gray and Oregon Department of Education Deputy Director Carmen Urbina on Thursday to celebrate the occasion.
The educator began her career 24 years ago in Arizona before moving to Lincoln County with her husband and son, and continuing to teach kindergarten through third grade. In May, she was selected as Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year, which made her eligible to apply for Oregon Teacher of the Year. But, like many teachers, titles and prizes aren’t Doyle’s priority.
For Doyle, teaching is all about the kids.
“The number one thing is I teach kids how to think and think for themselves, and ask questions,” said Doyle. “That’s my passion — just teaching them how to think and joyful learning … capturing every moment of learning, but also honoring them as well. Showing them that mistakes happen, and we can learn from them.”
Doyle explained that meeting children in the middle — allowing them to pursue projects about their interests that intersect with the skills and concepts she teaches — is an extremely important part of her teaching style.
“It’s all about the child,” said Doyle. “What are they also connecting to? And that's where the power comes from is what they connect to.”
Similarly important to Doyle: using a village to raise up each child. She does this through connecting the home with the classroom and engaging different people in a child’s life using optional home projects that students can complete with their parents. In both of those pursuits, she aims to value the culture of her classroom and the students within it.
“She sees learning for her children as a collective responsibility … that is one of the things that stood out,” said Urbina.
But Doyle’s community oriented approach to teaching doesn’t just apply to her students — she’s also a mentor to fellow teachers and student-teachers.
“Her learning is continuous, but also she provides spaces for other people to learn with her,” said Urbina.
Doyle commented that collaboration is deeply important to her as an educator: “I really truly believe that the way we learn best, is together … Our job is hard and there are so many amazing things that are happening right now, but we have to uplift each other.”
What impressed Urbina most was a paragraph from Doyle’s application, which called her colleagues in profession and public stakeholders to action: “In a world of mixed messages, bias, greed, apathy, mediocity, compliance and selfishness: be a change agent. Instill the love of learning, ignite the passion for reading, infuse thinking and inquiry into daily lessons and, above all else, love our children unconditionally. I am going to ask you to slow down and reflect. Reflection and evaluation are two key strategies for lasting impact and change. What is your impact on education?”
Both Urbina and Gray spoke to Doyle’s class and told them about their teacher’s great achievement, emphasizing one thing in particular.
“She wrote about all of you,” said Urbina. “And you know what she wrote? She wrote that she loves teaching you all, because you all love learning … she said many, many things because it’s a long paper. But one of the things she said is how much she loves you; she loves every single one of you.”
Also present was Oregon Lottery representative Jen Roper, who presented Doyle with a $2,000 prize check — much to the amazement of the students. Also in attendance to celebrate her achievement were Doyle’s husband and son.
The Oregon Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Education in partnership with the Oregon Lottery. Families, students and community members can nominate a teacher for next year’s award at oregonteacheroftheyear.org. Nominations are open until Jan. 31, 2019.
“I just want to say how proud I am of the teachers in the Lincoln County School district and, today in particular, of Marcy Doyle,” said Gray. “I’m also very proud of her principal, Kristin Becker, for fostering such a wonderful teacher and a wonderful classroom … this is an honor for our school district.”