Students walk past a mural at Concord International School, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, in Seattle.
Enlarge Icon
Students walk past a mural at Concord International School, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, in Seattle.
Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Washington's Teacher of the Year wants kids to focus on their unique skills

There's a new top teacher among all 295 school districts in Washington state.

Special education teacher Amy Campbell was named the state's Teacher of the Year at a ceremony Monday afternoon at MoPOP in Seattle. Campbell has taught special education for 12 years in Camas, Washington.

She has called herself an excited teacher who is "a little loud" — and she brought that energy to the awards ceremony in Seattle.

"I'm excited to be able to shine my light on the necessity for intentional inclusion for all students, no matter their diagnosis or disability," she said. "That's why I'm here! Yeah you should cheer for that!"

Campbell will spend the next year touring school districts across the state, speaking to students and representing the state's educators.

Campbell was chosen in part because of her focus on inclusion in the classroom. She says "inclusion is based on an investigation of individual unique skills, abilities and interests, rather than funding, facts or fear."

She said she was shocked to first be nominated as the Camas School District Teacher of the Year, but it makes her excited to know she works in a district that values individuals with special needs.

Campbell is now a nominee for National Teacher of the Year, a title that went to Spokane educator Mandy Manning in 2018.