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Madison Huscher from La Conner Middle School Named 2024 Teacher of the Year!!

The Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD) proudly announces the selection of Madison Huscher, an educator at La Conner Middle School, as the 2024 Regional Teacher of the Year. This yearly award recognizes Huscher's outstanding commitment to teaching and her remarkable contributions to the education community. 

The Regional Teacher of the Year program, organized by the NWESD, celebrates educators who exhibit exceptional teaching skills and provides them with a platform to advocate for educational issues close to their hearts. Award recipients like Huscher have the opportunity to deliver trainings or workshops at the NWESD and may be invited to serve as trainers or speakers in regional school districts. 

Huscher's achievement as a regional winner now positions her to compete against eight other finalists from Educational Service Districts across Washington State for the title of 2024 State Teacher of the Year. The Washington Teacher of the Year program, overseen by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), recognizes educators who demonstrate exemplary teaching practices and make a significant impact on students' lives. 

La Conner School District, where Huscher teaches, serves a diverse community. With approximately 35% of students being Native American, primarily of Swinomish heritage, and over 50% qualifying for free and reduced lunch, Huscher's dedication to providing quality education to every student is truly commendable. The district comprises one elementary, one middle, and one high school, with the middle and high schools interconnected. 
La Conner School District Superintendent Will Nelson said, "Ms. Huscher is a forward-thinking teacher who is continuously looking to improve her craft so her students have the best learning experiences. Ms. Huscher has taken on Mastery-Based Learning (Proficiency-Based Learning), which empowers students to progress at their own pace, ensuring that every student reaches their full potential. With this approach, Ms. Huscher has effectively personalized her instruction, catering to the unique needs and abilities of each student in her classroom. Through carefully crafted lessons, hands-on experiments, and engaging projects, she has ignited a passion for science that transcends the traditional boundaries of textbooks and lectures. Ms. Huscher is also passionate about outdoor education and the success it brings to student learning."

Colleagues shared that Huscher’s expertise in her subject matter is matched only by her dedication to ensuring an enriching learning experience for her students. By incorporating community circles into her teaching routine, Huscher creates a safe space where students can freely express their thoughts and feelings, fostering a strong learning community. Huscher is passionate about getting students out of the classroom and frequently uses place-based learning excursions to complement her instruction.  Recent learning experiences have included visits to the Kukutali Preserve State Park, the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Washington Park, and Lake Padden. In addition, she has pioneered the implementation of mastery-based learning at the secondary level in La Conner, empowering students to take charge of their educational journey. Huscher's commitment to individual student progress is evident as she frequently conducts one-on-one meetings with students to review their progress and provide guidance on improvement strategies. She is truly a gem in the educational landscape.