Mazama High School teacher honored with Educator of the Year award
Mrs. Harris is known as many things to her students - friend, counselor, mentor, and teacher. Now she can add a new title, Educator of the Year.
This year Klamath Falls News partnered with Shasta Family Dental to find the best educator in the Klamath Basin. Our mission was to find someone that held outstanding commitment to the children of the Klamath Basin and reward the educator who selflessly sacrifices their own time and energy to better students.
What we found, shocked us in a way that was most pleasing. The Klamath Basin is home to dozens of loving, caring and talented educators.
Through the month of May over 70 nominations for 50 different educators came pouring in. All of which highlighted teachers, faculty, staff, and volunteers that all were extremely deserving to hold the honor of Educator of the Year.
Reviewing these nominations, one name kept coming up again-and-again. Standing out among the rest, Stephanie Harris of Mazama High School.
Mrs. Harris received 8 separate nominations all telling different stories, but each telling how generous, kind and compassionate she is.
“Mrs. Harris is the reason I didn’t want to give up,” read one nomination. “…hands down the most amazing woman I have ever met,” said another.
There were so many wonderful and inspiring quotes in Mrs. Harris’ nominations that they were framed along with a certificate showing her achievement.
“…full of love and kindness.”
“…the most gracious kind hearted and happy soul I’ve met.”
“She has touched so many lives.”
“Mrs. Harris goes absolutely above and beyond to help.”
“the sweetest and kindest soul ever”
“She believes in us.”
Mrs. Harris is deeply connected with the students at Mazama and is involved with several clubs at the school. Most notably, the Mazama Kindness Club, and the Viking Boutique.
The Kindness Club was started about 4 years ago when she felt Mazama needed more kindness. Since then, they craft notes of support and inspiration to all 650+ Mazama students. They perform simple random acts of kindness. They once met every student at the front door and gave them a lollypop.
The Viking Boutique was originally inspired as a senior project, but now run by Mrs. Harris after understanding the need. At the boutique they offer food, clothing, hygiene products, and other items teens need. All free to students who need a little help now and then.
To honor the Mrs. Harris’ commitment to students, Dr. Mindy Brown, the team at Shasta Family Dental and Brian Gailey, Publisher of Klamath Falls News, gathered today with fellow Mazama faculty & staff to present Mrs. Stephanie Harris with an award as the 2019 Educator of the Year. Mrs. Harris was also gifted with a 3-day vacation to Las Vegas for her and a guest this August.
“We were so overwhelmed by both the number and quality of nominations we received for this award” said Dr. Brown. “It was certainly a challenge to choose just one winner but Mrs. Harris is such an incredible individual. We are thrilled to recognize her!”
“Mrs. Harris is a tremendous asset to this community, her school and her students,” says Gailey. “We wanted to show her how much we thank her for everything she does.”
The remaining nominees did not go away empty handed. Dr. Brown and her staff, personally delivered hand written cards to all other nominees thanking them for their commitment to students and offered each a gift card with a local coffee shop.