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Credit union launches ‘Excellence in Education’ contest


OnPoint Community Credit Union has announced details of the 2015 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education. The sixth annual contest will award nearly $40,000 to deserving public and private K-12 teachers and their schools, including paying the mortgage of two winning teachers for one school year.

The 2015 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education will recognize one K-8 teacher and one 9-12 teacher as Educators of the Year, paying their respective mortgages for one school year and donating $1,000 to their schools. In addition, one K-8 teacher and one 9-12 teacher will be Finalists and will each receive $500 for themselves and $500 for their schools. The winners will be announced May 19, 2015.

Last year, Elizabeth Lawson, a 5 th grade teacher at Crestline Elementary School was named K-8 Educator of the Year. OnPoint paid Lawson’s mortgage for one school year plus $1,000 for her school to be used for resources and supplies. Lawson was recognized for creating an environment of engaged students built on mutual trust, empowerment and critical thinking. An inspirational leader among peers, Lawson works collaboratively with teachers, parents and students to create a community of lifelong learners. Lawson’s teaching methods are recognized in professional development courses and she presented on the importance of providing critical thinking opportunities for students living in poverty at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference in 2013.

Also in 2014, Susan Bartley, a 9-12 grade English & Leadership teacher at Franklin High School was named 9-12 Educator of the Year. OnPoint paid Bartley’s mortgage for one school year plus $1,000 for her school to be used for resources and supplies. Bartley was instrumental in developing Advanced Placement (AP) classes and the Advanced Scholar Program (ASP) at Franklin High School. Bartley’s AP class enrollment increased to 40% students of color, Special Education and English Language Learners as a result of her focus on diversity and equity work. Bartley is the recipient of the Council Trenholm Memorial Award by the National Education Association as part of its 2013 Human and Civil Rights awards and is founding member of the College Essay Writing Project with Literary Arts Portland.

OnPoint has education roots as a credit union founded by teachers over 80 years ago and continues to recognize that strengthening local education is one of the best ways to build thriving communities. “Our annual OnPoint Prize honors extraordinary teachers whose dedication is inspiring,” says OnPoint’s President and CEO Rob Stuart. “We are proud to recognize these amazing teachers who make a difference in the lives of students and the communities where we live.”

Nomination forms are now available at and will be accepted until 5:30 PM on April 6, 2015. Anyone can nominate an educator, and educators may also nominate themselves. Applicants must be a full-time or job-share classroom teacher, counselor or librarian of grades K-12 in an accredited public, private or charter school located within any county that OnPoint serves (i.e. Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington). Please see for additional qualifications and contest rules.

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