Not only Washington state's 2011 Superintendent of the Year, but also its 2011 Teacher of the Year, are graduates of Seattle Pacific University's School of Education.
Teacher of the Year Jay Maebori left a sports-writing career to earn a teaching certificate and master's degree in teaching from SPU in 2003.
A language arts teacher at Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington, he teaches a "blended honors classroom" — for honors students, English-language learners, special education, and core students — as well as "intervention classes," to help struggling students achieve state standards. For all of his students, Maebori compares literature to popular music and films to show students the relevance of their studies.
Maebori updates Response readers about his year as the 2011 Washington Teacher of the Year — including meeting President Obama and a trip to Space Camp.