OSSA Names 2018 Teacher of the Year

Release Date: 
11/20/2017

The Oregon Small Schools Association (OSSA) is proud to announce Jordan Slavish as its 2018 Teacher of the Year. Slavish is a teacher at Yamhill Carlton High School (YCHS).

Slavish came to the school four years ago as a math teacher, but has developed into an amazing asset at the high school with his energy and willingness to embrace new projects. In the letter nominating Slavish, Principal Gregory Neuman said, “Jordan works tirelessly to support our students, and has brought a spirit of innovation and free thinking to YCHS that has acted to completely reshape our school mindset.”

Slavish is an important part of the Yamhill Carlton Career Academy, which joins academics and industry partnerships and focuses on students interested in agriculture and/or manufacturing careers. According to Neuman, through the academy, the school’s Agriculture Drone program was created, which Slavish spearheads with a school parent.

The Agricultural Drone program began through the request of a local farmer who wanted to involve students in developing drones to survey his crops. Slavish immediately began to gather information, resources and students for the project. Principal Neuman said the Agriculture Drone system that resulted from this program is the envy of not only other school districts, but professionals in the field. It “gives students real-world experiences in a field that not only provides high-wage, high-demand employment opportunities down the road, but is also incredibly engaging for students and a real source of pride for our school and community,” Neuman said.

Through the drone program, Slavish came up with the idea to start a rocketry program at Yamhill Carlton High School as well. Using the Systems Go Rocketry curriculum, Slavish and a fellow teacher co-teach the program.

Slavish said he is honored to receive the Teacher of the Year recognition. “Small schools have so much to offer our students, and I’m proud to be able to provide unique opportunities to my students. I’m just one part of the YC family, and this recognition speaks to the hard work that everyone at our district puts in every day. From rockets to drones to recording studios, our philosophy is that students can learn faster than we can teach them -- sometimes it’s just a matter of putting the tools in front of them and stepping out of the way!” Slavish said.

Michael Lasher, OSSA executive director, said OSSA is pleased to choose Slavish as the 2018 Teacher of the Year. “Honoring a teacher like Jordan is always so fulfilling because of the opportunity to celebrate what effective teaching and dedication can accomplish in a small school. OSSA is proud to recognize one of the truly great teachers in Oregon,” Lasher said.

Slavish received his award on November 11 at the OSSA event during the Oregon School Boards Association Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon.