Auburn School District announces 2016-17 Teachers of the Year

The Auburn School District Board of Directors recognizes the 2016-17 Auburn School District Teachers of the Year at 7 p.m., Monday, May 8 in the Auburn Riverside High School library.

The district selects a teacher of the year for the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The teachers of the year are:

Patty Eckelman, Auburn Mountainview High School

Eckelman has been teaching in the school district for 25 years as a business education teacher. She is passionate about students obtaining real-world skills to prepare them for their future.

Her Microsoft industry certification program is in the top 10 in Washington. Three years in a row her students won the Microsoft Office Specialist State Championship and multiple students competed in the national competition in Florida.

“My kids make the program,” Eckelman said. “They are fabulous.”

Michele Rock, Rainier Middle School

Rock is a sixth-grade math teacher and math specialist. In her 17th year of teaching, Rock works with all of the math teachers to analyze data, develop interventions for kids who are struggling and provides support in all aspects of math.

In addition to her work at Rainier, she also works on the district-level math committee.

“I love middle school kids,” Rock said. “They have a lot to offer and are so funny.”

Brent Botkin, Alpac Elementary

Botkin, an Auburn High graduate, was hired as an elementary P.E. specialist right out of college. He is in his fifth year of teaching. He is involved in P.E. curriculum development, recently spoke to Washington legislators about a bill strengthening requirements for P.E., runs the after-school Soccer for Success program and organized a multi-elementary co-ed flag football tournament.

Botkin said, “I have the greatest job ever. I try to be a better teacher every day.”

The three winners move on for consideration as the regional teacher of the year. One teacher from each region will move on to the state competition. The state winner move on to the national competition.