Connell language educator named SE Washington’s Teacher of the Year


Julie Nuntananusit of Connell High School (Image via ESD 123)

PASCO, Wash. — Beloved in the Connell school community, Julie Nuntananusit has empowered Franklin County students to expand their vocabulary through English, Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for more than 30 years. Her devotion to education culminated with her being named the Regional Teacher of the Year for 2022.

According to Educational Service District (ESD) 123, which serves 23 school districts across seven Southeastern Washington counties, Nuntananusit will represent the region in Washington’s 2022 Teacher of the Year competition.

During the course of her teaching career, Nuntananusit played a pivotal role in expanding the language programs at Connell High School. Much of her success has been through meeting the needs of the growing Spanish-speaking student population in the region.

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“Language is a gift that we inherit from those we interact with, whether it be a parent, guardian or children on the playground,” Nuntananusit said. “Developing a second language at the same time as learning in a first language is an unequaled task.”

When asked what sets Nuntananusit apart, colleagues described her  “heart for her students” as a key factor. Other traits that were highlighted include an undying devotion to meeting students’ needs, advocating for them and sharing on her wealth of knowledge.

Nuntananusit received the Crystal Apple Award in March 2022 for her exemplary impact on students in her community.

As one of eight Washington educators named Teacher of the Year for her region, Nuntananusit will compete against eight other finalists for a chance to be named the state’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. This program is organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to honor educators who make a significant impact on their students’ lives.


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