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Karen Babcock Is Certified Employee of the Year

Karen Babcock Ridgeview media specialist Karen Babcock was officially recognized as 2016 SPS Certified Employee of the Year at a reception on Monday, May 9.

Karen, who has been teaching in Springfield for 19 years, is also a product of Springfield schools - Goshen Elementary, Hamlin Middle and Springfield High. “I’m so thankful for all the wonderful teachers I had growing up!”

Why teaching? Karen says that when she was little, she always wanted to be the one to lead story time. In college, she became fascinated with child growth and development and how the brain learns. “I think I was supposed to be a teacher.”

Favorite moments? During her first year with Oregon Battle of the Books, Karen had a student who struggled with reading, but was determined to participate in OBOB. Concerned that he might be disappointed, she gently tried to talk him out of it. One day, he proudly told her that his mother was reading all the books with him. “I love the books I’m reading!” he said.

“When the day of his battle arrived, I was more nervous than he was. Imagine my surprise when his team answered all of the questions correctly and won their battle. This lesson taught me a couple very important lessons: 1) Always be open to the possibility that students can surprise you in wonderful ways, and 2) Every child can be successful.”

Karen said she recently received an email from that boy’s mother. She’d seen Karen’s ACE award and wanted to share the news that the boy was graduating with a 3.0 GPA and 50 college credits. He was also completing the Teacher Cadet program at SHS and is planning to become a teacher! "I’m honored to be part of his story. For me, the real magic of OBOB is transforming students into lifelong readers and learners."

What’s special about your school? “My staff and my principal have prioritized having a full-time certified library media teacher. Together we are crafting an amazing 21st century elementary school powered by not just great instructional technology, but great teaching.”

When not in school, Karen likes to dance with her husband, play with her kids, go hiking, camping and golfing and of course, she reads. #IamSPS