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SPS Success: Congratulations, Ricci Huling!

Congratulations to Ricci Huling, a seventh-grade math and related arts teacher at Agnes Stewart middle school for being recognized by the Oregon Department of Education as a Regional Teacher of the Year!

Huling, who has been a teacher since 2003, joined the SPS team in 2016. She said she is honored to receive the award, but even more so honored to work at Agnes – a place that she describes as a second family.

“It’s amazing to receive an award like this, and I’m so glad whenever teachers are recognized because I think we have a hard time noticing our own success,” Huling said. “At the same time, it’s difficult to receive praise like this when I work with so many talented and incredible teachers, educational assistant and administrators who are equally deserving.”

At the heart of her teaching philosophy, Huling said, is authentic relationships with students and staff.

“This level of trust, honesty and transparency, it allows kids to feel very comfortable in my class,” she said. “They can take chances and not feel judged, and that’s a big deal in middle school where there’s a lot of judgement. Hopefully they feel like they can be themselves and make mistakes and it’ll be OK.”

As far as working through a global pandemic, Huling said she learned a lot about herself as a person.

“I learned how much I love my job and that being in person with students, although it’s exhausting, it feeds my energy. I’m always excited to come to this building every single day.”