Karen Fulmer named "1997 Washington Teacher of the Year"
The Washington State Teacher of the Year for 1997 is Karen Fulmer, director of choral music at Sumner Jr. High School.
Karen was presented this award last October 16 in a ceremony in Seattle. WA-ACDA joins with the thousands of teachers and choral musicians in the state in congratulations. "I want my colleagues in ACDA and in the WMEA to feel that they share in this award," Karen says.
Karen goes on to say that "ACDA has been an organization that has helped me grow up as a teacher. It has
provided me with the resources for my growth, an opportunity to be nurtured, to learn, and to learn to lead." Karen is a past-president of the WA-ACDA and now serves as the group's treasurer.
The path to this award began last Spring when people in Karen's Sumner school district nominated her. She became one of nine finalists from the nine Educational Services Districts in the state. The award falls under the auspices of the State Superintendent of Schools, at that time, Judith Billings; now, Terry Bergeson. Karen was interviewed in Olympia in September, 1996. The award was announced in October.
As of this writing, Karen was leaving for four days in Dallas, Texas to participate in several decision-making panels on education. She is one of 54 Teacher of the Year selectees, one from each state, one each from Guam, Washington, D. C., the Virgin Islands, and military schools abroad.
Karen has speaking engagements already at the WEA Representative Assembly, for the ASCD state convention, and will also go to Washington, D. C., for a "summit" on education in October.
This summer she will participate in a ten day "Space Camp" sponsored by NASA; this event held in Alabama. She has also been asked to serve as an advisor to the state school board on certification of teachers.
In addition to her Teacher of the Year award, Karen was selected in May of 1996 for the Christa McAuliffe Award for excellence in education. This came about through letters of support for her from students and colleagues and brought with it a $2,500 cash gift.
The national Teacher of the Year finalists have been announced by the sponsoring organization, Scholastic Magazine. While Karen was in the running, the four finalists are Mid-West teachers in English and in math.
Karen graduated from Kelso High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University.
Karen Fulmer represents all that is good, caring, and compassionate about teachers and the education profession today. To this day, I don't believe I have heard anyone express a philosophy of education that is more accurate and perceptive - something only experience and commitment can create. Judith A. Billings, Superintendent of Public Instruction, October 16, 1996