PSU alum named Washington State’s Teacher of the Year

Mark Ray, MS ’94, a teacher and library media specialist at Skyview High School in Vancouver, has been named Washington’s Teacher of the Year. He was selected from nine finalists around the state who joined him in Seattle Monday at the Experience Music Project Museum.

Mr. Ray has been teaching for 19 years in the same district where his father taught and his mother served lunch. As a library media specialist at Skyview, he operates from the library’s spaceship-style command center that is the stage of his teaching theater. He is well known for inspiring students and helping staff find ways to connect to students via contemporary pop culture.

He is described by colleagues and parents alike as “enthusiastic” and “transformational.” His principal, Kym Tyelyn-Carlson, tagged him a “slayer of ignorance.” In addition to his current assignment in library media, he has developed curriculum and classroom assessments and has taught elementary and middle school. He also coaches a nationally recognized tennis program that welcomes students of all abilities.

He has fond memories of PSU, having earned a MS in Educational Media here. His advisor was the late Joyce Petrie, and professor Ken Peterson was a favorite faculty member. “I ♥ PSU!” he emailed.

Mark Ray is now in contention for the national Teacher of the Year award and will travel to the White House in spring to meet President Barack Obama and participate in ceremonies there.

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