Patricia Valle named Washington Excellence in Education winner

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Patricia Valle, winner of Excellent in Education
award from Alpha Delta Kappa

By Mary Jo Heller
Patricia Valle, Social Studies teacher at Kellogg Middle School in the Shoreline School District, has been named Washington State Teacher and recognized with the Excellence in Education Award for Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternal International organization.

The award is based on dedication, knowledge, skills, professional achievement and success, school/community involvement, contributions to the educational process and active participation in Alpha Delta Kappa.

She will be honored at the Washington State Alpha Delta Kappa Convention in Bellevue. Pat will now compete with teachers in the Northwest Region at the ADK Conference in Honolulu. 

Heather Hiatt, principal at Kellogg, said: “Pat is a natural leader inside of her classroom, in our school community, and within our district…. She is leading her colleagues through the curriculum with a lens on equity making sure to identify and analyze the stories being told and omitted.”

Pat holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Washington.

She was inspired to become a teacher of the deaf in her ninth grade year after reading an article about Gallaudet College in Washington DC.  With her mother’s help, Pat found a counselor who helped her locate a program at the University of Northern Colorado; however, when the program changed to a Master’s degree only, Pat decided that she was not ready to commit to an advanced degree, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.

Pat taught elementary school in Colorado and Okinawa, Japan before moving to Seattle in 1989.  When she began teaching in Seattle, older and wiser, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Washington.

Other projects Pat has spearheaded include “Soul of Salmon” with seventh graders at Einstein Middle School in Shoreline. In her Environmental Studies classes, students researched salmon in the Puget Sound area, developing curriculum which they then used to teach classes at Syre Elementary School. 

The project culminated in a fundraising mission to purchase two (male and female) fifteen-foot statues that were then decorated, through their research, by the students. 

Pat has consistently included multiple field trips with her classes. For five years in Environmental Studies, students tested the water and soil in Boeing Creek Park and cleared invasive species. They have also planted trees in Weyerhaeuser forests. They stenciled “no dumping” signs on sewer grates around the city of Shoreline to remind citizens that the water drains into salmon habitat. 

Pat and her students created a “museum” within Kellogg Middle School for their Aztec, Maya, and Inca studies. Objects researched and created were placed on display in the team room, and in various locations around the school.

Pat has piloted and assessed a new evaluation system for the district. She also piloted the ATLAS (Authentic Testing and Learning for All Students) program in Shoreline.

As a teacher of color, Pat is an advocate of equality, and was invited to join the Diversity Task Force for two years in Shoreline. She was the Diversity TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) where she aided classroom teachers and administrators in developing curriculum and understanding issues surrounding diversity. 

Pat left the classroom for a few years, as she was elected Union President for SEA (Shoreline Education Association).  She is is an advocate for, and has been working with unions since beginning teaching, starting with a local strike in Greeley, Colorado.

She enjoys the camaraderie, support, and leadership within unions, seeing both the positive outcomes and challenges with those organizations. She saw a chance for real advocacy for teaching and has enjoyed working and thinking about ways to inspire communication between teachers and administration.

Pat currently, and for ten years, has worked with WEA (Washington Education Association) in Minority Affairs. She has taken training in “Difficult Conversations,” a program to aid conversations between teachers, and between faculty and administration. As SEA President, Pat has had many opportunities to use this training.

Pat is a founding member of the Edmonds City Diversity Commission. This group recommends policy for the city, while also developing opportunities for cultural development. The Commission sponsors a series of six movies at the Edmonds City Theater, several World Cafes and other events meant to highlight and celebrate Edmonds’ respect for the diversity of its citizens. 

At Kellogg, Pat is the faculty sponsor of the Gay/Straight Alliance, the co-chair of the social studies department and a representative for Kellogg to the Shoreline Education Association. Pat has also sponsored and facilitated a Youth Forum at Edmonds/Woodway High School.

Pat is also the proud mother of two children, a son, Ismael, who is currently teaching English/Language Arts in Mukilteo, and a daughter, Ciela, pursuing a linguistics degree at the University of Washington.  She has recently returned from Spain, where she taught pre-school.

Does Pat have any spare time? Perhaps. And she spends it with Do-it-Yourself projects, like demolishing and remodeling of her kitchen, building a deck, and smaller creative endeavors, such as card making.

She loves hosting joint dinner parties with her daughter and cooking traditional family recipes like red chili enchiladas and green chili stew, which answers the New Mexico State question of green or red! She has recently learned how to make scones, created in Scotland but introduced to Washingtonians at the Puyallup State Fair!


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