Teacher Spotlight

CRE Teachers
We Need S’More Teachers Like the CRE 5th Grade Team: Teamwork at its Best: Click here

The 5th grade team at Crooked River Elementary (Andrew Wilson, Merile Glass, Stacy Stringer, and Amber Freeman) are truly a group of dedicated and passionate teachers. They care about individual student success and strive to meet the needs of each of their students.

During the Learning at Home campaign, you will find this group of teachers engaging in Zoom meetings daily with their classes and with individual students working one-on-one with them on Imagine Math and Imagine Language and Literacy. Every day when I walk down the hall, I hear 5th grade classrooms humming with teacher and student interactions on Zoom. What is most impressive is the sacrifice these teaches make to carry out virtual field trips to the Oregon Coast that even involved Mr. Wilson getting wet.

Whenever I communicate with families of CRE 5th graders, I always am getting positive feedback from parents saying how grateful they are for their students’ teacher reaching out and personally checking in with them. This group of teachers are even going as far as making personal visits to drop off work and collect it.

For their students who are falling behind, they will have personal zoom meetings where they will assist the student with their work and remove any barriers the student may have. This group is always busy making personal work packets for students who cannot engage online. On Friday mornings, I will see the 5th grade teachers in the front office greeting their students who are struggling and rewarding them for their hard work and effort. As the student leaves, these teachers will walk them out while cheering them on and lending support.

This group of teachers are an inspiration to everyone at CRE. They truly exemplify the heart of a servant. They always go beyond the call of duty and will drop anything they are doing to serve others. These teachers truly have a heart of gold and love their students.
Thank you Andrew, Stacy, Merile and Amber.

Mrs. Bunting

Tribute to Our Teachers, Because Every Week Should Be Teacher Appreciation Week: Click here

CCSD is shining the spotlight on teachers who are making a difference – something you all do every day. If you would like to shine the spotlight on someone, please send me a note.

We Need S’More Teachers Like Melissa Bunting: “Chief Officer of Social Operations”

We all know people who have the ability to get things done before anyone else even has the chance to ask. Melissa Bunting, “Chief Officer of Social Operations” at Crooked River Elementary, is one of those people. According to Principal Kimberly Bonner, “she is always three steps ahead of everyone else and continues to fill needs at the school that we didn’t even know we had.”

Mrs. Bunting knows that it’s the people who make the difference. “Recognition and celebrations matter, and thanks to Melissa, the staff at CRE feel the love,” says Principal Bonner. “She sees things on the horizon and helps to make sure we are remembering important information. She keeps track of all events and celebrations, ensuring that our staff are valued and acknowledged.”

Mrs. Bunting continues to create systems at CRE that make sure operations run smoothly. This year she took the time to design a webpage so the school could organize and efficiently provide all the important and pertinent information for staff – information that typically gets lost so easily in emails. Bonner said, “This is going to be a game changer for our school and staff.” “Melissa keeps us so organized with her pre-thinking and efficiency. She takes on challenges without any prompting from anyone. If she sees a need, she will step in and work to make things better.”

Her students are also the recipients of her organizational abilities and efficiency. Her colleagues will tell you she squeezes every ounce of instructional time out of each day. She knows exactly what each of her student’s needs are and is constantly striving to push them to reach their individual potential.

Mrs. Bunting is a quiet leader, always avoiding the limelight. However, Principal Bonner said she deserves to be recognized. “We can’t fail to recognize the one person who spends all of her time celebrating everyone else. Melissa makes such a difference.”

Mrs. Bunting’s role as “Chief Officer of Social Operations” is informal, at best. However, the respect she garners from the entire staff for her quiet leadership dwarfs any official title she could ever possess. Melissa doesn’t need a position or formal orders to know what needs to get done. She just makes it happen. Imagine if Mrs. Bunting could keep all of us three steps ahead…the possibilities would be endless.

Melissa, special thanks for discovering what your students and teams need before they even know it. Better yet, thanks for meeting those needs without even being asked. CRE is all about great systems, but none of it works without great people. There is no shortage there. It looks like it’s time to schedule another celebration!

Kim Waite
A Tribute to Our Teachers, Because Every Week Should Be Teacher Appreciation Week: Click here

Crook County School District honors all of our teachers for their efforts, guidance, and inspiration in making a difference in our students’ lives every day. Thank you to our entire teaching staff for all you do for our students and for making our educational community so proud of our schools.

CCSD is shining the spotlight on teachers who are making a difference – something you all do every day. If you would like to shine the spotlight on someone, please send me a note.

We Need S’More Teachers Like Kim Waite: Pioneering Instruction for Her Students

In her short time with the District as a Special Education teacher, Mrs. Waite has made her impact felt districtwide and has become a vital member of the District’s Special Programs Team and the Special Education Department at Barnes Butte Elementary.

Mona Boyd, Director of Special Education for the District, says, “I depend on Mrs. Waite’s knowledge and experiences to help look critically at our curriculum and processes and guide some of our newer teachers on best practices.” Mrs. Waite’s previous experience as an instructional coach allows her to bring a specialized knowledge of instruction to students with special needs.

Director Boyd indicates why we need more teachers like Mrs. Waite: “She is so dedicated to the students that she serves. She is always working to improve her skills in order to improve those services. Kim has a great value system and a heart for kids. She is kind, generous and patient.”

Mrs. Waite has been making a remarkable difference during the Learning @ Home era as well. When there was pushback across the state about providing individual support for special education students, Mrs. Waite was one of the first teachers to embrace Specially Designed Instruction for Learning @ Home students. She created a “menu” for math lessons that included “appetizers, main courses and desserts.” Her instructional model has shown great success in “feeding” the minds of our students with special instructional needs.

Barnes Butte Principal Jim Bates describes Mrs. Waite as “a rare jewel that comes along, making the lives of those around her better. She is one of the most patient, meticulous, knowledgeable and kind educators that I’ve ever met. Ask any parent or student that comes in contact with her and they’d all say the same.”

Mrs. Waite and her husband Scott – a Barnes Butte teacher as well – have been great assets to the District and the children we serve. We are fortunate to have them on our team. Thank you for making a difference.

Ryan Cochran


A Tribute to Our Teachers, Because Every Week Should Be Teacher Appreciation Week: Click here

We honor all teachers for their efforts, guidance, and inspiration while making a difference in student’s lives every day. Crook County School District thanks you for all the love you show your students every day and for making our educational community so proud of our schools.

CCSD is shining the spotlight on teachers who are making a difference, something you all do every day. If you would like to shine the spotlight on someone, please send me a note.

We Need S’More Teachers Like Ryan Cochran: Making a Difference and Saving Lives

In his fifteen years with the District, Mr. Cochran has become synonymous with family. He promotes it in the classroom, preaches it on the field, and lives it with his colleagues. He has developed such a great culture that every coach he has ever welcomed into his football program has stuck around, through thick and thin. They have a loyalty to each other, as to family, and those bonds can’t be broken.

However, the relationships he builds with students includes more than being part of a family. He teaches them like a father would, teaching life’s lessons and providing real-world experiences. We all strive to make learning relevant but Mr. Cochran has taken the concept to a whole new level.

Recently, multiple students chose to go out of their way to thank him for teaching those skills that would make a difference in their lives. One student wanted to thank him because, in an emergency, he used skills learned from Mr. Cochran to deal with a gruesome injury to his pet. He had to place a tourniquet on his dog’s leg in order to save its life. He learned how to do this during Mr. Cochran’s class. Mission accomplished.

Amazingly, another student recently reached out to him to let him know the lifesaving techniques he taught during class helped the student save his own father’s life. During this global pandemic, this student’s father collapsed at home with a cardiac event and it took the ambulance 1.5 hours to reach their home. The student performed CPR and other lifesaving techniques the entire time, a skill and perseverance learned from Mr. Cochran, while he waited for emergency medical services to arrive. Miraculously, his father is expected to make a full recovery.

Mr. Cochran has made a difference for scores of Crook County students over the years. Thank you Ryan! Your impact on the lives of students is echoed time and again in what all of our teachers and staff do to make a difference for students every day. You are all remarkable in your own way. Thank you for making CCSD an amazing community!