December 2014 Educator of the Month Winner

Over the summer Rick had decided that he wanted to reward our local educators for the hardwork and dedication that they give to our local students and communities.  Rick partnered up with local radio station KXA 1520 AM and the Everett Silvertips to sponsor a local educator each month.  

And the Winner is?

During the month of November we received several nominations for Educator of the Month for the month of December.  After a thorough review of all the entries, the Law Offices of Rick H. Merrill decided on a winner, Jim Strickland a special education teacher at Marysville Pilchuck High School.  Mr. Strickland was nominated by a student.  Below is the entry that was submitted through our website to nominate Mr. Strickland for the Educator of the Month for the month of December.  You can see it was an obvious choice to select Mr. Strickland as the winner.

“From the day I started attending Pilchuck in my Junior year, Mr.Strickland was a sort of crutch for me to lean on. He teaches the special ed students of Pilchuck, and out of all the spec.ed. teachers I've had, he's been the kindest and most patient. For everything I have a hard time understanding, he's been able to explain it simply, and in a way that I can understand and follow, and without making me feel stupid. 

I think the most impacting thing he did for me... was when a group of girls started to harass me in PE. When I was scared to tears and didn't know who to run to, I went to him and he took a minute away from his class to help me calm down and get my mom to pick me up.

When I considered running away, he talked with me about it, and instead of criticizing me for it, he suggested I go to a teen support home for a little while so I would still be safe while letting my mom and I have some time apart. When I had trouble in my other classes, he'd try to help me understand.  When I told him I wanted to publish a novel, he excitedly supported me every step of the way.  Whenever I had a hard time in school, whether it be education or people, or just my emotions overwhelming me, he was always the one I thought of first, and always the one who was most willing to help me.

A lot of his students have problems communicating with others, and he knows that even non special education students do too, and so he started an Open Mic club at the school, to help students at Pilchuck express themselves and share their interests.

I can honestly say I would not have made it through high school without him. My only wish is that I had him as a teacher at all my other schools.”


Here is Rick presenting Mr. Strickland with the “Educator of the Month” plaque along with a $500.00 check made out to Marysville Pilchuck High School and Jim Strickland, for him to use as he wishes to help meet students needs in the classroom.  

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