▶️ Sunriver 2nd grade teacher named Bend-La Pine Educator of the Year


To wrap up a week of awards, the Bend-La Pine School District announced their Educator of the Year on Friday.

It’s second grade teacher Maria Leistad from Three Rivers School in Sunriver.

Maria is known for her kindness and creativity in the classroom.

“That age level. You know, they are full of wonder and imagination and curiosity. I love that they’re excited when they walk into the classroom to see me. They they just soak up everything. And it’s just. It’s exciting each day,” said Maria.

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“To know Maria Leistad is to know a human who loves her students deeply, carries their burdens and cares for each one unconditionally,” Three Rivers Principal Tim Broadbent said in a statement. “Her classroom is a magical place and her students enter each day knowing that something wonderful will happen.”

Like the previous award winners this week, Maria will get a $500 check from Mid-Oregon Credit Union to use for her school.

The other finalists for the award were:

  • Samantha Bushnell from Pine Ridge Elementary School
  • Heather Campbell from High Desert Middle School
  • Mike Huff from Mountain View High School
  • Keri Jacobi from Bear Creek Elementary School
  • Katie Lyons from Cascade Middle School
  • Jennifer Neil from La Pine Middle School

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