Congratulations to the 2013 Crystal Apple "Excellence in Education" Award winners from the Union School District: Dennis Clark and Norman "Nod" Palmer! These awards -- in their second year in Union County -- are put on by the InterMountain Education Service District to honor outstanding educators and education staff in Union County. The Crystal Apple Awards ceremony to honor these outstanding staff members will take place on May 22 at Eastern Oregon University.
Dennis Clark has been THE Agriculture teacher at Union School District for over thirty years! Being anywhere for over 30 years is amazing enough, but to have done it so well and enjoy so much respect from his peers makes it doubly impressive. Dennis can also add Union County Educator of the Year to his resume as a past titleholder. More important to Dennis however, is the sense of respect and caring that his students and his peers feel toward him. I have known Dennis for 30 years and cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. Dennis has brought a sense of unity and cohesion to the agricultural science teachers in Union County and elsewhere...that will be his legacy!
Norman "Nod" Palmer has taught at Union High School since the early 90's. Nod is professional and passionate about the education of his students in the life sciences, and more recently in the field of robotics. Under Nod's guidance the students of UHS have earned scholarships through robotics competitions as well as competing at numerous state level competitions with great success. The loss of Nod to our school district will be difficult to overcome. His passion, energy to undertake new projects, care for his students, and just overall positive presence in the building will not be easily replaced.