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Salem-Keizer Public Schools Elementary Teacher Awarded with National Honors

posted Apr 3, 2018, 2:13 PM by Salem Keizer

Maureen Foelkl pictured with National Teachers Hall of Fame Board Member 
Mark Andrews.

Friendly chatter filled the room as family, friends and colleagues gathered at Lee Elementary for what they thought was yet another routine meeting. 

Unaware that they were gathered in the company of a Hall of Famer, National Teachers Hall of Fame Board Member Mark Andrews began his speech, and Maureen Foelkl was soon to be recognized. “This is a special day in Salem, Oregon.” Indeed it was.

Each year, five teachers from across the country are selected for induction into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. The NTHF highlights teachers who have impacted their students and served their communities for more than 20 years. Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ (SKPS) very own, Maureen Foelkl, was surprised with the honor on April 2.

"Maureen works tirelessly to build a classroom where students are motivated to learn and discover, particularly in the field of science," said former principal Heidi Litchfield in a statement. "Under her leadership, school programs such as Roots and Shoots, a community garden and a comprehensive school-wide recycling program have been founded, nurtured and sustained."

Maureen was a valuable member of the faculty at Chapman Hill Elementary, where she was a second and third grade science teacher for 32 years. She has taught environmental science at The Straub Environmental Center and currently volunteers at Lee Elementary.

Maureen shares the common principle of SKPS that educators must assist students to develop a love and respect for themselves and others, but she reserves a personal philosophy that love and respect should extend to the natural environment. Maureen served as a role model for that philosophy through her years of teaching and passion for animals. For those who know her best, the national recognition is not surprising.

Maureen’s merit as an educator has earned her numerous awards. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, the Henry Ford Innovator Award and the Don Jeffery Award as a Lifelong Environmental Educator. In 2015, she was the Oregon State Teacher of the Year runner-up, and in 2013, Maureen was the Exploravision National Champion.

Maureen serves as a role model for co-workers and proudly demonstrates what it means to be a Salem-Keizer Public Schools educator. Congratulations Maureen!