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Teacher of the Year honored during surprise assembly

Matt Bacon-Brenes is Oregon's Teacher of the Year. (SBG photo) 

Matt Bacon-Brenes is Oregon's Teacher of the Year.

"I stand before you honored, humbled and perhaps most importantly, grateful." Bacon-Brenes said at a surprise assembly held in his honor Tuesday.

Bacon-Brenes works at Mt. Tabor Middle School in Portland. He teaches language and social studies, mostly in Japanese. He's been teaching there for about 15 years and has worked as a teacher for about 28 years total.

"There's absolutely no way that I stand up here alone," Bacon-Brenes said. "There is absolutely no way that I am Oregon Teacher of the Year without the incredible staff, that's teachers, that's administrators, that's families that have collaborated with me."

Bacon-Brenes said he's learned lessons from his current and prior coworkers. He said when people work together, magic is made.

"That's where brilliance comes. It doesn't come from somebody sitting in a room by themselves," Bacon-Brenes said.

As a part of the award, Bacon-Brenes got a $5,000 check. Mt. Tabor Middle School also received a $5,000 check. Bacon-Brenes said his check will likely go towards education, possibly to help fund his children's schooling.

Bacon-Brenes said he aims to teach from the heart, and at the assembly, everyone there learned that his specialty is his belief that every student can be successful.


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