Ashley Alston, Olympic High SchoolSouthwest Learning Community Teacher of the year
Ashley Alston, an AP psychology and psychology teacher at Olympic High School, has realized now more than ever to remember her “why” and “see students as whole people with whole lives that stretch beyond the classroom.” She calls it “big picture perspective.”
“Our to-do lists will never end, student needs will always change, and there will be days where we feel defeated in a goal to fix things that were outside our control to begin with,” she said. “I’ve decided to choose to give my best to my students and make them feel validated and capable of anything they set their minds to in life.”
Alston knew she always wanted to help people and make a difference. So she chose to teach. Now, Alston is the Southwest Learning Community finalist for Teacher of the Year. She said the recognition is an honor.
“I know I don’t check off all the boxes on what it means to always be a great teacher,” she said. “But in a spiritual way, this recognition, especially from the zone, felt like a universal nudge that I’m in a better alignment in my life than I used to be, and I’m moving in the right direction - to fulfill my purpose. For me now, the work is only beginning.”
Olympic High Principal Casey Jones is appreciative of Alston and the work she does. “Through all the challenges we’ve had, it’s teachers like you who make the work worth it,” Jones told Alston during the recognition.
Alston hopes that her students remember that in her classroom, they knew that they mattered, were safe and important to her.