2021 Regional Teacher of the Year

David Buitenveld

Buitenveld is always looking for better ways to connect with students

TUMWATER – July 21, 2020 – Capital Region Educational Service District (ESD) 113 has named David Buitenveld as their 2021 Regional Teacher of the Year. Buitenveld teaches mathematics at Nisqually Middle School in North Thurston Public Schools.

Buitenveld has an unbridled optimism about public schools. He sees educators as partners with the families and students they serve. Although the current coronavirus pandemic has challenged every part of his job as an educator, it has forced him to think deeply about his teaching practice. "I am interacting with students in new ways," said Buitenveld. "We are co-creating new possibilities for learning in a post-pandemic educational world."

The selection committee chose Buitenveld for this award because of his energy and excellence in his content area, but also because of his strong connections with both his students and his colleagues. He takes the time to really get to know his students and build an inclusive school climate.

The Capital Region ESD 113 Regional Teacher of the Year serves as one of nine candidates chosen by their respective ESDs, who will be considered for Washington State Teacher of the Year. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will select and announce the state winner this fall.


  • David Buitenveld teaches mathematics at Nisqually Middle School in North Thurston Public Schools.
  • He builds community in his classroom by showing up for them at their music, athletic, and other events.
  • He wants his students to improve by taking the time to explore, struggle and fail, and learn from failure.
  • He continually looks for ways to create a safe, trusting environment for his students.


  • "I regularly have parents asking for their student to be in Mr. Buitenveld's classroom. Parents share that their students have never felt as engaged in math as they have in his class. He embraces curiosity and supports students to have a love for inquisitiveness and asking 'why.'"
    — David Crane, Nisqually Middle School Principal
  • "[Buitenveld] actively seeks conversation and opportunity to collaborate, innovate, implement, study, and learn with others across all areas of inquiry and interest — often instilling that interest in others along the way."
    — Lindsey Canley, Nisqually Middle School Counselor

For more information

About Capital Region ESD 113

The purpose of Capital Region ESD 113 is to ensure excellent and equitable education for all students through service and collaboration. Led by Superintendent Dr. Dana Anderson, ESD 113 provides services for 44 school districts, one tribal compact school, and approved private schools in Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor, and Pacific counties. Our goal areas include closing gaps, growing people, influencing change, and eradicating racism.


Kristen Jaudon, APR
Senior Director
Communications, Government Relation & Public Engagement