2022 Classified School Employee of the Year

Nadine Owen

Nadine Owen leads with empathy, kindness, and understanding, which helps her relate to students experiencing trauma

TUMWATER – July 23, 2020 – Capital Region Educational Service District (ESD) 113 has named Nadine Owen as their 2022 Regional Classified School Employee of the Year. Owen is a Restorative Room Supervisor at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Olympia School District.

Owen was asked by her principal to create and operate her school's Restorative Room because of her deep commitment to trauma-informed restorative justice. She understands that all behavior presents itself for a reason and that we have to find the root of trauma before students have the ability to learn. She designed the Restorative Room to be a space where students could reset and quickly return back to the classroom ready to learn. Her program has reduced student suspensions and increased students' instructional time.

The selection committee chose Owen for this award because she is fully invested in her students and helps them discover the skills they need to become positively contributing citizens in our community.

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


  • Nadine Owen is a Restorative Room Supervisor at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Olympia School District.
  • She uses soft lighting and music, therapeutic videos, breathing exercises, and mindfulness strategies to help students learn to self-regulate.
  • She also leads racial equity training for staff.
  • She consistently volunteers for opportunities outside of her regular workday, including the building safety, equity, and behavioral health teams.
  • She is the assistant coach for the soccer and wrestling teams.


  • "Mrs. Owen is always willing to share her opinion in a way that is valued and insightful. Her work in the Restorative Room has helped to influence the culture of our school toward a higher level of respect and success of all learners."
    — Condee Wood, Principal, Thurgood Marshall Middle School
  • "Owen has a big heart. She cares deeply about students and goes out of her way to form trusting, proactive relationships with students and staff."
    — Cassie White, Teacher-Librarian, Thurgood Marshall Middle School
  • "Mrs. Owen was extremely patient and kind with me and let me take my time to cool off and take my own time to open up. She treated me with much respect and let me vent out my problems to her on my own will after a few times of being brought [to the Restorative Room]."
    Dakota Nomura, student

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