Jerad Koepp teaches, supports, and advocates for Native students and families while working to improve equity in his school district
TUMWATER – July 23, 2020 – Capital Region Educational Service District (ESD) 113 has named Jerad Koepp (Wukchumni) as their 2022 Regional Teacher of the Year. Koepp is a Native Student Program Specialist in North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS).
Koepp seeks to increase Native presence, representation, and visibility in his school district's curriculum and in the community. He is the author of the district's land acknowledgment, with input from the Nisqually Tribe. The NTPS Board of Directors unanimously approved the language and protocol. He works tirelessly to ensure that Native students and communities see themselves portrayed accurately and fairly in our education system.
The selection committee chose Koepp for this award because of his dedication to educational justice and the impact of his actions on the lives of his students.
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.
- Jerad Koepp is a Native Student Program Specialist in North Thurston Public Schools.
- He is affiliated with the Wukchumni Tribe.
- He partnered with the Nisqually Tribe to write the land acknowledgment used across the district.
- He helps school leaders take actionable steps to ensure Indigenous perspectives are embedded in their instruction and curriculum.
- He continually brings in guest speakers from across the state and country to share their knowledge and experience with Native issues.
- "Mr. Koepp is an outstanding educator who has paved the way in our district for developing a Native Student Program that has led to State recognition."
— Kate Frazier, NTPS Director of Equity and Languages
- "Jerad’s work goes far beyond advocacy and support for students. He seeks to create lasting institutional change that will benefit American Indian and Alaska Native students for years to come, and sets a high bar for meaningful social justice work in the future."
— Lindsey Canley, Nisqually Middle School Counselor
- "[Mr. Koepp] wants to help make a change at the schools, and in the community to help others feel more accepted, and acknowledged."
— Aubrey Watts, student
- "Mr. Koepp kept reaching out to me to come to the Native Students portable during recesses and I started going and he started teaching me different things about myself, and my culture that I had never been taught before. I was nervous because I didn’t know who he was, or what being Native American was. But little did I know that it was the beginning of what I believe as now to be a lifelong mentorship and friendship."
— Ella Sherin, 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
Communications, Government Relation & Public Engagement