Arlington High School (AHS) English Teacher, Ben Ballew, has been named the Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD) Teacher of the Year. Ballew is a National Board Certified English Language Arts (ELA) Teacher who teaches incoming ninth graders at AHS. Over the past three years, the ninth grade failure rate has been cut nearly in half. He is also the Associated Student Body Advisor who inspires AHS students to achieve more than they ever imagined possible, both in the classroom and in the Arlington community.
“Ben is a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion on the AHS campus,” said AHS Principal, Duane Fish. “In addition to helping us build our new Social Justice senior-level ELA course, Ben has also played a significant role this year in the formation of our Diversity Council. This student-led team is comprised of students of varying abilities, backgrounds and heritage who are driven to help us increase inclusion and equity at AHS.”
"Reviewing Ben's Teacher of the Year materials, I was impressed around his work leading equity and social justice with the students of Arlington High School,” said David Forsythe, NWESD Assistant Superintendent, Operations. “He clearly has made an impact in the lives of the students and community in Arlington."
“Ben is a gifted educator who engages and inspires students on a daily basis,” said Arlington Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chrys Sweeting. “He is dedicated to removing barriers and increasing access for all students. We are proud of his efforts at Arlington High School and in our school district.”
Ballew will go to Olympia in mid-September for a retreat with the nominees from the other educational service districts. The state Teacher of the Year will be announced at that retreat.