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Tigard-Tualatins Hansen is 2006 Teacher of the Year

The American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association/AAA choose Hansen for the honor

The American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association/AAA choose Hansen for the honor

TIGARD - A Tigard-Tualatin School District driver-education teacher has been named the 2006 Teacher of the Year by the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and the American Automobile Association.

Richard Hansen represented Oregon at the traffic safety association's annual conference held earlier this month in Kalamazoo, Mich.

The award recognizes integrity and excellence in teaching, according to Shelley Snow with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Hansen, who is entering his 29th year of teaching, thanked dozens of people who have helped him in his efforts not only to educate young drivers but to teach them important life skills, Snow said.

'If you have the seen the cell phone commercial that shows a caller backed by a tremendous network of people helping to make a successful call, then you will understand why these people are important to me and deserve more than my thanks,' Hansen said.

Hansen, who has been involved in driver education activities at the local, state, regional and national levels for the past eight years, participated in a vigorous review process before being selected for the honor.

ODOT Transportation Safety Administrator Troy E. Costales and Driver Education Program Manager John L. Harvey nominated Hansen to represent the state.

His nomination packet included a portfolio, a 10-minute videotape of a classroom lesson, a 10-minute videotape of an in-car lesson and written essays.

In addition, Hansen met with the selection committee for an interview during the conference.

'Rich is always willing to go the extra mile to help students, whether it is in alternative education, anatomy/physiology, auto mechanics, philosophy or driver education classes,' Costales and Harvey wrote in their nomination letter.

'At the local and state level, he has built a strong network of dedicated professionals and empowered them to share a high drive for academic excellence. He has created a sense of community within driver- and traffic-safety education that is based on consensus of purposes, high standards of behavior and academic performance.'

In addition, Costales and Harvey said, 'Rich has brought honor and recognition to the Tigard-Tualatin School District through his hard work and leadership. When something needs to be accomplished, Rich Hansen is the person who always gets the successful outcome.'

Hansen is the current president of the Oregon Traffic Safety Education Association.