• Teacher Jennifer Hughes
  • Teacher Samantha Ebert

Gov. Jay Inslee named two Roosevelt Elementary teachers Washingtonians of the Day for April 2, 2021. Inslee visited Jennifer Hughes’ first grade classroom, where students were learning in person. In Samantha Ebert’s fifth grade classroom, he observed students learning fractions both in person and via Zoom.

“The innovative teaching that’s going on here is extraordinary,” said Gov. Inslee. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen education simultaneously of both students in the classroom and remotely. Being able to pull off that juggling act is remarkable.”

He added, “It is inspiring to me to see what teachers are doing. Their innovation, their hard work has been extraordinary throughout this.”

After touring Hughes and Ebert’s classrooms with Principal Megan Vickery, he met with Roosevelt staff members representing a variety of roles to learn about schools’ responses to the pandemic.

Hughes pointed to one of the successes of hybrid learning: smaller numbers of in-person students. “I haven’t had them in person very long, but I feel like I know these kids as learners almost better than I knew my class from last year just because we have fewer bodies in the room at the same time. It really gives them that dedicated support.”

“I see a lot of kids that are more excited to be here every day,” said Tracy Kinnan, a paraeducator.

Ebert also cited increased parent engagement as one of the successes over the past year.

Inslee asked Ebert’s advice to other educators. “You need to really look at your curriculum and adapt it. … You’re really got to take it and bring it to the kids’ level. You’ve really got to adapt the technology into a fun-filled lesson. And realize that in this situation, we move a little slower. And being OK with that,” she said.

“You can do great things if you put your mind to it,” said Inslee. “This school’s demonstrated that.”