OnPoint Community Credit Union names 2015 Educators of the Year

Three local teachers will each have their mortgages paid in recognition for the award

PORTLAND, OR (May 20, 2015) — OnPoint Community Credit Union today announced that Kevin Topolski was named K–8 Educator of the Year and Samuel Ormson and Eric Smedsrud, job share co-applicants, were jointly named 9–12 Educator of the Year. The top prize includes each teacher having his mortgage paid for a portion of the school year plus $1,000 for each school for resources and supplies.

The annual OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education recognizes exceptional teachers throughout Oregon and southwest Washington for their ability to encourage creativity, inspire enthusiasm for learning, and positively impact their students. Since 2010, hundreds of teachers have been nominated by their peers, students, parents and communities for the OnPoint Prize.

K-8 Educator of the Year

Kevin Topolski

6th grade – English

Ron Russell Middle School

Portland, Oregon

Topolski was recognized for creating an environment of engaged students built on mutual trust, empowerment and critical thinking. An inspirational leader among peers, Topolski’s exemplary methods have been recognized in his appointment to the district-wide instructional improvement team in which he has modeled successful classroom techniques to more than 50 peers and administrators in four years. Topolski’s leadership has contributed to the marked increase in 6th grade reading scores at Ron Russell Middle School, as reported by the Oregon Department of Education in 2014. Topolski will receive his mortgage paid for one school year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus $1,000 for his school to be used for resources and supplies.

9-12 Educator of the Year

Samuel Ormson and Eric Smedsrud, job share co-applicants

9-12th grades/Band and Orchestra

Mountain View High School

Vancouver, WA

Since 2005, Ormson and Smedsrud have worked tirelessly to advance the instrumental music program at Mountain View High School. Ormson and Smedsrud have been lauded for their focus on student experience, group achievement and individual growth. Their model, which focuses on educating students in successful team building, habit-setting and conflict resolution, has produced increased enrollment in the music program to 18% of the Mountain View student body.  Several of the program’s ensembles have been awarded prestigious performance invitations including the Band of America National Concert Band Invitational and Washington State Music Educators State Conference (2014). Ormson and Smedsrud will each receive their mortgages paid for six months by OnPoint Community Credit Union, plus $1,000 for their school to be used for resources and supplies.

“As a credit union founded by teachers more than 80 years ago, OnPoint has always understood that a strong education makes a difference in the lives of students and in the communities where we live,” said OnPoint Community Credit Union’s President and CEO, Rob Stuart. “The OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education is our opportunity to recognize the creativity and dedication of teachers who make a difference in our lives.”

The following 2015 finalists will each receive $500 for themselves and $500 for their schools for resources and supplies:

Darryl Coppedge – K-8 Finalist

Ardenwald Elementary School

Milwaukie, Oregon

3rd grade

Gretchen Kraig-Turner – 9-12 Finalist

Jefferson High School

Portland, Oregon

9-12th grades/Science

More information about the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education can be found at

About Onpoint Community Credit Union

OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 283,000 members and with assets of $3.6 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 13 Oregon (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.

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