Education Innovator award

Karla Delgado, 3rd grade teacher at Blossom Gulch Elementary, received the Education Innovator award from the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce last month.

COOS BAY — The Coos Bay School District has an “Innovative Educator.” Third grade teacher Karla Delgado received the title from the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce at the end of January.

The Blossom Gulch teacher said she was nominated by the elementary school vice principal, who threw Delgado’s name into consideration without her knowledge.

Education Innovator award

Karla Delgado, 3rd grade teacher at Blossom Gulch Elementary, received the Education Innovator award from Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce last month, something she called "an honor."

“Being given this award is an honor because I love what I do and I love coming to school every single day,” Delgado said. “This is my 22nd year teaching, something I have an even bigger heart for because Blossom Gulch holds the hallways I walked through as a child.”

In fact, when Delgado left to first teach in Portland, she never thought she would return to Coos Bay.

“It’s so great to give back to the community that raised me,” she said. “When I returned 18 years ago, some of the same teachers I had as a child were still here and it was wonderful to work with those teachers you looked up to.”

But teaching wasn’t ever something Delgado expected to do. When she went off to college, her major was actually pre-law. That all changed when she worked for the Boys and Girls Club one summer and they were short a T-ball coach for the Blossom Gulch kindergarten boys’ team.

“I fell in love with working with small children, hearing them say ‘wow’ when they learned to bat and catch,” she said. “So when I went back to school I changed my major to elementary education, which is a huge change. I had wanted to defend certain things but just realized my heart needed to be with kids.”

During her two decades teaching, Delgado has been both disheartened and proud. She said choosing to be a teacher has been fulfilling overall.

“I’m excited about the district’s new schools and where we’re going,” she said. “It’s a good district and we’re doing great things.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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