Help OnPoint Honor Our Community's Best Educators.

OnPoint Community Credit Union has always understood that investing in education is one of the best ways to build thriving communities. That's why we created the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education. This year, the program will award more than $50,000 to local teachers and their schools. Here's what selected teachers and schools will win:

  • Educator of the Year - Grades K-8 - One teacher representing grades K-8 will have his or her mortgage paid for one school year and receive a $2,500 donation to their school for resources and supplies.
  • Educator of the Year - Grades 9-12 - One teacher representing grades 9-12 will have his or her mortgage paid for one school year and receive a $2,500 donation to their school for resources and supplies.
  • Two Finalists - One each from grades K-8 & 9-12 - Finalists will each win a $2,500 cash award plus an additional $1,000 to their schools for resources and supplies.
  • Circle of Excellence - Six educators will each win a $1,000 cash award plus an additional $500 for their schools for resources and supplies.
  • Community Builder - Four schools will win $1,000 for a special project of their choice.

Campaign Updates:

The Educator of the Year winners have been announced!

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The Community Builder winners have been announced!

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Two prizes awarding excellence in education.

Educator of the Year

Winners Announced!

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Community Builder Award

Winners Announced!

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OnPoint Prize Timeline

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2018 Educators of the Year

Our esteemed Educators of the Year will each have their mortgages paid for one school year. Additionally, their schools each received a $2,500 donation for resources and supplies.

Lucas Houck - Corbett Middle School • Corbett School District
K-8 – Educator of the Year
Lucas Houck
Corbett Middle School • Corbett School District
6-8th Grade | Teaching for 9 years

Passion for teaching

In his own words: "The thing that drew me to education, and will keep me teaching for as long as I can, is the fact that every time I walk in the building I’m surrounded by 240 absolutely unique individuals—some of them funny, many of them challenging, all of them creative and clever and curious—that make me want to be the best version of myself, at least for 8 hours a day.  I can’t imagine there’s any other job in the world quite like it."

What others say:

"Lucas has the disposition and knowledge to build strong relationships that get kids involved and wanting to learn. Whether it’s using basketball to learn vocab, or pop songs to learn about the Fertile Crescent, Lucas provides a safe yet fun learning environment for students to take risks. I learn a great deal about how to talk to kids just by listening to him.”
— Peter Leone, Corbett Middle School colleague

“Mr. Houck is the glue that gives Corbett Middle School its identity. Every morning he makes our school a community.”
— Dr. Randy Trani, Ed.D, Superintendent, Corbett School District

Lucas in the classroom

Lucas's energy, creativity, and passion for his profession have impacted many of his students, parents and colleagues. His was commended for his keen ability to connect with students in a safe, relatable and humorous way. Lucas offers students numerous opportunities to showcase their curriculum comprehension, such as his use of a March Madness-style bracket on ancient China where students develop their own criteria and choose which topics get to move on to the next round. He is described as the school's cheerleader and leads the daily all-school morning meeting.

This year, Lucas began advising the Corbett Middle School Travel Club. During summer vacation, he will take students to France and Italy to see the artwork and Medieval and Renaissance sites they studied.

Janine Kirstein - Gresham High School • Gresham-Barlow Schools
9-12 – Educator of the Year
Janine Kirstein
Gresham High School • Gresham-Barlow Schools
Choir | Teaching for 37 years

Passion for teaching

In her own words: "I was majored in music performance at the University of Oregon. When I was asked to help out at a middle school with their choir I fell in love with the kids!  I wanted to make a difference in their lives. The feedback one receives from teaching is long lived. The feedback one gets from performing is fleeting! I am the most proud of setting a high bar of excellence for every student. It has provided them the opportunity to feel real success in their life and be proud of their accomplishments.  I truly feel this has helped to shape the people they are today."

Praise for Janine

“Janine's commanding presence, obvious love for music, and unwavering expectation for excellence manages to showcase the very best of Gresham High School.”
— Kevin M. Lambert, Choral Director, Music Instructor Mt. Hood Community College

“I had never been good at anything in my life, and because of Mrs. Kirstein, I found my passion and it gave me purpose. I received a full ride vocal scholarship to Portland State University, on Janine’s recommendation. I graduated from college and pursued a teaching degree and now direct a high school theatre program. Janine changed my life, and I know I owe a lot of my success to her willingness to invest in me.”
— Jeff Schroeder, former student, Theatre Director, Sam Barlow High School

Janine in the classroom

Janine’s passion shapes her students. Through music, she teaches them teamwork, perseverance, and critical thinking skills. In her 16 years as Choir Director at Gresham High School, Janine’s Concert Choir has been named Mt. Hood Conference Champions 12 times. The Gresham High School Concert Choir has placed in the top five at the OSAA State Choir Championships eight times since 2004. The choirs from GHS have won a National Heritage Festival every year since 2003. Gresham High School has won first place at every concert they have traveled for competition.