Three Rivers Teacher is Educator of the Year

Maria Leistad Teaches Second Grade

Article Date: Oct 14, 2022

During a surprise school wide assembly Friday, Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Steven Cook named Maria Leistad, second grade teacher at Three Rivers School, the Educator of the Year for Bend-La Pine Schools. Leistad is entering her ninth year as a teacher at the school and is known for her kindness, creativity and bringing nature into the classroom.

“To know Maria Leistad is to know a human who loves her students deeply, carries their burdens and cares for each one unconditionally,” said Three Rivers Principal Tim Broadbent said. “Her classroom is a magical place and her students enter each day knowing that something wonderful will happen.”

Leistad was one of seven educator finalists considered for the award including: Samantha Bushnell from Pine Ridge Elementary School, Heather Campbell from High Desert Middle School, Mike Huff from Mountain View High School, Keri Jacobi from Bear Creek Elementary School, Katie Lyons from Cascade Middle School and Jennifer Neil from La Pine Middle School.

Mid Oregon Credit Union sponsored the award and Leistad received $500 to use for her classroom.