World Educator Award

Nominate a World Affairs Council’s 2018-2019 World Educator!

To nominate a World Educator, simply send us an email with the name of your nominee, some background on their work and roles, and your reason for nominating them. Send nominations via email to

Each year, the World Affairs Council honors a local educator who has made exceptional contributions in broadening the global horizons of students and colleagues. The recipient of the World Educator Award is an outstanding K-12 teacher who promotes international understanding in the classroom and contributes to the development of resources so that other educators and community members are better prepared to meet a major challenge of our time. Our children’s lives will be defined by the world within and beyond our borders; a World Affairs Council World Educator is someone who works to ensure that their students’ learning is reflective of that reality.

Whether you are a teacher, and have a colleague who has been a leader in promoting international understanding at your school–or are a student and have a teacher who has expanded your worldview– or are a parent who is grateful for the role a teacher has played in shaping your child’s perspective–we look forward to reviewing your nominations!

Once a nomination is received, nominees will be asked to submit a resume and provide a minimum of one letter of support from a colleague, parent, student, or administrator. Stronger applications are typically supported by 2-3 letters of support. Applications will be reviewed by former World Educator recipients and World Affairs Council staff and board members.

For questions about the nomination process, please email Ryan Hauck at

Congratulations Jeff Blair, the World Affairs Council’s 2017-2018 World Educator!

Jeff Blair has taughtunnamed upper and middle school Humanities at The Northwest School since 1989. Jeff has been a teacher-leader in developing key programs at Northwest, including helping transform the school’s approaches to professional development, environmental sustainability, and global education. Among other passions, Jeff is enthusiastic about focusing on the African continent in his courses, and he has presented at statewide conferences to advocate for integrating Africa into social studies curriculum.

Jeff currently teaches a world geography and literature course to eighth graders. This course reflects Jeff’s passionate interest in global education, a commitment that has been recognized by multiple awards and opportunities. For example, Jeff was a founding leader of his school’s exchange trip to France, a trip he has co-led five times, most recently in 2017.

In 2010, Jeff received a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching to do educational research in South Africa. This opportunity took him to Cape Town, where he worked both with pre-service teachers at the University of Cape Town and with active teachers in a wide-range of area schools, especially on lesson planning and student-centered pedagogy. According to Jeff, a highlight of that experience was organizing a multi-school environmental service project that served as a model for continued collaboration among student environmental clubs

At Northwest, Jeff helped found both the student Environmental Interest Group and the school’s Sustainability Committee, of which he is still an active member. In 2014, Jeff’s interest in environmental sustainability took him to Japan, when he was selected to participate in the Fulbright Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development.

Jeff also helped found a school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia, which serves highly capable students from impoverished backgrounds, just celebrated its first graduating class and has joined The Northwest’s School’s network of international partner schools. Jeff was the school’s first teacher when he stayed in Addis Ababa for four months in 2013. He has returned to Ethiopia twice since and is hoping to take a group of students there in 2018. Currently, Jeff is working on a project, “The Globe Reads,” to link students at Northwest with peers in classrooms around the world to discuss shared readings.


World Educator Award Recipients:

2016 – Eileen Hynes, Lake and Park School
2015 – Patrick Grant, University Prep
2014 – Brandon Frederick, Bonney Lake High School
2013 – Noah Zeichner, Chief Sealth International High School
2012 – Hands for a Bridge, Roosevelt High School
2011 – Lisa Clarke, Kent-Meridian High School, Kent
2010 – Erin Lynch, Nathan Hale High School, Seattle
2009 – Ben Wheeler, Explorer West, Seattle
2008 – Bob Mazelow, Lakeside School, Seattle
2007 – Ryan Hauck, Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Marysville
2006 – David White-Espin, Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center, Seattle
2005 – Betty Lau, Franklin High School, Seattle
2004 – Wendy Ewbank, Seattle Girls’ School, Seattle
2003 – Patricia Burleson, Island View Elementary School, Anacortes
2002 – Mary Ellen Cardella, Office of Minority Affairs High School, Seattle
2000 – Sue Pike, Foster High School, Tukwila
1999 – Gretchen Coe & Anne Fitzpatrick, Mercer Middle School, Seattle
1998 – Mary Hammond Bernson, Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle
1997 – Keith Forest, Decatur High School, Federal Way

Click here to see photos from the celebration of our 2010 World Citizen Ezra Teshome and our 2010 World Educator Erin Lynch on November 19, 2010 with keynote speaker, Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams!