Cathy Raycraft, teacher, wins KOMO award

  • Tuesday, March 18, 2014 7:10pm
  • News

Even after 42 years of teaching, 23 of those teaching second-graders in Sequim, every day is still a party in Cathy Raycraft’s classroom: Streamers hang from the ceilings, a tray of birthday cupcakes sits in the back corner, waiting to be devoured, and Raycraft is unfailingly cheerful.

"She does a lot of things for us," said student Damon Little, 7. "She sings, plays the piano and helps us learn."

If her previous record is any indication, Little will be singing his teacher’s praises for decades to come. Just this month, Raycraft, who has taught at Greywolf Elementary since it opened in 1991, said she is attending two weddings of former students – a true testament to her lasting impression. She also receives updates, letters and e-mails from former students regularly.

The love is not one-way, however – Raycraft, a Seattle native, said she remembers all her students, just as they remember her.

"My first class ever was in 1967, 5-year-olds in California," Raycraft recalled. "Two years ago I was in California … and a 44-year-old man, a former student, came up to me and said ‘Do you remember me?’ I said, ‘Oh Bruce, how could I forget you?’"

It is that dedication that convinced Greywolf Elementary parent Andrea

Dietzman, whose child was in Raycraft’s class last year, to nominate her for a "Teacher of the Week" award, sponsored by KOMO AM-100 radio and Washington State Employees Credit Union.

"I got a call on the last day of school saying I won $500 for my classroom," Raycraft laughed. "I thought someone was playing a joke on me!"

Along with the grant, Raycraft was treated to a Mariners game on Sept. 7, where she got to sit in the KOMO suite with the 24 other winners who were chosen from more than 700 nominees. There, Raycraft and the others were treated to a filet mignon and salmon lunch and an incomparable view of the Mariners playing the New York Yankees.

"I felt very pampered, very special," Raycraft said. "I was just thrilled, so honored."

Unsurprisingly, Raycraft isn’t using all the money for her own classroom – she said she has already spent a portion of the check to buy reading materials for all four second-grade classes at Greywolf Elementary.

"It is just a joy to get up and go to work in the morning, even after all these years," Raycraft said. "(My students) are incredibly ready to learn … I’ve been very, very blessed."

Some of Raycraft’s students may argue that they are the blessed ones, but one thing is for sure – they won’t be forgetting her anytime soon.

"My mom has lots of stories about Mrs. Raycraft," said current student Lauryn Cameron, whose mother also was taught by Raycraft. "She still remembers her and I’ll still remember her."

More in News

Primary Election: Incumbents post strong numbers in initial ballot counts

Each of the three incumbents in Legislative District 24 posted strong numbers… Continue reading

Sequim schools set staged opening for September

With administrators and local health leaders seeking a hybrid model to open… Continue reading

Police blotter — Aug. 5, 2020

The weekly police blotter includes incidents that occurred in the City of… Continue reading

Dr. Allison Unthank was appointed as Clallam County’s public health officer in September 2018. Submitted photo
Clallam’s health officer faces pandemic with empathy, facts

Since she was 11, Dr. Allison Berry Unthank knew she was meant… Continue reading

VHOCC to host in-person volunteer orientation

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC), a local nonprofit that serves communities… Continue reading

Sequim city councilors agreed in late July to extend a moratorium for six months on manufactured home developments so city staff and the planning commission could better analyze the Sequim Municipal Code’s language on private streets. Discussions about private streets in manufactured home developments came up late last year during the binding site plan application for Lavender Meadows, a 217-site manufactured home park at the intersection of North Sequim Avenue and Port Williams Road. It was approved earlier this year. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
City extends moratorium on manufactured homes

Two temporary positions added for increased services need

Employees at Sequim Costco helped save a woman with a defibrillator on Aug. 1 after she fainted outside the business. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Costco employees save woman with defibrillator

Fire District commends live-saving efforts

Autrey, Olympic Medical Center clinic manager, lauded for COIVD-19 response

Aleisha Autrey, Olympic Medical Center’s walk-in clinics manager, was presented a leadership… Continue reading

Library system seeking feedback for programs, services

The North Olympic Library System (NOLS) is looking for feedback to help… Continue reading

Most Read