Salt Lake City – June 29, 2023
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business and the leading provider of performance-based IT certification exams that accelerate academic and career opportunities for learners, today announced that Karen Coulombe, career and technical education (CTE) teacher at Lake Stevens High School in Washington state, has been named Certiport’s Educator of the Year. The award was announced at Certiport’s 2023 CERTIFIED Educator Conference, where educators gather to explore the full promise and potential of business and technology certification in the classroom.
Karen teaches both computer applications and computer science to first-year high school students in Lake Stevens. She is also a robotics advisor for the largest VRC Robotics team in Washington. Before becoming a teacher, Karen worked for more than a decade as a licensed avionics technician and airframe and powerplant mechanic for the U.S. Air Force, DynCorp Aerospace, and the Boeing Company. She was also selected for special assignments involving Air Force One and the B2 stealth bomber.
Throughout her career, Karen has been a passionate believer in continuing education and giving back to her community. She has participated in the U.S. Naval Academy’s SET SAIL, Certiport’s National CERTIFIED Conference, STEM Guitars, Space Camp for Educators, the Washington Alliance for Better Schools STEM Externship, and multiple nanotechnology conferences. Karen also serves on the teacher advisory board for the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, and as a member of two technical advisory committees.
Known for her industry expertise and no-nonsense approach in the classroom, Karen adeptly helps her students develop skills to succeed in the workforce. She is beloved by her students both past and present. "I’ve learned so much from her, and I don’t think I would’ve learned this much anywhere else," said former student Damian Frey. Current student Alexis Cheney agrees, "She’s always there next to us, whether we’re testing or studying. She’s supporting us, reminding us that we can accomplish anything."
Karen’s dedication helped her connect with her administration and community professionals as well. Dr. Mike Snow, Executive Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning, Lake Stevens School District said, "Karen is never satisfied with what is presented to her. She’s always looking to make things better. She truly does things for her kids. Every school needs a bunch of Karen Coulombes." Bill Hole, Lake Stevens resident and President, US Licensing Group, agrees. "I think the most important thing that Karen brings to the table is her passion. She genuinely has an interest in helping students make the most out of their time in her classroom, whether it’s developing a resumé or earning as many Microsoft certifications as possible."
Ms. Coulombe delivered a workshop session at CERTIFIED 2023 titled, "Get MORE Value from Your Certification Investments." In the workshop she explored ways educators and administrators can use certifications to meet a wider range of student needs and celebrate students’ learning and achievements.
"Our team was privileged to go to Washington and meet with Karen, her students, and the administrators from her school and state. Each person we talked to had been touched and empowered by Karen and her consistent dedication and mentorship," said Craig Bushman, General Manager, Certiport. "She’s an experienced educator who is constantly working to improve her community. Karen absolutely deserves this award."
Watch a video highlighting the 2023 Educator of the Year here. You can also hear about Karen’s passion for teaching and technology on the CERTIFIED Educator Podcast here.
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of over 15,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide. Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Certified Fundamentals certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe® Certified Professional certification program, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit certification program, the App Development with Swift certification program, the Unity Certified User certification program, the Communication Skills for Business certification program, the IC3 Digital Literacy certification, and the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification program. Certiport reliably delivers millions of tests each year throughout the secondary, post-secondary, workforce, and corporate technology markets in 148 countries and 26 languages worldwide. For more information, www.certiport.com or follow Certiport on Twitter at twitter.com/certiport.