Oregon Substitute Teacher of the Year

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Oregon Substitute Teacher of the Year: 2015


Joyce with Senator Ron Wyden Joyce Gifford, pictured with Senator Ron Wyden,  was recognized as the best substitute teacher in the state in large part because of the many small ways that she influences the lives of students for the better. Each year she promises her seventh-graders that she will be their teacher at least a few days a year, as long as they remain in OC, until she celebrates with them at graduation.


When asked why she’s not a full-time teacher, Gifford replies, “I am! I’m a full-time teacher on call.” Her chosen profession gives her the flexibility to spend more time with her children, grandchildren and elderly parents, and help her husband, William, run smALLFLAGs.com, a home-based web store.


“I enjoy the variety of subjects and students that come with each day of substitute teaching,” she added.


Joyce Gifford, the 2015 Oregon Substitute Teacher of the Year, was “enthusiastically endorsed” by the Oregon City School District.

“OSTA is obviously not the only group to recognize Joyce’s wonderful teaching ability,” said OSTA Representative Sally Sue Cellers. “In addition, she has been a positive force (as a board member) with the Oregon Substitute Teachers Association and an active citizen in the Oregon City area.”


Gifford volunteers for the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce, Clackamas Repertory Theater, Oregon Substitute Teachers Association and The City of Oregon City. As a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee member helping devise the master plan for Glen Oak Park, she hopes that the high school will have the opportunity for an outdoor classroom. She attends nearly every local school band performance, choir concert, theater performance and the annual Homecoming Parade.


She also encourages her students whom she sees working at local grocery stores or restaurants, and always makes sure to say hello to them when she runs into them at the library. A formerly shy student has told Gifford that without her helping with a transfer, the student never would have received a diploma.


“Her acknowledgment of my influence on her success was heartwarming,” Gifford said, adding she was honored to even have been considered as Oregon’s substitute of the year.