A Puyallup High School teacher was surprised with a statewide award at a staff meeting Monday morning.
Michelle Heeb was chosen out of about 50 teachers nominated for the Masonic Lodge Outstanding Educator Award in Washington state.
“I’m amazed,” she said at the meeting. “I didn’t think I would be a winner.”
Heeb, 50, has taught Spanish at PHS for 26 years. She was inspired by a teacher she had at Rogers High School, where she graduated in 1985.
“I had the world’s best Spanish teacher — and she was a Rainbow Girl, too,” Heeb said.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a youth service organization created by the Masonic Lodge. Heeb was a Rainbow Girl growing up and is now active in the Masonic Lodge as an adult advisor and member of the Order of Eastern Star.
Washington Masonic Charities Coordinator Kurt Miller oversees the award committee and said Heeb’s involvement with the PHS Emergency Preparedness Committee really stood out. She helps schedule all safety drills, including lahar drills, which sees all 1,800 PHS students walk up to South Hill.
“It’s a passion of mine to try to make this campus safe in this day and age,” Heeb said.
The Masonic Lodge awards the Outstanding Educator Award annually. Heeb won $500 with the award on behalf of The Grand Lodge of Washington.