The family of Marilyn Prince, a teacher and longtime resident of Alta who died in 2008, is pleased to announce first-year teacher Katelin Oliver is the winner of the 2009 Marilyn Prince Award. Oliver taught seventh and eighth grades at the Alta Dutch Flat Elementary School. The award features a cash prize of $500. With the help of the Placer Office of Education, the Prince family mailed requests for applications to nearly 100 first-year teachers throughout Placer County, from kindergarten through high school, and received 11 applications for the award. Each teacher answered questions about their first-year teaching experiences and successes, and plans for the next year. Katelin Oliver told of her students’ participation in a mock election evaluating U.S. presidential candidates and California ballot propositions, and what they learned from their efforts. She also described her work with an individual student, and the rewards both student and teacher received. Finally, Oliver mentioned her volunteer coaching work with the school JV and varsity basketball teams, demonstrating an understanding that teaching may extend well beyond the classroom. She will be teaching at the Bowman Elementary School next year. One particularly important thing Oliver taught her students was critical evaluation of election Web sites, to determine content accuracy and approach. Media literacy, content evaluation, and critical thinking skills are increasingly essential for all students. Marilyn Prince taught school for over 20 years, mostly in the primary grades at the Colfax Elementary School, and also at the Bowman Elementary School. She loved children and she loved teaching. Her family established the award for a new first-year teacher in Placer County to thank and encourage those who choose this important profession. The family values all teachers who create strong communities and build a promising future through their work with their students. Find further information about the award online at www.prince- ricker.net/marilyn-prince-award.htm.