On Thursday, May 19, Patrice Siefert received the 2022 Cottage Grove Educator of the Year award from the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. According to a press release, Siefert, an English learner (EL) teacher at Pine Hill Elementary School, is known for creating a bridge between the school and the surrounding community by reaching out to all Pine Hill families. She especially reaches out to families who are traditionally underserved or underrepresented to offer additional resources to help students succeed. She is also a master of Language Line and routinely helps teachers use this service to connect with families that speak other languages through the use of interpreters during conferences and meetings. When it comes to Pine Hill students, Siefert is known for making Project Expo a banner event during the school year. She coordinates with students in grades 2-5 in the creation, presentation and display of their projects and even offers after-school time to help with the research and development of their projects. Students then proudly display their work during a gallery walk in the hallways that Siefert helps to organize.