Dr. Paul Harman, principal of Centennial Elementary School, has been named the 2019 L.E. Wesche Outstanding Educator by Northwest Nazarene University. The award, which recognizes professionals who make a positive impact in the field of education that extends beyond the classroom, was presented at a private reception on April 17.
Harman, who earned his Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University, was a classroom teacher for 30 years before becoming a principal in 2006.
This award is named in honor of Dr. Lilburn Wesche, NNU faculty emeritus, who graduated from NNC in 1951. During his 30-year career, he was a professor, head of the education department, director of teacher education, director of graduate studies, interim academic dean and chair of the division of professional studies.
He was also Harman’s champion in getting him into education.
“The reason this award is such a big deal for me is that Dr. Wesche is the one who got me into teaching. I didn’t look like a teacher in college but he saw past all that,” Harman said. “I have had the opportunity to communicate with Dr. Wesche a couple of times to let him know how much I appreciated his confidence in me.”
Harman said the biggest lesson he has learned over his more than 42 years in education is that every child has the potential for greatness.
“Our job is to recognize it, cultivate it, and help students achieve whatever that greatness is,” he said. “The kid that challenges you every day may be the one who thinks out of the box and finds the cure for cancer. We need to give them the tools they need to figure it out and then help toward their greatness.”