The announcement was made during the first student assembly of the year, where Rigney was surprised with the honor.
“If it wasn’t for you all, my peers, my students, I wouldn’t be here. So thank you so much. I’m overwhelmed right now,” Rigney said, according to the district.
In addition to the award, Mid Oregon Credit Union presented Rigney with a $500 check to use at the school.
Rigney joined the district in 2019 as bilingual educational assistant at Bear Creek Elementary School. She moved to R.E. Jewell in 2021 as student instruction/Title 1 educational assistant.
“Araceli supports the students and staff of Jewell with a smile and a wave,” R.E. Jewell Principal Jesse Rasmussen said in a statement. “As a bilingual staff member, she uses her incredible patience and calming presence to support our Dual Immersion Spanish program with small-group instruction and push-in support. Our school would not be the same without Araceli and we are all blessed to work with her.”
North Star Elementary kindergarten teacher Kate Tibbitts was named Educator of the Year on Tuesday. Administrator of the Year will be announced Thursday.