Sutter Middle's Krikourian named Teacher of the Year

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
-A +A

Sutter Middle School’s Debbie Krikourian was recently selected as the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Gateway California Teacher of the Year. Krikourian is the third teacher in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District to receive this title, making Folsom Cordova the district with the most wins in California. The first two teachers to be honored were Dale Waldo and Paul Schiele.

Krikourian accepted the honor on Jan. 24 in front of nearly 1,000 attendees, including teachers from across the state. PLTW President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram presented the award.

Krikourian became a part of PLTW 10 years ago and has been a master teacher for eight years.

When asked how she felt about the honor, she said she was very humbled.

“It’s humbling because it’s people I work with and my students that nominated me,” she said. “All of us that teach it, do it because we believe in it and what it does for the kids. Its just an honor to be able to implement this with my students.”

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S., through pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. In California, more than 1,100 schools offer PLTW programs to students in grades K-12.

“We are grateful to our teachers for their commitment to inspiring and empowering their students with the knowledge and transportable skills needed to thrive in our rapidly changing economy,” Bertram said. “As California’s PLTW Gateway Teacher of the Year, Debbie serves as a true model PLTW teacher.”

Through the PLTW Gateway Krikourian teaches, students develop strong technical knowledge and skills – such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration – and learn to apply these skills to solve hands-on, real-world problems like cleaning up an oil spill or solving a fictional crime. Krikourian said she enjoys teaching PLTW because of the connections it allows her students to have with industry.

“Curriculum rotates through education as trends, but PLTW is different because it is not a trend,” she said. “Students take skills learned in science, technology, engineering and math and use them with industry tools to find solutions for problems.”

For more information, go to