HRVHS Dave Case award

Hood River Valley High School teacher Dave Case with student Lily Tomlinson during class in this 2019 photo. 

Hood River Valley High School teacher Dave Case is up for an award from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), the premier international honors and scholarship program. Case was named one of 20 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year Award 2020 finalists.

These awards are presented to exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding and noteworthy commitment to preparing their students for success inside and outside of the classroom, according to a press release.

According to Claes Nobel, grand nephew of Alfred Nobel, the program embraces his family’s tradition of recognizing world class minds and supports NSHSS’ vision to help students grow and have a positive impact on the global community.

“It’s an honor to get this award. It’s a reflection of the hard work everyone in our district does, and the value placed on education by our community,” Case said. “My wife (English teacher Chauna Ramsey) and I have spent our entire teaching careers in Hood River, and any success we have is because of the support and trust placed in us by the people of this county. I think anyone who has been in my classroom will tell you I love my job, and that’s what makes me a successful teacher. I love the job because of the people — the students, my co-workers, the community at large. That means any award I get is really an award for everyone,” Case said in an email last week. He has taught at HRVHS for 28 years.

Teachers, principals, counselors, and coaches are recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars for excellence in and out of the classroom, stated the press release. “They are role models who consistently demonstrate stellar leadership,” stated the press release.

“2020 has been a year of challenges for countless people, and none more so than our country’s educators. Just like their students, they’ve been stretched to the limit in order to provide excellence in education, coaching, counseling, and productive instruction to students who are, in many cases, frustrated, anxious, de-motivated, and even angry and depressed.

“Each year it is difficult to select our winners out of hundreds of compelling applications. This year’s candidates raised the bar to a new level we never could have imagined. These 20 individuals represent the finest in education, coaching, counseling, and support services and, each in their own way, have contributed to motivation, role modeling, and achievement,” said NSHSS Co-founder James Lewis. “We are honored to underscore their contributions.”

To be eligible for Educators of the Year, candidates must be an NSHSS Educator of Distinction and must currently be working within a public or private high school in the United States or abroad. NSHSS selects one $5,000 award winner and several $1,000 finalists in each of five categories: Principal of the Year, Counselor of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Band/Music Leader of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

NSHSS is the premier international honors and scholarship program co-founded by Claes Nobel, the senior member of the Nobel Prize family, and James Lewis. NSHSS offers a lifetime of benefits, pairing the highest performing students worldwide with high school and college scholarships, events, connections, internships, and career opportunities that begin in high school and carry on through college and careers. For more information, visit

Case has taught everything from Driver Ed to freshman English and AP U.S. History, while also coaching several sports. He also served as an advisor to the school paper and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. His favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students then seeing them grow into happy, contributing members of the community. He was named 2019 Regional Teacher of the Year by Oregon Department of Education.

Case added that, “Teaching during Comprehensive Distance Learning has been rough. I feel like a first-year teacher. I’ve been really proud of my students. These circumstances have forced kids to actively pursue learning, and most of them are doing that,” he said, praising district IT director Tod Hilstad and staff. “Students are overcoming obstacles and finding creative solutions to problems so that they can get the education they need. Hopefully, this experience will create a unique level of resilience in this generation. I’ve also been impressed in the way teachers have stepped up to these challenges, particularly young teachers. They’ve really led the way in helping older teachers like me figure out how to navigate the online-teaching landscape.”