Merle  Saunders

Auto Technology, Vale High School, Vale, OR
Total years as a classroom teacher: 25

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  • Treasure Valley Community College Continuing Education
  • Boise State University Continuing Education
  • Seattle Pacific University Continuing Education
  • Idaho State University Continuing Education
  • Oregon State University Continuing Education
  • Eastern Oregon University Continuing Education
  • University of Puget Sound Continuing Education
  • Arizona Automotive Institute Graduate Degree 1977

Teaching Experience

  • 1980-present Grades 9-12 Automotive Technology, Vale High School, Vale, OR

Special Recognition

  • 2002 Radio Shack National Teacher of the Year
  • 2001 Milken Family Foundation National Educator
  • 1995 Oregon Automotive Parts Association Person of the Year
  • 1994, 1995 Ford National Instructor of the Year
  • 1993 Educator of the Year Vale Chamber of Commerce
  • 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Award
  • 1992, 1997, 1998 American Automobile Association (AAA) Presidents Cup
  • 1991, 1992, 1993 National Valvoline Automotive Teacher of the Year
  • 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 Oregon Valvoline Automotive Teacher of the Year
  • Merle teaches his students and leads by example, the importance of
    good work habits, work ethics, integrity, and other qualities employers
    are looking for.
  • His goal is to be the best consistent teacher he can be by
    constantly evaluating, reevaluating, and improving his teaching style
    and methods.


“He is a master automotive technician who has the patience
and gentle, prodding demeanor to nudge all his students to do their
best. Whether it is a student new to the auto mechanics or more advanced
students competing in and winning state and national trouble-shooting
contests, all his students benefit from his knowledge and experience .”

Albert J. Butler, Superintendent

“Mr. Saunders is always pepped up and ready to go at the beginning of
class. There is never any time wasted. I love coming to hear him teach
because he is always excited about the subject he teaches and when the
teacher is excited, it makes the students excited to learn.”

Katie Patterson, Student