By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- Former Willamette University softball standout Nicole Wallace ('10) has been chosen as the California League of High Schools' Region 4 Educator of the Year. Wallace teaches at El Camino High School in South San Francisco.
Wallace, who has taught at El Camino for five years, was chosen from nine finalists who represented schools in seven counties in Region 4. She teaches advancement via individual determination (AVID) college prep courses to seniors and also teaches modern world history and advanced placement world history to sophomores. As a regional award winner, Wallace is now eligible to be selected as the California League of Schools' Educator of the Year for the State of California.
Teachers, administrators, counselors and other certified personnel were eligible to be named Regional Educator of the Year. One winner was selected in each of 11 regions based on leadership characteristics, high school awareness and exemplary characteristics. Winners were selected by a panel including members of the California League of Schools and representatives from area businesses.
"I am extremely honored to receive the Educator of the Year award for Region 4," Wallace said. "Teaching and mentoring has always been a passion of mine, so for my peers (along with) individuals outside of education to recognize the dedication and heart that I put into my job is extremely validating. It's awesome to have organizations like the California League of Schools that partner with businesses in our community to recognize educators for making a difference for the students."
In four years as a softball player at Willamette, Wallace achieved a .284 career batting average with 83 runs scored and 63 RBIs. She is tied for second all-time at Willamette with 147 games played and is first with 146 games started. She played every position except pitcher at some point in her career.
She helped the Bearcats achieve a four-year record of 102-46 (.689), setting a school record in the process by being on teams that won 102 games. During her career, Willamette was 75-37 (.670) in the Northwest Conference.
"We are very proud of Nicole," Willamette Head Softball Coach Damian Williams said. "During her time here at Willamette, she was a great leader who wanted the best for all of our players. It is exciting to see that she is doing that in her career, also."
Wallace earned All-Northwest Conference honors in each of her final three years with the Bearcats. She was named Second Team All-NWC in 2008 and 2009. She was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2010.
She is listed on many of Willamette's all-time lists for single season and career performances. In the single season records, she is tied for first with 100% success on stolen bases in 2009 (15 of 15). She tied for first with 16 hit by pitches in 2010 and tied for fifth with 10 sacrifice bunts in 2007. She tied for 10th all-time by playing and starting all 40 games in 2010. She also tied for 10th with two sacrifice flies in 2008.
In addition to games played and games started, Wallace is listed in a significant number of additional career records. She is second in hit by pitches with 34 and is third in fielding chances (847) and defensive putouts (705). She is fourth in stolen base percentage (.905, 38 of 42). Her 16 double plays on defense are tied for sixth all-time.
She is tied for seventh in walks (44) and sacrifice flies (4), and is eighth in runs scored with 83. She is tied for eighth with 63 RBIs. She is listed 10th in stolen bases with 38 and is tied for 10th with 16 sacrifice bunts.