WASHOUGAL — ESD 112 named Washougal High School Culinary Arts teacher Brenda Hitchins the Regional Teacher of the Year. A career and technical education teacher, Hitchins focuses on culinary arts and baking. She has 30 years of experience in the cooking business, previously teaching and working in Las Vegas. “I hope that we continue to give kids opportunities, especially through CTE,” Hitchins said in a news release. She added she hopes students know they “really don’t need a four-year degree, they can get a two-year degree, and they can get trades and learn on the job.” Hitchins has most recently been working with Washougal School District’s Culinary Services Department and Clark College on a career launch program. As Regional Teacher of the Year, Hitchins will have access to professional development opportunities from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and will be presented with a plaque later this year at an ESD 112 board meeting.