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Finalists Announced for 2018 National Teacher of the Year

by NSC Blog | Feb 7, 2018 | Announcements |

Four Exemplary Educators Nominated for Prestigious Education Award

The National Teacher of the Year Program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers,  identifies exceptional teachers nationwide, celebrates their effective work in and outside of the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to take part in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

Every year, exemplary teachers from each state, the U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year.

This year, the four National Teacher of the Year finalists include:

Amy T. Andersen, 2018 New Jersey Teacher of the Year

Amy is an American Sign Language teacher who takes her students beyond the classroom and reinforces that every voice has value. As a former teacher of the deaf for eight years, she promoted strength in diversity, celebrating students’ differences by organizing field trips to various schools in Boston where her students presented to hearing children about American Sign Language and deaf culture. She moved to New Jersey in 2004 to begin the American Sign Language program at Ocean City High School with 42 hearing students.

Kara Ball, 2018 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year

Kara uses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and project-based learning to transform her elementary students into the leaders of tomorrow. Each year, Kara brings sharks into her classroom for her students to conduct a shark dissection. She also organizes a school-wide Cardboard Arcade where students use the engineering design process to work in teams to imagine the possibilities of a single cardboard box.

Jonathan Juravich, 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Jonathan is an award-winning artist and art educator at Liberty Tree Elementary in Powell, Ohio. Jonathan challenges students to make the world a better place through art. As the Building Environment Team leader at Liberty Tree, Jonathan oversees school culture, partnerships, and service learning. As the district Elementary Visual Art Department Chair, he facilitates professional development, advances curriculum, and advocates for arts education best practices. Coaching middle school cross-country and track gives him opportunities to continue making connections with students and families outside of the classroom. 

Mandy Manning, 2018 Washington Teacher of the Year

Mandy teaches English and math to refugee and immigrant students in the Newcomer Center at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, where she is her students’ first teacher once they arrive in the U.S. Her career began as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Armenia. Mandy has also taught in Japan and in schools across the country, using her global prospective to infuse her classroom. As a National Board Certified Teacher, Mandy is an ambassador and mentor to her colleagues and is known for her collaborative style and determination to bring marginalized voices into decision-making.

Once crowned, the National Teacher of the year will spend the next year traveling the country to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers and students.

The National Student Clearinghouse values working with the more than 13,000 schools and school districts throughout the nation, and congratulates the 2018 finalists!

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“The four finalists for the 2018 National Teacher of the Year stand at the intersection of policy, advocacy and practice. They exemplify the highest levels of teaching, innovation, and leadership, and have demonstrated a commitment to students and public education. These State Teachers of the Year capture the spirit and passion of America’s teachers. Any of them would do an outstanding job as the profession’s ambassador.”

National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee