Deadline for Teacher of the Year nominations at the end of the month

(From left to right) Kent Fielding, Eric Rush, Ben Walker and Karen Martin were the finalists for the 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year award. Ben Walker ended up being selected. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

In order to create the next generation of learners, innovators and leaders, Alaska needs hardworking and capable teachers. It takes excellent instructors who create classroom environments that inspire excitement and passion for learning. Alaskans can honor the work of creative educators in their communities by nominating them to be the next Teacher of the Year.

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The nomination deadline for the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the year is coming up at the end of the month.

Bob Williams with the State Department of Education says that the selected educator will compete with 53 other teachers from all U.S. states and territories in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

“We’re looking for teachers that are an expert in their field who guide students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence,” Williams said. “We’re looking for a teacher that collaborates with colleagues, students and families to create a school culture of respect and success. And we’re looking for a teacher that deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at-large.”

Ben Walker, a science teacher at Romig Middle School in Anchorage, was the 2018 Teacher of the Year. Williams says Teacher of the Year nominees come from all corners of the state. He encourages Alaskans to nominate great teachers in classrooms of all sizes for the national competition. It’s been more than 20 years since an Alaska teacher won the national spot. Elaine Griffith of Chiniak Elementary was the 1995 National Teacher of the Year.

“So, I guess that one thing I really want to stress is that every day, there are absolutely amazing things happening in classrooms across Alaska,” Williams said. “And also, to your listeners out there, never underestimate the power and influence that you have by thanking or nominating a teacher that’s made an influence in your life, or the life of your child.”

Nomination forms for the 2019 Alaska Teacher of the Year can be found on the Department of Educations’s website.  The deadline for submission is April 30th.