The Council of Chief State School Officers leads the annual awards and two charter school teachers were honored.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools celebrates all teachers honored with the 2022 Teacher of the Year Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Two of the recipients are charter school teachers: Dominique Foster, Pre-K teacher at Blow Pierce Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. and Lorynn Guerrero, High School English Language Arts teacher at New America School – Las Cruces in New Mexico. CCSSO says “Each of these teachers represents a creative, tenacious passion for students and the teaching profession.”
Teacher Appreciation Week is a worthy time to honor teachers who are spectacular in their craft, though teachers often go under-appreciated for the majority of the year. Teachers do the hard, on-the-ground work of educating students throughout the year. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers had to overcome significant hurdles to effectively educate their students. Their service to our country should not be undervalued.
“I’m proud to be a preschool teacher. The success of my scholars is in large part because of the trust I’m given to do what’s best for my students. My children are powerful; they are leaders; they are brilliant and bold, but they are also 4 and 5 years old. We must empower teachers to advocate for their students as we learn about the unique needs of each community and student,” says Dominique Foster, D.C.’s Teacher of the Year.
New Mexico Teacher of the Year Lorynn Guerrero has a message for fellow teachers across the country. She says, “Thank you, Teachers! Being a teacher is hard, but with anything that is difficult, we know it is worth it. We must continue to elevate the teaching profession and help one another. At the end of the day, be proud of what you are building up in your students and in your classrooms.”
“The charter school teachers included in the 2022 Teacher of the Year cohort represent the importance of each step of the education pathway,” says Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Ms. Foster, a Pre-K teacher, sets her students up for success from a young age while Ms. Guerrero, a High School Teacher, inspires students to finish their high school education strong. Every teacher has the opportunity to change a student’s life forever.”
The National Alliance also celebrates Kurt Russell, the 2022 National Teacher of the Year Award, the highest honor. Russell has been a teacher for 25 years and is dedicated to advocating for classrooms that better reflect the students they serve. He teaches at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio. Teachers awarded with the 2022 State Teachers of the Year are provided a robust year-long professional development program by CCSSO, further growing the teachers’ skills.