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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

National Teacher of the Year and TOTY Finalists Honored at the White House.

On Monday afternoon, Dr. Jill Biden, an educator for more than 30 years, hosted a reception honoring the 2013 National Teacher of the Year and State Teachers of the Year at the Vice President’s Residence.  This is the fifth year in a row that Dr. Biden will host this group of accomplished teachers.

Today, at the White House, President Obama paid homage in the Rose Garden of the White House.
President Obama with 2013 Teacher of the Year finalists. Photo/CD Brown.
State finalist I'Asha Warfield has been a teacher for 13 years.  Ms. Warfield teaches 7th grade at Oakland, CA’s Unified School District and paid homage to her colleagues in her district back home. 
“We are grounded by 53 incredible teachers", Warfield boasted.
That’s something that most people may not recognize.

“You mostly hear negative things about the town that I love", said Warfield. "For a teacher from Oakland to get this award just proves there is great teaching happening in Oakland, California.”
How do her students feel about their teacher receiving such an honor?
“My students are going around calling themselves the California students of the year.”

Warfield, the only African American teacher nominated with this year’s class of teachers told us, “I think I was surprised when I noticed it, because I know there is great teaching within our community.”  
Proud of her students at Unified Warfield gives them high praise.
“My students are incredible”, Warfield explained. “They can debate, they can support with proof, and they know who they are.”

 Jeffrey Charbonneau was this year’s National teacher of the year.  Said Charbonneau, “Being a teacher is one of the greatest jobs in the world.”
 “I would ask those that are out there and in school right now to consider joining me in my ranks and become a teacher as well."
 
National Teacher of the Year, Jeffrey Charbonneau, shares a laugh
with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Photo/CD Brown.
Charbonneau praised President Obama for being a "regular guy" and extending a warm courtesy. 
“He was absolutely fantastic to me and my family, but most of what we discussed was the importance of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and how that will evolve the landscape of the future.”
Charbonneau¸ an educator of twelve years, is a Zillah High School science teacher and regional STEM innovator.
When asked how he's dealt with the hard task of disciplining students over the years, Charbonneau responded, “The more students are involved in your classroom, the less discipline problems you have.”
Admitting he doesn’t have all the answers, Charbonneau believes that making school work more challenging is key.

2013 Teacher of the Year award.  Photo/CD Brown
 “If I make my classes a little harder, more rigorous, those students will be challenged, they won’t be bored in the classroom and all of a sudden the discipline problems seem to disappear.”

Citing “having positive relationships with students” is key, Charbonneau says he hasn’t had to write a referral in about eleven years.

In the District of Columbia, DC Prep won finalist honors.  Their motto, “Every child will be prepared academically and socially for a successful future” was reiterated when DC Prep teacher Julia king gave her remarks. 
“It’s an honor to celebrate my students, and it’s proof that with hard work [and] excellent instruction, all students can succeed.”
Teachers have a warm spot in the heart and mind of President Obama who celebrated the winners of the 2013 Science Fair for students on yesterday at the White House.

Said the president during today’s ceremony, “People who know me know I’ve just got a soft spot for teachers, partly [because] my sister is a teacher, [and] my mom was a teacher for a while.  And if there’s one thing we can’t say enough to our nation’s educators, it is "thank you."  So today, we’ve got a chance to do that - to show our extraordinary appreciation for the difference that they make in the lives of our children and the lives of our nation.”

Also present at the event was Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing the major national education organizations organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Photos.

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