“Welcome back to another day in paradise,” is how National Teacher of the Year award winner Jeff Charbonneau greets his students every day. For him, school is paradise – he says that the work is a reward of its own.
Yesterday, CEC’s President Christy Chambers, and Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy Deborah Ziegler attended the ceremony at the White House to celebrate this year’s Teacher of the Year. Attendees gathered in the Rose Garden to hear remarks by President Barack Obama as he honored Charbonneau, a science teacher from Zillah, Washington. Charbonneau reinvigorated the science curriculum in Washington State, where students now participate in everything from robotics competitions to drama productions because of the energy and passion Charbonneau brings to his work.
“Educators like Jeff and everyone up here today, they represent the very best of America – committed professionals who give themselves fully to the growth and development of our kids,” said President Obama during his remarks. “And with them at the front of the classroom and leading our schools, I am absolutely confident that our children are going to be prepared to meet the tests of our time and the tests of the future.”
State Teachers of the Year from all over the country attended the event and were celebrated during the ceremony – an homage to the teaching profession, and to public education. Included among the honorees was National Teacher of the Year finalist, and CEC member, Alex Lopes, a prekindergarten special education teacher who had been named Florida Teacher of the Year by his home state. Also among those honored yesterday was Shannon Shanning, special education teacher for seventh and eighth grade and the Maine Teacher of the Year. CEC congratulates both Lopes and Shanning on this wonderful honor, and applauds all that they’ve done for children and youth with disabilities.
CEC congratulates all of the teachers honored at the Teacher of the Year ceremony on their extraordinary work and contributions to the field of teaching and education.
“The teachers from across the Nation present at the Teacher of the Year Ceremony embody the best of the teaching profession,” says CEC President Christy Chambers. “And I recognize and commend each of them for the work that they do every day to ensure great outcomes for children.”