Celebrating the Teachers of the Year

Duncan speaks to the State Teachers of the Year

Secretary Duncan joined the State and National Teachers of the Year at the Council of State School Officers gala dinner. Official Department of Education photo by Leslie Williams.

“A teacher is the key to a child reaching their potential,” President Obama said this week during a White House ceremony to recognize the State Teachers of the Year and to present the 2012 National Teacher of the Year Award to Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th grade teacher English teacher from Burbank, California.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for teachers like these who challenged me, and pushed me, and put up with me, and inspired me — and set me straight when they had to,” President Obama said.  Watch the video.

The White House ceremony is just one of many activities the National State Teachers of the Year will participate in while in Washington this week. Last night Secretary Duncan joined the teachers at the Council of State School Officers gala dinner for the State and National Teachers of the Year. “Our country needs great teachers like you,” he told the teachers.

Today, the teachers will visit the Department of Education to discuss ways to elevate the teaching profession and ED’s RESPECT project.

The RESPECT Project (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching), is a national conversation led by active classroom teachers working temporarily for the Department to help provide input on the administration’s 2013 budget proposal, and on the broader effort to reform teaching. Learn more here.

Everyone here at the Department of Education would like to congratulate Rebecca Mieliwocki, all of the State Teachers of the Year, and thank all teachers for their dedication to one of our country’s most important professions.