- Cama-i, quyana tailuci!
- (Central Yup’ik)
- "Greetings, thank you for coming!"
2021 Alaska Teacher of the Year Nomination Period is OPEN!
Alaska has many outstanding teachers that are worthy of this award. The Alaska Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program gives us an exciting opportunity to identify Alaska’s best teachers! Any interested Alaska citizen may make nominations for the Alaska Teacher of the Year. The Alaska TOY Program is an excellent way to acknowledge the expertise, skills, accomplishments, and professionalism of teachers within your school. Nomination period closes on June 1, 2020. Click here to access the nomination form.
2020 Teacher of the Year – Amy Gallaway
Amy Gallaway started her Alaskan career in 1993 as an archeologist in Wrangell St-Elias National Park, but it was her seasonal job as a teacher’s aide in Glennallen School that changed her life by revealing her passion for education. She left archeology and earned her teacher certification from the University of Alaska in 1999 and took her first teaching job in Nuiqsut, Alaska, an Inupiaq village on the Colville River. It was there, through the passion of her students and their desire to build a strong community that she discovered civic education as her calling, a way to empower not just students but the whole community.
In 2002 Gallaway started working for the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District and currently works at West Valley High School in Fairbanks, Alaska where she teaches history, government, and career education to 9th-12th graders. Because she believes learning should be empowering, relevant and community oriented, she is a teacher mentor for the national We the People civics program which emphasizes critical thinking and culminates with a simulated congressional hearing with community judges. By instructing and implementing this program, she empowers both students and teachers by connecting them with mayors, legislators, and community leaders. Many of her students go beyond voting and now are leaders of their own, building a community dedicated to justice and opportunity.
Gallaway holds a bachelor’s of art degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s of art in teaching degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Program Coordinator
- Cecilia Miller
- (907) 465-8703
Recent Teachers of the Year
- 2019 - Danielle Riha
Alaska Native Cultural Charter School
- 2018 - Ben Walker,
Romig Middle School
- 2017 - James Harris,
Soldotna High School
- 2016 - Amy Jo Meiners,
Auke Bay and Riverbend Elementary Schools
- 2015 - John Bruce,
Romig Middle School
- 2014 - Denise Lisac,
Dillingham Elementary School
- 2013 - Christopher Benshoof,
Lathrop High School
All Teachers of the Year
- To view a list of Alaska's Teacher of the Year from 1963 to Present
About the National Teacher of the Year Program
The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The NTOY is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a National Selection Committee representing the major national education organizations. Each April, the NTOY is introduced to the American people by the President of the United States.
Participation in the NTOY Program is available through the State Teacher of the Year Program. Each year the 50 states, five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity name a state teacher of the year.
During the official year of recognition, the NTOY Program is released from classroom duties to travel nationally and internationally as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession. The teacher's home state and district ensure the teacher's salary and benefits. All scheduling and logistical arrangements for the National Teacher are coordinated through the NTOY Program. National Teachers average over 150 events each year before audiences ranging from several hundred to over ten thousand. Television, radio, and the print media readily utilize National Teachers to represent the voice of education. The National Teacher may be called upon to represent American educators to audiences in other nations. National Teachers are frequently requested to sit on national and state commissions and policy advising bodies.
Criteria for Selection of State Teacher of the Year
A candidate for Teacher of the Year:
- Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
- Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
- Deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
- Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
- Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way.
- Has five (5) or more years experience in the field of education.