State of Alaska
Teacher of the Year

“A teacher affects eternity” --Henry Adams


The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the ING Foundation and is a project of the Chief Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with People to People Ambassador Programs.

2016 Alaska Teacher of the Year Available for Speaking Engagements

Are you looking for a speaker who is passionate about education? A teacher who is dedicated to student learning while inspiring and encouraging fellow staff? If so, let me suggest Amy Jo Meiners, the 2016 Alaska Teacher of the Year.

Amy Jo has taught for 26 years, nine in her current position teaching extended learning, a gifted and talented program, at Auke Bay Elementary and Riverbend Elementary in the Juneau School District. She has also taught primary, multiage, and intermediate grades. She is a positive role model who inspires curiosity and lifelong learning by knowing each and every one of her students’ needs and challenges, making learning meaningful and providing skills that will transfer to real life. Born and raised in Juneau, she considers community service and family relationships to be important components in education. She is concerned about teacher retention and hopes to give voice to the positive stories in Alaskan education. Her motto for education is: “Share the hope. Find the joy”

Contact Amy Jo: 907-796-5275
Email: amyjo.meiners@juneauschools.org
Twitter: Alaska_TOY

Criteria for Selection of State Teacher of the Year

A candidate for Teacher of the Year should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher in any state-approved or accredited school; pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, who is planning to continue in an active teaching status. The candidate should:

  • inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;
  • have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
  • play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school;
  • be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule; and
  • be a certified teacher through the state of Alaska.

2017 Application Packet

2016 Teacher of the Year

  • Amy Jo Meiners, extended learning at Auke Bay Elementary and Riverbend Elementary in the Juneau School District.

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.

Recent Teachers of the Year

  • 2015 - John Bruce, Romig Middle School
  • 2014 - Denise Lisac, Dillingham Elementary School
  • 2013 - Christopher Benshoof, Lathrop High School
  • 2012 - Cara Heitz, Cordova Jr./Sr. High School

Past Teachers of the Year

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