KANSAS TEACHER OF THE YEAR NATIONAL FINALIST
Topeka—Joshua (Josh) Anderson, the 2007 Kansas Teacher of the Year, was today named as one of four finalists for the 2007 National Teacher of the Year. The announcement for the national honor was made by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the ING Foundation, is a project of CCSSO.
Anderson, a speech, debate, and language arts teacher at Olathe Northwest High School, Olathe, was named Kansas Teacher of the Year in mid-November. He is the fourth Kansas Teacher of the Year in 6 years to be named a finalist for the program.
Anderson was surprised and appreciative of the recognition. “This honor puts the spotlight on the source of my nomination—the accomplishments of my students which tell a story of dedication and a passion for learning; and the Olathe school district which has provided me with so many opportunities.”
Anderson has been a member of the English Department at Olathe Northwest High School since the building opened in 2003. He started the debate and forensics program at Olathe Northwest High School and today that program is one of the most successful in the country. His teams are ranked first in the state and second in the nation.
In a letter of nomination from Anderson’s building principal, Dr. Gwen Poss, Anderson is lauded as a teacher leader. “Mr. Anderson’s intelligence, willingness to take risks, and global view of the potential that exists within the staff and students at Olathe Northwest High School has enabled him to embrace opportunities that were offered here to nurture the potential that other members of the staff possess. Josh’s work ethic and capacity to challenge colleagues to better themselves have been a major factor in the development of the culture of success that exists at Olathe Northwest High School.”
Kansas Interim Commissioner of Education Dale M. Dennis said; “I am so proud that Kansas Teacher of the Year Josh Anderson has been included as a national finalist. This additional honor indicates that our dedicated teachers rise to the top as caring, committed educators who do their work diligently every day.”
Josh feels that part of his job as a teacher is to introduce the community to his students and his students to the community. He serves on the Executive Committee of East Kansas District of the National Forensics League and is responsible for working with community leaders and citizens to organize a variety of speech and debate tournaments that bring together students and adults. He also works with his students to develop presentations for civic groups. For his students, it is often their first exposure to community organizations dedicated to service and leadership. This is their opportunity to discover the value of lifelong learning and community development.
The other finalists for 2007 National Teacher of the Year are Justin Minkel, a second grade teacher at Jones Elementary School, Springdale, Arkansas; Tamra A. Tiong, a special education teacher (grades K-2) at Dulce Elementary School, Dulce, New Mexico; and Andrea Peterson, a music teacher (grades 1-6) at Monte Cristo Elementary School, Granite Falls, Washington.
A panel of educators, representing the 15 largest national education organizations, chose the finalists from the 2007 teachers of the year representing the 50 states, four U. S. territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Activity, and will select the 2007 National Teacher of the Year. Recognition by President George W. Bush of the national honoree and the state representatives will take place the week of April 23, 2007.
The organizations represented on the National Selection Committee are: American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Association for Childhood Education International, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Association of Teacher Educators, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Congress of Parents and Teachers, National Education Association, National Middle Schools Association, National School Boards Association, and National School Public Relations Association.
For a list of 2007 state teachers of the year, please visit www.ntoy.org. To view the national applications of the finalists, click on, click here.
For more information, contact Karla Denny, Coordinator of Communications & Recognition Programs.