Tabatha Rosproy, the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year, is one of four finalists for the 2020 National Teacher of the Year, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced Thursday, Jan. 16.
The four finalists are:
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Tabatha on being named a finalist,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “Kansas is involved in a collaborative effort to shape our state’s future direction for early childhood education, and Tabatha’s Cumbernauld Little Vikes program is a great example of the innovative approaches being taken across Kansas to teach our young students.”
The National Teacher of the Year Program, run by CCSSO, identifies exceptional teachers nationwide, celebrates their effective work in and outside of the classroom, amplifies their voices and empowers them to take part in policy discussions at the state and national levels.
One of the four finalists will be named the 2020 National Teacher of the Year this spring by the 2020 National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. The selected educator will spend the next year traveling the country as an ambassador for education and an advocate for all teachers and students.
Every year, exemplary teachers from states, U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year. The 2020 cohort includes 55 educators.
From that group, the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee selects four finalists based on a specific set of criteria. The National Teacher of the Year is then selected after rigorous in-person interviews with the selection committee, which includes representatives from 17 renowned education and community organizations, which collectively represent millions of educators, parents and students.
Each year, since 1952, the National Teacher of the Year has been recognized by the White House in the spring.
Rosproy was announced as the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year in November 2019. She began her career as an early childhood teacher at the Heartland Programs Head Start in Salina, Salina USD 305, in 2010. She became an early childhood special education teacher at the Winfield Early Learning Center in 2014.
She has helped her preschool students thrive as part of a partnership with older residents. Her classroom is housed in Cumbernauld Village, a retirement community and nursing home in Winfield. The program is an intergenerational one that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions.
The program serves at-risk, special education and typically developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. Community members visit Rosproy’s classroom daily to serve as grandparent volunteers, and the preschoolers are in the nursing home daily.
One year into the partnership, the program boasted the highest preschool literacy and math scores in the district and helped build new social capital in the community.
Rosproy received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood unified, with a minor in English, in 2009 from Southwestern College. She is currently working on obtaining her master’s degree in education, English as a secondary or other language, from Fort Hays State University.
Rosproy is involved in several leadership roles and professional organizations, and she has received several awards and recognition, including Winfield USD 465 Rookie Teacher of the Year in 2015. She is active on her building leadership team, the co-head teacher of WELC and serves as co-president of Winfield National Education Association. She is also active at the state level with the Kansas National Education Association.
Rosproy is the first early childhood educator to be named a finalist since 1991, according to CCSSO. Past finalists from Kansas include Joshua Anderson, 2007 (speech and debate, language arts, Olathe Northwest High School, Olathe USD 233); Ronald Poplau, 2006 (community service, Shawnee Mission High School, Shawnee Mission USD 512); Keil Heilman, 2004 (social studies, museum studies, Monticello Trails Middle School, De Soto USD 232); Tracy Taylor Callard, 2002 (elementary, Wichita Collegiate School); Darla Mallein, 1998 (American history, Emporia Middle School, Emporia USD 253). Marjorie French, a former math teacher at Topeka High School, Topeka USD 501, won the national title in 1962.
CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues.
For more information about the Kansas Teacher of the Year Award, visit https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/Communications-and-Recognition-Programs/Kansas-Teacher-of-the-Year-Awards.
For more information about the National Teacher of the Year Program, visit https://ccsso.org/national-teacher-of-the-year.
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