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Congratulations to Finalists for National Teacher of the Year

On January 12, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced the finalists for the 2016 National Teacher of the Year award. The finalists are state teachers of the year from Washington, Connecticut, California, and Oklahoma.

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year – Gibbs-Bowling teaches social studies at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA. He received his bachelor’s degree in macroeconomics and 20th century American foreign policy and his master’s degree in teaching from the Evergreen State College (WA).


Jahana Hayes, 2016 Connecticut Teacher of the Year – Hayes teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, CT. She received her bachelor’s degree in history and social science from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Saint Joseph (CT).


Daniel Jocz, 2016 California Teacher of the Year – Jocz teaches social studies and Advanced Placement U.S. history at Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, CA. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in education at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Shawn Sheehan, 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year – Sheehan teaches special education math at Norman High School in Norman, OK. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Arizona State University and his master’s degree in special education from the University of Oklahoma.


AACTE is a member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, comprising representatives from 15 national education organizations that choose four finalists from state nominations, conduct personal interviews with the finalists, and ultimately select the national teacher of the year. The national teacher of the year will be announced this spring.

Congratulations to the four finalists and the colleges of education that contributed to their success!


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