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AACTE Member Alumni are Finalist for Teacher of the Year


CCSO 2020 National Teacher of the Year Finalists

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have announced the four finalists for the 2020 National Teacher of the Year, all of whom are graduates of AACTE member institutions:

Chris Dier, 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, obtained a master of arts in teaching and a master of arts in educational administration from the University of New Orleans. While a Hollyhock Fellow at Stanford University, a program that brings educators together to create more inclusive classrooms, he developed an equity project to legitimize student language. A 10-year teaching veteran, Dier currently teaches world history and AP human geography at Chalmette High where he engages students by bringing aspects of their identity and culture to the forefront of their education. Learn more.

Leila Kubesch, the 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year, teaches Spanish and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at a high-need middle school. To help empower all youth, she fosters community partnerships, writes grants for innovative learning, and instills a mindset of dreaming big through large-scale service-learning projects. The work of her students has landed in museums around the country and won national recognition. Kubesch earned a master of science in educational leadership from Purdue University and a master of arts in secondary education from Ball State University. Learn more.

Linda Rost, the 2020 Montana Teacher of the Year, teaches science courses for grades 10-12 at Baker High School. She facilitated a successful science research program at Carter County High School in Ekalaka from 2007-2014 and started the program in Baker in 2014. In her 12-year career, 22 of her students have competed and several have placed at national or international science competitions. Rost obtained a master of education in curriculum and instruction and a master of science in science education from Montana State University – Bozeman. She is currently pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in curriculum and instruction – STEM from Texas Tech University. Learn more.

Tabatha Rosproy, the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year, teaches preschool at learning centers housed in a local retirement community and nursing home. Her classroom is an inter-generational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions. This program serves at-risk, special education and typically-developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. One year into the partnership, the program boasted the highest preschool literacy and math scores in the district. Rosproy holds a bachelor of arts in Unified early childhood from Southwestern College and is completing her masters of science in education (English as a Secondary or Other Language) at Fort Hays State University. Learn more.


The CCSSO National Teacher of the Year Program 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. This spring, the committee will select one of these four individuals as the 2020 National Teacher of Year and they will spend the next year traveling the country as an ambassador for education and an advocate for all teachers and students.

AACTE is a proud member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee and applauds each finalists for their commitment to the profession and meeting the needs of all students, as well as the AACTE member institutions that have contributed to their success.

For more information about the National Teacher of the Year Program, visit the National Teacher of the Year webpage.

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Katrina Norfleet

Content Strategist, AACTE