Buffalo educator travels to Washington as teacher of the year

(Washington D.C.) "Welcome to the White House!" President Obama greeted 56 finalists for 2016's Teacher of the Year this afternoon. Teachers from all 50 states and its unincorporated territories stood behind the President as he presented the crystal apple award. "I figure it's the last time I'm going to do this, so I wanted to invite as many of you as possible," he told a crowd that included hundreds of other educators that attended to cheer on their fellow teachers. "There are fewer moments that make me prouder than this event," he said, comparing it to getting to meet artists, athletes, and heads of state. The crowd agreed, as it was a joyful presentation with a lot of cheers and laughs. Before the President was introduced, the teachers introduced one another by chanting and clapping their colleague's home states as if it were a beauty pageant. Wyoming's Amy Pierson, a fourth grade teacher at Cloud Peak Elementary in Johnson County School District #1, was present this year. She was named Wyoming’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Pierson began her career as a kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary in Buffalo. She has been in her present position teaching third through fifth grade at Cloud Peak Elementary since 2008. "Amy's just an ultimate professional," said Cloud Peak Principal Craig Anderson. "She's a lifelong learner, and she knows that she has to continue to grow herself in order to help the students grow." [image: teach.png] This year's national winner, history teacher Jahana Hayes, spoke before President Obama and told the audience that no one can do it alone. "It truly does take a village," she said, speaking on the shortage of teachers around the country and the need for dedicated educators in every community. "I know what it feels like to struggle to find sunlight and constantly be met with concrete barriers," said Ms. Hayes. "I see myself in every student, and carry my own experiences as a reminder that as a teacher, I have to be better." The national teacher may be called upon to represent American educators to audiences in other nations. The selected teachers are frequently requested to sit on national and state commissions and policy advising bodies. It's part of the effort to recruit more talented teachers like Pierson to our nation's classrooms. "No one chooses this profession because they're promised a big payday or a short work day," the President said. "Teachers do what they do because they love our kids." #county17 #dally #news