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News Brief

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Iowa High School English Teacher Named National Teacher of the Year at White House Ceremony

Contact:PaulĀ Ferraripaulf@ccsso.org202-312-6870One Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001

Sarah Brown Wessling was named the 2010 National Teacher of the Year by President Obama at a White House Ceremony on April 29. Wessling was recognized for her passion, her innovative focus on her learners, and the equal passion she devotes to mentoring others new to the profession. Also recognized at this event were the 2010 state teachers of the year.

Wessling is a tenth through twelfth grade English teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa. As the 60th National Teacher of the Year, she will devote herself fulltime for a year as a national and international spokesperson for education beginning June 1, 2010. The National Teacher of the Year Program focuses public attention on teaching excellence and is the oldest and most prestigious awards program for teachers in the country.

"As a nation we are demanding higher standards and more accountability for educator and student performance. To succeed in meeting these demands, we need to create systems that provide ongoing and continuous support to our workforce as they work towards individualizing the learning experience for our next generation of students," said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit. "Sarah Wessling exemplifies what we want in the profession and is also a mentor to educators in her field. She and her cohort of state teachers of the year are the outstanding individuals we need to listen to and learn from in order to transform our education system."

A committee of representatives from 15 national education organizations chooses the National Teacher of the Year from those selected as the state teachers of the year. State teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the states. Applications are then submitted to CCSSO, where the national selection committee reviews the data on each state candidate and selects four finalists. The selection committee then personally interviews each finalist before naming the National Teacher of the Year. Additional information on the National Teacher of the Year Program is available by contacting Jon Quam at or by clicking here.