Kansas Early Childhood Educator Named 2020 National Teacher of the Year

Logo for the National Teacher of the Year program

Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2020) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that Tabatha Rosproy, an early childhood educator from Winfield, Kansas, is the 2020 National Teacher of the Year.

Rosproy is the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. Her inclusive classroom is housed in Cumbernauld Village, a retirement community and nursing home. The inter-generational program serves special education and typically developing preschoolers, and facilitates daily interactions with residents, who serve as “grandparent” volunteers.

Teaching and learning has radically changed this year, as educators must figure out innovative ways to teach and support their students outside the classroom during the COVID pandemic. Rosproy aided that work in Kansas, serving as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile the state’s continuous learning guidance, even as she continues teaching her own pre-school students.

“I am so honored to have been chosen to represent the incredible educators in our nation as National Teacher of the Year,” Rosproy said. “I hope to bring a voice to the important role early childhood education plays in our society, but also to the powerful role of social-emotional education at all age levels. Now more than ever, we are being reminded that our children must have the ability to regulate their emotions, to connect, and to think critically about the world around them. Together we can help them develop these essential skills.” 

CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program identifies exceptional teachers across the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.  

As the 2020 National Teacher of the Year (NTOY), Rosproy will spend a year representing educators and serving as an ambassador for students and teachers across the nation. During her year as NTOY, Rosproy hopes to highlight the importance of quality early childhood education for all, with an emphasis on socioemotional health.

“America’s teachers have undertaken heroic efforts to continue serving their students this spring through remote learning,” said CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller. “Tabatha Rosproy embodies the spirit demonstrated by so many teachers, caring for her students and leading the Kansas educators who helped to develop the state’s continuity of learning plan. I congratulate her and look forward to her leadership on behalf of educators at this critical time.”

Every year, exemplary teachers from each state, the U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year. From that group, the National Teacher of the Year is chosen by a selection committee composed of 17 renowned education organizations, which collectively represent more than 7 million educators, parents, and students. 

The selection committee said in a statement: “Tabatha embodies hope and inspiration, emanating a "You Can Do It" attitude. She is impressively thoughtful and reflective about her work with our youngest students and bridging the worlds of her community's oldest and youngest members. Tabatha exemplifies excellence in how she collaborates with her community, innovates within her classroom, and eagerly builds her skills of social awareness, communication, and reflection. Tabatha offers the vital skills, perspective, and leadership necessary to serve as the 2020 National Teacher of the Year.”

“We are so proud of Tabatha and excited to have her represent the state of Kansas,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson. “She is a remarkable educator whose passion for the profession is reflected daily in the eyes of her young students and in the members of the retirement community who volunteer in her classroom. Her ability to bridge this generational gap in a single classroom is perhaps one of the richest experiences we can offer our students and our communities. Early childhood education is critical to the lifelong success of students and Tabatha represents the excellence Kansas education and its teachers are known for.”

The NTOY Program is sponsored by Google for Education, Verizon Business, Pearson, Voya Financial, Educational Testing Service, and Education First, with in-kind support from TED-Ed, the College Football Playoff Foundation, and Space Camp.

The finalists for the 2020 National Teacher of the Year are Chris Dier (Louisiana), Leila Kubesch (Ohio) and Linda Rost (Montana.) You can read more about the finalists here.

Learn more about Tabatha Rosproy, including her biography and photos, here


The Council of Chief State School Officers (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. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public. 

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