The UW–Madison School of Education’s Early Career Teaching Institute will host a public keynote address by Juliana Urtubey, the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, on Tuesday, July 26, at 4 p.m.
The Council on Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) 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, and amplifies their voices.
As the organization’s 2021 National Teacher of the Year, Urtubey has spent a year representing educators and serving as an ambassador for students and teachers across the nation. She advocates for a “joyful and just education” for all students, one that is inclusive and celebratory of all students’ identities, families, and communities.
A Board Certified educator with 12 years of experience, Urtubey teaches at Kermit R. Booker, Sr. Innovative Elementary School in Las Vegas, where she serves as a co-teacher in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade special education settings and as an instructional strategist developing supports to meet students’ differing academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs.
Known as “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and unify the community through murals and gardens, Urtubey has helped raise funds for garden programs at two Las Vegas schools. In one program, the garden was tended to by the student “Garden Gnomies” club and offered opportunities for innovative student learning and intergenerational learning and connections to the wider community.
The 2021 selection committee said in a statement: “Juliana is a dedicated educator who has fostered growth in her students and a greater connection with her community through her innovative school garden program. She aims to lift up others, a true example of a teacher with an asset mindset who aims to help people see their own strengths.”
Urtubey is the first Latinx CCSSO National Teacher of the Year since at least 2005 and the first from Nevada.
The Early Career Teaching Institute, a program of the School of Education’s office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE), is a one-week, in-person, intensive learning experience for pre-K-12 educators who are School of Education alumni. This year’s institute takes place July 25–29.