From staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Ann Marie Corgill, the 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year, has been named one of four finalists for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year Award, the Council of Chief State School Officers has announced.
The National Teacher of the Year Program, run by CCSSO, identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels. The 2015 National Teacher of the Year will be named in April and will then spend a year traveling the nation to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers.
“We are excited about Ann Marie Corgill being named a National Teacher of the Year finalist,” said State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice. “She is to be commended for this outstanding accomplishment of achieving national recognition for the positive impact she has had on teachers, students, administrators and the nation.”
Corgill joins Hawaii Teacher of the Year Catherine Caine, Indiana Teacher of the Year Kathy Nimmer and Texas Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples as a finalist for the nation’s top teaching honor. Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said few people can change a child’s life like a great teacher.
“Teachers rise to more professional challenges than ever in the classroom, but their impact extends far beyond the school walls,” Minnich said. “A teacher can inspire curiosity and confidence that lifts a student for life.”
A National Board Certified teacher, Corgill has been teaching fourth-grade students at Cherokee Bend Elementary School since 2012. Prior to that, she taught English for three years at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School and also worked in the New York Public School System.
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as a finalist for National Teacher of the Year,” Corgill said. “It will be a joy and a pleasure to represent the educators and children of our state and nation—to be an ambassador for them, to celebrate them, to advocate for them, and to share their stories of success and tireless efforts in the classrooms of our country.”
Corgill, who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama, originally set out to design and build homes. She opted instead, however, to create and construct firm foundations for students to stand on as they learn, grow and become successful contributing members of society.
“For the past 20 years and over 500 students later, I’ve been designing authentic and engaging curriculum, lessons, and projects for my students,” she said. “I am an architect. I am a teacher. I am a builder of minds and hearts.”
Presented by Voya, the National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of CCSSO in partnership with the People to People Ambassador Programs.
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 then selected by a panel representing 15 renowned education organizations, which collectively represent more than seven million educators.
The recipient of this honor is scheduled to be recognized by President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony this spring.
Hewitt-Trussville High School exceptional education teacher Carrie Jones was a semifinalist for Alabama Teacher of the Year.