Nevada home to "National Teacher of the Year"

Nevada home to "National Teacher of the Year"
Gov. Steve Sisolak honors 2021 National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey. Image: Handout

LAS VEGAS–Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on Thursday honored Clark County educator Juliana Urtubey, who was named the 2021 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Sisolak proclaimed May 6 as a day to honor her for her achievements.

Juliana Urtubey. Image courtesy CCSSO.

Urtubey was named the 2021 Nevada Teacher of the Year by CCSSO and was one of four finalists for the national award. She expressed gratitude for the award.

“The privilege and honor to represent our nation’s brilliant students, diverse families, and resilient educators brings me unending joy,” Urtubey said. “I am strongly committed to leveraging our collective power to build educational spaces where all children may thrive. By centering the strengths of our children and families, we create more just systems for all students, valuing their diverse cultural, linguistic, cognitive, and experiential gifts.”

Urtubey, known as “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and the community through gardens and murals, has been an educator for 11 years. She is a co-teacher in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade special education settings at Kermit R. Booker, Sr. Innovative Elementary School in Las Vegas. She also serves as an instructional strategist developing supports to meet students’ differing academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs. 

As the National Teacher of the Year, Urtubey will serve as an ambassador for students and teachers across the nation. According to a statement on her award, she will advocate for a “‘joyful and just education’ for all students, one that is inclusive and celebratory of all students’ identities, families and communities.”

CCSSO officials said Urtubey is the first Latina educator to earn the award since at least 2005, and the first national winner from Nevada.