Juneau's teacher of the year has been named the top teacher in Alaska.
Harborview Elementary kindergarten-first grade teacher Vivian Montoya was presented the award by Gov. Tony Knowles today in Anchorage during the Association of Alaska School Boards convention.
"This is a thrill for me, for my family and for my colleagues. I'm only here because of the passionate and talented teachers around me," she said this morning from Anchorage. "I'm just so proud to represent Alaska. We have such a strong community and so many diverse gifts. I'm honored to take that to the body of teachers (around the state and nation)."
Montoya also thanked her students and their parents for making her classroom successful.
Montoya, a teacher in Juneau since 1983, was named local teacher of the year earlier this year. In August, she was named one of four finalists for the state award.
Please see our past story about Vivian Montoya
Harborview may have top teacher
October 19, 2001
The governor praised Montoya during a speech at the school board conference.
"Her outstanding reputation and many years of experience shows she has the qualities and abilities displayed by Alaska's best teachers who are working hard in their classrooms to better the lives of children," Knowles said.
Rhonda Gardner, an English teacher at Chugiak High School in Anchorage, was named the state's alternate teacher of the year.
As state teacher of the year, Montoya will be eligible for national teacher of the year honors. A teacher from Chiniak School, near Kodiak, was named national teacher of the year at a White House ceremony in 1995.
Montoya said she is looking forward to learning more about the duties of the teacher of the year. She said she hopes to stress the importance of building partnerships in schools among teachers, parents and students.
As the news trickled around the Harborview building this morning, the staff was in good spirits.
"Everybody gets a smile on their face and winks when her name is mentioned," Principal Bob Dye said.
And what did Montoya expect to do after the presentation? Work on report cards, she said.
Andrew Krueger can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org.