2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th-grade English teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Burbank, Calif., watches as President Barack Obama honors the 2012 National and State Teachers of the Year in the East Room of the White House, April 24, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On Tuesday, a special group of educators visited the White House: the 2012 State and National Teachers of the Year. The teachers honored that day are just a few of the many across America who, through their work every day, change lives forever. As President Obama said in his comments to these Teachers of the Year, he wouldn’t be in the White House today if it were not for the teachers who challenged him, pushed him, and inspired him – who taught him that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what your last name is, you can succeed.
As the President has repeatedly stated, teachers matter. That’s why he often tells young people that if they want to join a profession where they can make a difference every single day, become a teacher. Our Administration is proud to have supported states in undertaking comprehensive reforms to promote teacher effectiveness and advancement, because we know that an essential component of improving America’s education system is to ensure a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school. And that’s why President Obama and Secretary Duncan continue to propose the changes needed to strengthen the teaching profession at every stage, to better prepare, develop, support, and reward great teachers that will help America’s children excel. That includes listening and working in partnership with teachers across America to forge a vision for transforming the profession, built on shared responsibility and accountability for results, on-going collaboration and development, and greater individual and collective autonomy for teachers that will free them from teaching to the test and unleash learning in their classrooms.
President Obama welcomed Rebecca Mieliwocki to the White House from Burbank, California as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year. In their comments, both the President and Rebecca recognized that many teachers around the country are just like her - teachers that go the extra mile to make sure their students are challenged, nurtured, and successful. Providing all students an education that prepares them for college and a career is the surest path to a strong middle class and an American economy built to last.