When it comes to education policy discussions, it’s easy to focus on what’s wrong with our system.   We know that taxpayers spend too much money on public K-12 education and get too fewer results in return. Teachers unions consistently fight reforms that would give children new options and reward the best teachers. When you focus too much on the unions (which seem to think of the public education system as a jobs programs for those with teaching degrees, not a vehicle for educating children), it’s easy to forget just how many dedicated, hard working teachers there are committed to giving students the best education possible.

That’s why it’s great that an organization like the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) has created an award to recognize the best teacher of the year.  They have just announced that the inaugural National Teacher of the Year Award will go to Jeremiah Young, a science teacher from Beaufort High School in South Carolina. The award will be given this week in a ceremony in Washington D.C.

I hope that this award inspires other teachers to remain committed to the goal of providing all students a high quality education. And it is a good reminder for all of us about the importance of recognizing and attracting the best talent into the classroom, because no matter what education system exists, we will always need enthusiastic, dedicated professionals to help teach the next generation.