‘I’m humbled, I’m overjoyed’: Kansas preschool educator named National Teacher of the Year

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WINFIELD, Kan. (KSNT) – A Kansas preschool teacher has been named National Teacher of the Year for 2020, according to the state education office.

In this Nov. 8, 2019 photo, Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year, is shown with her preschool students in Winfield, Kansas. The preschool is housed at Cumbernauld Village, a retirement community and nursing home, and provides daily interaction between students and residents, who serve as “grandparent” volunteers in Rosproy’s class. (Courtesy Photo/Tabatha Rosproy)

Tabatha Rosproy was one of four finalists for the Council of Chief States School Officer’s award in January. The Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson announced her as the official national winner during a Thursday morning Zoom briefing.

“I’m humbled, I’m overjoyed, I still cant believe I’ve been selected for this,” Rosproy said. “I hope that I can pay it forward to all of our teachers and all of our students.”

Rosproy teaches preschool in a nursing home in Winfield. During her time there she has helped the program grow within the community and let the kids interact with residents of the retirement village, according to CCSSO.

Rosproy has helped the program build new social capital in the community while also boasting the highest preschool literacy and math scores in the district.”

Council of Chief States School Officers

Rosproy accepted her award over Zoom around 8:30 a.m. She is the first preschool teacher ever selected for the title.

“This is one of the most incredible things that has happened to me,” Rosproy said. “I’m really excited to bring a voice to early childhood education.”

Rosproy also had the opportunity to talk about how her classroom has changed during the pandemic. She said it’s all about connecting with students, even when there is less control over what may be happening at home or in their personal lives.

“We need to remember that we’ve never been able to control that, we have to commit the time to have check-ins with our students like we never have before,” Rosproy said.

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