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Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Program

Each year, the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year program honors a licensed preK–12 Massachusetts public school teacher who exemplifies excellent teaching in the Commonwealth. The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and celebrates educators who make a positive impact on student learning and well-being; use student-centered, innovative approaches to teaching and learning; and demonstrate leadership within and beyond the classroom.

For more information on the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year program, please click on the following links.

Program Overview

The Teacher of the Year is an exemplary educator who will serve as a liaison to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), who will act as an ambassador to other teachers in the state, and who will have the opportunity to connect with the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. The Teacher of the Year program is an opportunity for teachers to be celebrated and share their voice on policies and practices that impact educators and students across the Commonwealth.

The Teacher of the Year is a teacher who:

  • Consistently meets students where they are and helps them grow academically and as individuals
  • Centers equity and anti-racism in their practice
  • Builds strong relationships with students, families, and the larger school and district community
  • Has ideas about great teaching, feels strongly about what it looks like to provide high-quality instruction, and is eager to work with and learn from a diverse group of stakeholders to make our education system better

Opportunities for the Teacher of the Year:

  • The Teacher of the Year will have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the teaching profession, which will include public speaking and writing opportunities. This is a chance for the teacher to share ideas and to learn from others. It is not the expectation that the Teacher of the Year speaks on behalf of all teachers. Rather, the selected educator should be willing to share their individual experiences and perspectives while also acknowledging the variety of viewpoints that exist among educators. The Teacher of the Year maintains full-time teaching responsibilities.
  • The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year becomes the state's candidate for National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year out of the classroom traveling across the country and internationally.
  • Contingent upon the national program and funding, the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year attends a four-day conference; travels to Washington, D.C. for a week to participate in numerous recognition activities and potentially meet the President; spends a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.; and attends a "Next Steps" Conference in Princeton, N.J., all with other states' teachers of the year.

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Danielle (Dani) Charbonneau, 2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Danielle ("Dani") Charbonneau
English Language Arts Teacher
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Martha's Vineyard Public Schools

If you would like to contact Dani, please email her at dcharbonneau@mvrhs.org . You can follow her on Twitter at @CharbonneauDani.

Danielle ("Dani") Charbonneau teaches English language arts in Project Vine, the alternative program within Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Oak Bluffs. She is also the program coordinator for Project Vine, where she and her colleagues teach students in grades 9–12 and ensure their school experience includes a sense of belonging and tastes of life beyond the island. Project Vine activities include an annual technology-free, electricity-free, and indoor bathroom-free retreat to an uninhabited island; a "Chopped for Charity" fundraiser for the local food bank; Island Lore Night, in which students and community members present historical fiction and spooky stories; and trips to Boston.

Charbonneau holds a Bachelor of Art in English language and literature from Harvard University and a Master of Science in Education in educational leadership from the University of New England. Charbonneau has been co-advisor to the high school's Gender Sexuality Alliance since 2018 and is a member of the school's Race-Equity and Cultural Proficiency Group, which in 2020 helped create lessons in response to the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests. She believes that students have every right to expect that when they come to school, they will encounter and explore new ideas, they will experience joy, and they will be rewarded with real accomplishments that have value to them. She and her wife split their time between Martha's Vineyard and the mainland.

If you have questions about the Teacher of the Year Program, please email the Educator Recognition mailbox at educatorrecognition@doe.mass.edu .

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Jessica Lander, English learner history/social studies teacher at Lowell High School, Lowell Public Schools
  • Sally Kim, math teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School, Springfield Public Schools
  • Shakeeda Bartee, English teacher at UP Academy Boston
  • Veronica Rowlinson, English teacher at Somerville High School, Somerville Public Schools

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Semifinalists

  • Doug Scott, technology and engineering teacher at Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton Public Schools
  • Jedediyah Williams, math and computer science teacher at Nantucket High School, Nantucket Public Schools
  • Marissa Ramos, English teacher at Forest Park Middle School, Springfield Public Schools
  • Samantha McKee, second grade teacher at Atlantis Charter School (in Fall River)
  • Sandra Kozatek, special education reading specialist in Swansea Public Schools
  • Shannon Sheldon, fifth grade teacher at Gilmore Elementary School, Brockton Public Schools
  • William Guerra, science teacher at Lunenburg Middle-High School, Lunenburg Public Schools

Former Massachusetts Teachers of the Year

Last Updated: January 4, 2023

 
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