aMAzing Educators

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. Beyond celebrating the individual, the program looks at the complex work that is involved in educating all students. The program highlights student achievement, educators' commitment to the profession, innovations in education, and teacher leadership. The Teacher of the Year program draws attention to issues of teacher quality and reiterates the importance of the teacher as the single most important school-based factor in improving student outcomes.

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) and as an ambassador to other teachers in the state.

The Teacher of the Year must also demonstrate:

  • A proven track record of meeting students' needs in order to further student growth and achievement.
  • A commitment to centering racial equity in their practice.
  • Instructional leadership in his/her classroom in addition to being a respected member of and contributor to the larger school and district community.
  • Respect for and nuanced understanding of the different perspectives that contribute to high-quality education, including the perspectives of colleagues, administrators, parents, students, and policymakers.

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 reflect an understanding of the various perspectives that exist among teachers. The Teacher of the Year maintains full-time teaching responsibilities.
  • 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, after the teacher's official year ends, attends a "Next Steps" Conference in Princeton, N.J., all with other states' teachers of the year.
  • 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.

2022 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Marta García, 2022 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Marta García

Teacher of Multilingual Students

Witchcraft Heights Elementary School

Salem Public Schools

If you would like to contact Marta, please email her at . You can follow her on Twitter at @martagcuasante.

Marta García holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Valladolid in Spain and a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Salem State University. She is a recipient of her school district's Read Trust Excellence in Science Teaching Award and is a former nominee for the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages' Teacher of the Year award. She has served on the Equity Matters Team for her district and on multiple curriculum and English learner teams and task forces.

She includes elements of social justice and environmental justice in her teaching, and she empowers students to view each other with respect and to understand how they can improve the world. García tries to help students nurture their identities and feel proud of their origins as they add a new culture and language to their knowledge. She considers herself the bridge on which students can navigate opportunities coming from their native and new cultures, embracing both. She hopes to amplify the voices of her students and their families and to help people learn from her multilingual students with empathy, humility, and humanity.

If you have questions about the Teacher of the Year Program, please email the Educator Recognition mailbox at .

Former Massachusetts Teachers of the Year

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Finalists

  • Danielle Charbonneau, English teacher at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, Martha's Vineyard Public Schools
  • 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

Last Updated: May 13, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.