Nation’s Top Educators Prepared by Colleges and Schools of Education

For interviews, contact: Lisa Johnson Kiefer
202-478-4502 or

(April 26, 2013, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) applauds the Council of Chief State School Officers’ 2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeffrey Charbonneau, the three additional finalists and the colleges and schools of education that helped prepare all of them for their highly successful careers.

Charbonneau, who is also the 2013 Washington Teacher of the Year, teaches chemistry, physics and engineering at Zillah High School (WA). He completed his undergraduate and graduate preparation at the Central Washington University (CWU) College of Education & Professional Studies, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology education, teaching certificates in both biology and broad area science, and a master’s degree in education.

In addition to being an exceptional classroom teacher certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Charbonneau serves as an instructor for online professional teacher certification courses and supports National Board Certification candidates through the CWU Office of Continuing Education. He also is a teacher in CWU’s Cornerstone program.

“Jeff is an outstanding educator who is well-deserving of the distinction of National Teacher of the Year,” said Connie Lambert, Ph.D., dean of the CWU College of Education & Professional Studies. “Central is honored to have been an integral part of his preparation and his current work. We strive for all of our teacher candidates to go on to the classroom with the same drive and impact on student learning that Jeff has.”

All of the three other finalists for the 2013 National Teacher of the Year also received their preparation at colleges and schools of education.

  • Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship, 2013 Maryland Teacher of the Year (B.S. in English, concentration in secondary education – Towson University; M.S. in curriculum and instruction – McDaniel College)
  • Alexandre S. Lopes, 2013 Florida Teacher of the Year (M.S. in education – University of Miami; Ed.D. candidate – Florida International University)
  • Heidi Welch, 2013 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year (B.M. in music education – Keene State College; M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction – New England College; Ed.D. candidate – New England College)

“AACTE is impressed with the skill, commitment and genuine passion of the 2013 National Teacher of the Year and the finalists,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “It is clear that they enter their classrooms every day with innovative approaches and a steadfast dedication to student learning. We are proud of them and the educator preparation programs that provided high-quality educational services and training to all of these fine teachers.”

AACTE is honored to be a member of the National Selection Committee, comprising representatives from 15 national education organizations that choose four finalists from state nominations, conduct personal interviews with the finalists and ultimately select the National Teacher of the Year.


AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.

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