For the first time since 1972, a New Jersey teacher is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award. Amy T. Andersen, a high school American Sign Language teacher at Ocean City High School in Cape May, and the 2017-2018 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, has been selected as one of four finalists for the national honor.

“I am truly humbled to have been named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year, and I am proud and honored to represent the fantastic teaching taking place across New Jersey,” said Amy T. Andersen. “I believe all children deserve to have a voice, no matter how different, whether signed or spoken, and a way to express that voice. I am excited to have this opportunity to bring attention to American Sign Language, deaf culture and the global benefits of being bilingual.”

The National Teacher of the Year program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CSSO). One of the four finalists will be named the 2018 National Teacher of the Year this spring, and will spend the next year traveling the country to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers and students. Additional information can be found on the CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program website.