NJ State Teacher of the Year Joe Nappi named one of four finalists for 2024 National Teacher of the Year

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that NJ State Teacher of the Year Joe Nappi has been named one of the four finalists for the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.

CCSSO runs the National Teacher of the Year Program. From a cohort of 55 State Teachers of the Year, the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, comprising 16 individuals and education organizations, selected finalists based on written applications. This year’s finalists are:

  • Joe Nappi, the 2024 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, is a high school history teacher who encourages a critical examination of history while emphasizing each individual’s power to impact others. His blog, Ten Concrete Tips for Teaching About the Holocaust, reflects his efforts to foster a classroom environment where students feel comfortable discussing difficult curriculum topics, and his desire to bring about positive change led him to co-found a charity that raised more than $75,000 in staff donations to help students overcome financial difficulties affecting their classroom success.
  • Catherine Walker, the 2024 Alaska Teacher of the Year, is a high school science and career and technical education teacher who develops problem-based, career-oriented lessons with a focus on sustainability and stewardship of natural resources while encouraging students to build empathy and collaboration to solve problems in their community. She supports students who are traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers by opening her classroom to business partners who allow the students to envision themselves in future career pathways.
  • Christy Todd, the 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year, is a middle school music technology teacher who believes in every child’s creativity and in the power of unlocking it to deepen learning across subject areas. To address student wellbeing during the pandemic, she led the development of a schoolwide Make Kindness Normal podcast, engaging more than 500 students across subject areas and learning formats – in-person, virtual and hybrid – widening the possibilities for student response and reflection.
  • Missy Testerman, the 2024 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, is an English as a second language specialist and program director who works to ensure students are prepared to advocate for their limited English proficient families. In her rural Appalachian community, Missy builds bridges between cultures – families who have been in the area for centuries and newer immigrants – through a curriculum focused on a study of Americans from diverse backgrounds, allowing students to better understand that people are inherently the same and that they all belong.

Nappi was featured in the December NJEA Review. Read more about his story. More information about the 2024 State Teachers of the Year and CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program is available at ntoy.ccsso.org.