President Biden, first lady honor 2020, 2021 National Teachers of the Year

National News

First lady Jill Biden comes over to comfort 2021 National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey, a bilingual special education teacher in Las Vegas, who was emotional as she spoke during an event with 2020 and 2021 State and National Teachers of the Year on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Monday honored two National Teachers of the Year, celebrating the awardees for 2020 and 2021.

Juliana Urtubey and Tabatha Rosproy received the title during a ceremony outside the White House attended by dozens of educators. Rosproy, of Kansas, is the first preschool educator to ever receive the honor. Urtubey, a special education teacher in Nevada, is the first Latina to receive it since 2005.

2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy, a preschool teacher from Kansas, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“It feels like early childhood educators are finally getting the recognition and the respect that they have deserved,” Rosproy said.

“I’m here because so many Black and brown mentors believed in me and let me know I had something to say,” Urtubey said.

Monday’s event was the first time two awardees were honored at the same time because last year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic. It made the ceremony especially emotional.

“It’s been a really challenging couple of years for teachers,” Urtubey said.

President Biden and the first lady, who is an educator, stressed the importance of teachers.

“If you think about it the single most consequential people in the world beyond our parents … is our teachers,” the president said.

“Someone is standing a little taller because you helped her find the confidence she needed,” Jill Biden said.

Urtubey and Rosproy said they are thankful to allies in the White House pushing for equity and resources in the classroom.

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