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Juliana Urtubey    

2021 National Teacher of the Year

Juliana Urtubey, NBCT has used her platform as 2021 National Teacher of the Year to advocate for a “joyous and just” education for all students, one that is inclusive and celebratory of all students’ identities, families and communities. A bilingual, first-generation immigrant, Urtubey has worked throughout her teaching career to serve as a mirror for her school community, helping students to be proud of their identities and families, and to acknowledge their strengths and contributions to the community.

While teaching in Las Vegas, students gave her the nickname “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and unify the community through murals and gardens. With great pride, Urtubey has coined the term “linguistically gifted” to honor the incredible linguistic gifts her students and their families contribute to our school communities. One of her greatest accomplishments is teaching linguistically gifted students to be confident readers, writers, and mathematicians who also care deeply about the wellness of their communities.

Urtubey is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds a bachelor’s degree in bilingual elementary education and a master’s degree in special bilingual education from the University of Arizona. In September 2022, President Biden appointed Ms. Urtubey to the President's Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. She is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Board of Directors member and Teacher Fellow. Ms. Urtubey has been featured on the cover of People Magazine representing educators as the 2021 People of Year and on Telemundo’s 2022 Hispanic Heritage Celebration.

Since being announced as National Teacher of the Year in May 2021, Urtubey has shared her “joyous and just” message with thousands of pre-service teachers, educators, and policymakers across the country – including at the White House and Harvard University– and through U.S. and international media, including Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, Univision, Telemundo, and Colombia’s El Pais, El Espectador, and RCN Noticias.

Juliana Urtubey (HOO-lee-on-a ER-two-bay) lives in Arizona. She enjoys reading in Spanish and traveling, and has had the opportunity to study and teach in Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and Puerto Rico. She also enjoys tending to her collection of house plants and spending time outdoors, and she aims to visit all the National Parks.

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