The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) will announce the 2017 National Teacher of the Year on Thursday during the CBS This Morning program.
Megan Gross of Poway Unified School District is one of four National Teacher of the Year finalists. Last fall, Gross was named a San Diego County Teacher of the Year, then a California Teacher of the Year. She was named a national finalist in January. Also in the running for National Teacher of the Year are Sia Kyriakakos of Maryland, Chris Gleason of Wisconsin, and Sydney Chaffee of Massachusetts.
"I'm so honored to represent Del Norte, Poway, San Diego County, and California," Gross said. "I'm so thankful for this opportunity to share our story of inclusion and to participate in this teacher leadership experience."
Gross teaches an autism spectrum disorder special day class at Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch. She is an advocate for including developmentally disabled students in mainstream classes. Gross graduated with a bachelor's degree in genetics from the UC Davis. She earned a special education credential from Cal State Sacramento.
"Megan Gross has worked diligently to end the social and physical isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in January. "I am proud to have her represent California. She is an exemplary example of how innovative teachers can enrich the students’ lives.”
The National Teacher of the Year announcement will take place in Washington, D.C. The finalists were selected by a panel comprising 15 prominent education organizations and representing more than 7 million educators.
CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the United States. For more information on the National Teacher of the Year program, visit the CCSSO website.