Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to the 2024 Teacher of the Year winners! We chose 16 regional winners from more than 6,000 submissions.

2024 Grand Prize Winner

Ms. Albina, Preschool/Pre-K The Goddard School of Westport, CT

Miss Albina is an engaging and nurturing teacher. Her commitment to creating a stimulating and supportive learning environment has had a profound impact on the children in her care. She embraces family, community connections and diversity throughout the year because it serves as a catalyst for her students to develop a sense of self and learn more about the broader world around them. She also loves building environments and considers them the third teacher. In addition to providing dramatic play scenarios, children are challenged with STEAM activities, new vocabulary and more. She always includes children in the process of creating these environments. Ms. Albina constantly seeks out new and imaginative ways to engage students, fostering curiosity, critical thinking and a love for learning.


Ms. Cathy, Infant Classroom The Goddard School of Rocky Hill, CT

Families say that Ms. Cathy cares for every baby in her care as if they are her own. She provides a level of security based on her commitment to the infants, their development and their safety.

In her daily recaps, Ms. Cathy gives families a comforting sense that she’s fully committed to their children. Evey aspect of how she shapes the day is focused on their development. She has infants making art, teaches them about nature, provides sensory experiences and shows them sign language and yoga! She truly goes above and beyond every day for each child in her care.

Ms. Olisa, Toddler Classroom The Goddard School of Collegeville, PA

Ms. Olisa easily connects with parents and children throughout the School by identifying and remembering little but important details about the students.

She emphasizes students developing more independence and self-help skills while increasing their confidence. While Ms. O has the textbook knowledge about children’s development, her wisdom comes from daily interactions with children and parents. She is a sounding board for parents and offers an empathetic and caring shoulder for them to lean on. She’s also an advocate for early intervention and has been successful in directing parents to seek services. Additionally, Ms. O is a child development associate (CDA) mentor and coach, helping teachers through the entire CDA process.

Ms. Carolyn, Kindergarten Classroom The Goddard School of Horsham, PA

Ms. Carolyn is a very special human being. She embodies the spirit of Kindergarten in every aspect of her attitude, curriculum and performance.

She is curious, enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive and communicative. She goes the extra mile to make sure the students in her care are given every opportunity to learn in a way that is meaningful and constructive to them. Her communication and collaboration with the parents as a team is top-notch. She gives parents all the feedback and tools they need to not only reinforce what the students are learning in School, but ways to help them overcome certain barriers or challenges. The foundation these students receive from Ms. Carolyn will set them up for success in the future, with a resounding interest in learning and discovery.


Ms. Yorseliana, Infant Classroom The Goddard School of Flowery Branch, GA

Upon meeting Ms. Yorseliana, parents say their feelings of fear and anxiety shifted and were replaced with confidence and assurance. Through play she piques babies’ interest and brings them along on a journey, immersing them in fun learning.

She is the ultimate calming presence for them. Ms. Yorse is tri-lingual and exposes all babies to Spanish and Italian in addition to English. When reading to babies she’ll energetically act out key words and repeat them in all three languages. The impact she has on her babies, fellow teachers and parents is best summed up by the following quote: "Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water — it will make ripples throughout the entire pond.”

Ms. Michele, Toddler Classroom The Goddard School of Ellicott City, MD

Ms. Michelle has an intuition about the 2- and 3-year-old age group that is unrivaled. She uses her best friends, stuffed animals Peter and Timmy, to relate to all the children while she teaches lessons about kindness, compassion and humility through calm breathing and working together with friends.

She truly believes in each child and their capabilities to learn. Ms. Michele uses music throughout each day as a way for children to learn and develop. Her daily reports are full of wonderful information, lots of pictures and laughs/puns, which the parents look forward to reading. Above all, Ms. Michele's greatest strength is her ability to get to know each of her students on a personal level and tailor their education. You can tell that Ms. Michele was born to be a preschool teacher.

Ms. Rebecca, Preschool/Pre-K The Goddard School of Franklin (Cool Springs), TN

Ms. Rebecca is passionate about children's development, fostering a great learning environment in the classroom — both socially and academically. The various tools she uses and furthering her own education shows her dedication to further promote children’s growth.

She provides cuddles when needed and instills independence — helping children realize their own capabilities! Her consistent gentle yet firm communication style is inclusive of everyone in the class. She mentors other teachers in a very respectful manner when guiding them to trying a different approach. Ms. Rebecca also goes above and beyond the call of duty — spending much of her own time to invest in preparing and providing for the class.

Ms. Tamia, Kindergarten Classroom The Goddard School of Sandy Spring (Hammond Drive), GA

Ms. Tamia embodies the quintessential qualities of an exemplary teacher: She's a gardener of blossoming minds, an architect of potential and a sculptor of confidence. Forget one-size-fits-all.

She meticulously tailors lessons to each child's needs. No child gets left behind in her precious one-on-one sessions, which celebrate progress and build trust. Perhaps Ms. Tamia's most impactful quality is her commitment to collaboration. She understands that education is a shared journey, actively involving parents in the learning process. Regular communication, engaging parent-teacher conferences and even shared online platforms ensure consistency and support, creating a unified environment where every child thrives. Her ability to personalize learning, nurture individual potential and create a supportive community around each child makes her an exceptional educator and leader.


Ms. Stephanie, Infant Classroom The Goddard School of Avon, OH

Ms. Stephanie has designed a welcoming and caring experience for families and their babies. She goes above and beyond in her ways of communicating and helps parents navigate the entire childcare experience.

Ms. Stephanie designs activities for children in her classroom that encourage social and emotional development and introduces them to new learning experiences. When passing by the classroom, you will always see Stephanie sitting on the floor with the group — engaged in a song, investigating a sensory bottle, using encouraging words or reading a story. Miss Stephanie is an asset to the School! She is one of a kind and truly defines what it means to be a Goddard teacher.

Ms. Kaitlyn, Toddler Classroom The Goddard School of Cincinnati, OH

In a room of 24 children and three assistants, Ms. Kaitlyn runs the class as if it were her own Goddard School, creating a loving educational environment, while implementing Health and Safety policies and curriculum.

She finds time every day to give each child her undivided attention. Ms. Kaitlyn creates a loving and nurturing environment that is fun and educational. She creates lesson plans that are engaging, challenging and hands-on, utilizing items that the children would find in nature and their environment. In addition to implementing Sign Language, Spanish and yoga in her classroom, she creates games that the children love to play to teach them math and language skills.

Ms. Pavi, Preschool/Pre-K Classroom The Goddard School of Arlington Heights, IL

Ms. Pavi is an inspirational, transformative educator. She used to work at another childcare company, switched to Goddard and teachers and families followed!

Ms. Pavi gives children more than an education; she provides them a positive and loving environment to grow and flourish. She stands out for her extraordinary empathy toward her students and her relentless pursuit of excellence in teaching. She creates a warm, inclusive classroom atmosphere that encourages students to thrive both academically and personally. Ms. Pavi's commitment to her job is reflected in her meticulous planning and the personalized attention she gives to each student's learning needs. Her ability to foster a love for learning has made a significant impact on her every single one of her students.

Ms. Amanda, Kindergarten Classroom The Goddard School of Mason, OH

Ms. Amanda always provides age-appropriate activities to keep her students engaged and challenged in the classroom. When engaging with the children she shows compassion and true interest in guiding them through the process of learning, rather than just rushing them to the answer.

Ms. Amanda is loved by families for creating open lines of communication and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that the parent/teacher relationship is a positive one. Praises and concerns about the children are addressed in a professional, empathetic manner. Ms. Amanda's job duties extend beyond the classroom, and she embraces all of it with grace and is always asking if she could do more for her classroom or School.


Ms. Cindy, Infant Classroom The Goddard School of Goodyear, AZ

Ms. Cindy has been described as a gift to the Infant classroom. She is always engaged in learning activities with her students and keeps families updated about everything.

Ms. Cindy helps families understand infant development and always has great advice on how to help little ones reach important milestones. She is beloved by her co-teachers and faculty and has been recognized for her amazing serve-and-return language skills during Cognia assessments and her classroom management during quality assurance visits. Ms. Cindy checks in on her families and their babies every morning at drop-off, asking about their evenings and how the morning has gone so far. One mom said she’s a “blessing to our family.”

Ms. Kristian, Toddler Classroom The Goddard School of Houston (Greater Heights), TX

Families and faculty alike say that Ms. Kristian’s warmth and nurturing presence make them feel at home, while her dedication to teaching is impressive. Families know their children are always growing emotionally, socially and academically.

She employs various teaching methods to ensure comprehension and engagement, fostering a love for learning among her students. Her nurturing approach to relationships creates a warm and inclusive environment where every student feels valued and supported. Her encouragement gives every child confidence to be their best self every day. She readily shares her expertise and guidance with fellow educators, fostering a collaborative environment. Her proactive interactions with parents ensures open communication and provides reassurance, consistently leaving families feeling confident that their children are in excellent hands.

Ms. Megan, Preschool/Pre-K Classroom The Goddard School of Austin (Circle C Ranch), TX

Ms. Megan has over 11 years of experience at Goddard, and families say it would be impossible to calculate her impact on the community she serves. They confidently recommend Goddard and specifically highlight the incredible ownership, leadership and pre-K class led by Ms. Megan.

She’s the type of teacher who brings out the best in her students by identifying their strengths and supporting their growth. She dives deep into children’s knowledge and wants them all to surpass expectations while also giving them the space to fail and try again. Families say that Goddard is, without a doubt, a better place because of Megan’s kindness, passion, leadership and unwavering dedication to early education.

Mr. Steven, Kindergarten Classroom The Goddard School of San Ramon, CA

Mr. Steven is a mentor, a role model and a source of inspiration for his students. His uplifting personality, ingenuity and dedication to fostering a positive learning environment have left a lasting impact on the lives of countless children.

Families say that as they pull up to the School, they hear children squealing and laughing and know it’s because Mr. Steven is outside playing one of his imaginative, active games. At the end of the day, no one wants to leave because they’re having too much fun playing with their friends or completing their class jobs. Before anyone does leave, Mr. Steven recounts the day with his contagious laughter. Families are in awe of how much their children learn, thanks to his engaging and interactive teaching methods.

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