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Las Vegas teacher named finalist for national award

For the first time in 60 years, a Nevada teacher is a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award.

Juliana Urtubey — a learning strategist at Booker Elementary School in the Historic Westside — is among four finalists for the 2021 award, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced Wednesday. That comes after she was named Nevada Teacher of the Year in September.

In a Wednesday news release from the Nevada Department of Education, Urtubey said she’s honored to be recognized.

“This school year has been unlike any other, and I appreciate every opportunity to use my platform to continue to recognize the critical work that all school staff and teachers do to support, celebrate, and advocate for students and families,” the release read.

The three other national finalists are John Arthur (Utah), Alejandro Diasgranados (Washington, D.C.) and Maureen Stover (North Carolina). A winner will be announced this spring by a selection committee.

Urtubey is the third Nevada educator to be named a finalist in the national competition, according to the news release. Grace Bordewich was named a finalist in 1960 and Anne Gibbs in 1956. She’s also the first ever Latina educator named Nevada Teacher of the Year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert in the release described Urtubey as an amazing educator who’s committed to making lessons meaningful for students in her classroom and beyond.

“Her passion and joy are contagious, and this national recognition amplifies her positive impact on the profession and our public education system,” Ebert said in the release.

Urtubey is an “extraordinary advocate for all children and families,” Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara said.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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