The 2022 National Teacher of the Year is Kurt Russell of Oberlin High School. Kurt was honored at a ceremony at the White House. 

Russell, who serves as a history teacher and head boys basketball coach at Oberlin, was described as “someone who has answered their call with passion, persistence, and pride.” 

The National Teacher of the Year program is operated by the Council of Chief State School Officers and is aimed at recognizing and honoring exceptional educators across the country.

A 25-year veteran of the classroom, Kurt Russell was first inspired to become a teacher in middle school, when he encountered his first Black male teacher. Now as 2022 National Teacher of the Year, he plans to advocate for classrooms to better reflect the students within them — from a curriculum that reflects their backgrounds and identities to a more diverse teaching profession. 

Kurt teaches history at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, where he was born and raised; his classes include African American history, which he has taught since the late 1990s, and Race, Gender and Oppression, a class he developed. He also serves as faculty advisor for the student-led Black Student Union, whose work has led to positive impacts for students across racial groups.

“As your 2022 National Teacher of the Year, I am committed to uplifting the wonderful work of educators,” Russell added. “I am truly blessed to be a part of a profession that tranforms and legitimizes student voices.”