UPDATED: BISMARCKâ€”A Williston Middle School teacher is the stateâ€™s new Teacher of the Year.
The honor for language arts teacher Karen Toavs was announced Thursday morning at the North Dakota Education Associationâ€™s Instructional Conference in Bismarck.
The three other finalists for North Dakota Teacher of The Year were Kathy Fisher, a social studies teacher at Fargo South; Jean Melicher, a first-grade teacher at Harwood Elementary and Barb Rood, a kindergarten teacher at Phoenix Elementary in Grand Forks.
Toavs, a Montana native, is in her eighth year of teaching in North Dakota and estimates sheâ€™s taught 1,100 students. She said she was humbled to receive the award.
Students need support and encouragement, and too many of them arenâ€™t inspired or hopeful, she said.
â€œPart of our challenge is walking back into our classrooms Monday morning and really making a difference, making sure our kids know weâ€™re there for them day in and day out,â€ Toavs said.