Williston teacher named N.D. Teacher of the Year

UPDATED: BISMARCK—A Williston Middle School teacher is the state’s new Teacher of the Year.

The honor for language arts teacher Karen Toavs was announced Thursday morning at the North Dakota Education Association’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 she’s taught 1,100 students. She said she was humbled to receive the award.

Students need support and encouragement, and too many of them aren’t inspired or hopeful, she said.

“Part of our challenge is walking back into our classrooms Monday morning and really making a difference, making sure our kids know we’re there for them day in and day out,” Toavs said.