Harlee Harvey, a first-grade teacher at Tikiġaq School in Point Hope and the 2023 Alaska Teacher of the Year, has been named a finalist for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year award by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Harvey, who has been teaching in the North Slope Borough School District since graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2014, is known for her innovative teaching methods and her commitment to creating a positive and inclusive learning environment for her students.
“I am honored to be recognized as a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award,” Harlee Harvey said. “I am committed to continuing to create an inclusive, engaging, and culturally responsive learning environment for my students and to serving as a positive role model for other educators. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for teaching and to help make a positive difference in the lives of my students and our community.”
In a statement, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy congratulated Harvey on her achievement, saying, “As a former educator in rural Alaska, I know that teachers in remote areas face unique challenges. Where others see obstacles, Ms. Harvey sees opportunity, and the students of Point Hope benefit from her commitment to excellence.”
The 2023 Alaska Teacher of the Year’s teaching philosophy centers on creating a supportive and engaging learning environment where every student feels valued and encouraged to explore their interests and passions. She uses technology, games, and hands-on activities to make learning fun and engaging for her students. Harvey also incorporates cultural and community knowledge into her lessons to help her students connect with their heritage and develop a sense of identity.
“I believe that all students have the potential to learn and be successful, and it is my job as an educator to create an environment that nurtures that potential,” Harvey said. “I am committed to creating a positive, inclusive, and culturally responsive learning environment where all students feel valued and supported.”
Harlee Harvey’s peers commend her for her knowledge and respect of the Inupiaq culture. She is also actively involved in extracurricular activities, staff development programs, and cultural curriculum projects. Her decision to make Point Hope her home and become involved in the community outside of the classroom has helped earn her respect and facilitates connecting with students.
“Ms. Harvey is not only among the finest educators in Alaska, but this nomination shows that she is among the best in the country,” Acting Commissioner Heidi Teshner said in a statement. “Alaska is lucky to have both the teaching skill and commitment to community Ms. Harvey demonstrates.”
CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program identifies exceptional teachers across the country and celebrates their work in and outside the classroom. Harvey’s nomination for this prestigious award is a testament to her outstanding teaching skills, dedication to her students, and commitment to community.