The 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year is High School English Educator Laura Jeanne Penrod

The 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year is High School English Educator Laura Jeanne PenrodLaura Jeanne Penrod, a dedicated high school English teacher at Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA) in the Clark County School District, has been bestowed with the esteemed title of 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year. Penrod’s journey from her roots in Las Vegas to this prestigious recognition underscores her unwavering commitment to education and student advocacy.

The announcement came as a surprise to Penrod during what she believed to be a routine school-wide assembly. Instead, she was greeted by Governor Joe Lombardo, State Superintendent Jhone Ebert, and members of her own family, who revealed her selection as the 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year. Penrod expressed her gratitude, stating, “First and foremost, my heart is with my students every day.”

With 17 years of experience in education, Penrod’s impact extends far beyond the classroom. She is renowned for her expertise in project-based learning and her dedication to social-emotional learning (SEL), which has led her students to achieve meaningful educational experiences and statewide recognition. Penrod’s commitment to her students’ success is evident in her advocacy efforts, including recent collaborations with legislators to secure the passage of bills promoting financial literacy instruction and college and career readiness access for all Nevada learners.

In response to the recognition, Penrod shared her sentiments, emphasizing her dedication to her students’ well-being and success. She stated, “I continue to advocate with, always in mind, that the students are the most important in the room and how do we make things better for all of us so students don’t just survive, but thrive.”

As the 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year, Penrod will represent the Silver State in the National Teacher of the Year competition facilitated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). This honor not only acknowledges Penrod’s exceptional contributions to education but also positions her as a leader in the broader national education community.

The finalists for the 2024 Nevada State Teacher of the Year, Brianna Cotter and Lieutenant Commander Daniel Meyers, exemplify the caliber of educators in the state. Their dedication to student success and innovative teaching methods are commendable and contribute to the overall excellence of Nevada’s educational landscape.

In 2021, Nevada’s Teacher of the Year, Ms. Juliana Urtubey, was recognized as the National Teacher of the Year by CCSSO, highlighting the state’s tradition of honoring outstanding educators.

Laura Jeanne Penrod’s passion, dedication, and advocacy serve as an inspiration to educators and students alike, and her impact will undoubtedly continue to resonate for years to come.

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