MURRAY (ABC4 News) – The Utah State Board of Education has selected Cottonwood High teacher Lauren Merkley as the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year. Merkley teaches English in the 11th grade.
When Merkley walked onto the stage at Cottonwood High Friday morning, the entire student body gave her a standing ovation, an honor she called, “Entirely overwhelming.”
Merkley’s spent her entire five-year career at Cottonwood High; her students say she’s, “Sweet, she’s open, she’s warm; she’s almost like a mom figure, she teaches you so much and she’s there for anything you might need.”
This award comes with a check for $10,000 plus a year of collaboration and advocacy work with the State Board of Education; she will also represent Utah in Washington D.C. where the national Teacher of the Year will be selected.
Merkley says she will continue to focus on improving education for all students, “I’m really interested in educational equity so removing barriers to education through advanced classes, attendance policies, homework policies that are roadblocks for underrepresented populations, I’m very passionate about that.”
Find out how to nominate a teacher for next year here.