Northmont educator a finalist for state teacher of the year

Joy McKarns
Joy McKarns

A Northmont Middle School teacher is among four educators vying for recognition as Ohio’s Teacher of the Year for 2021.

Joy McKarns is an eighth-grade language arts teacher who also is the 2020 Henry Ford Innovative Teacher Grand Prize Award recipient. She is one of 11 teachers designated as the 2021 Teacher of the Year for their state Board of Education district.

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“The devotion and commitment of Ohio’s teachers has never been more evident than it was this past school year,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria stated in a release. “Their professionalism and heart for their students has always been evident to me, but even I have been blown away by the tremendous effort our teachers put forth during this pandemic to make sure Ohio’s students were safe, cared for and successful throughout the abrupt transition we all experienced. I am so proud to honor and recognize these incredible teachers today for being shining examples of the very best of this amazing group of professionals.”

School administrators, fellow educators, parents, students and community members nominated teachers for the state district awards.

McKarns works to inspire students by the Dayton region’s history as the birthplace of aviation that also has produced thousands of innovations and inventions and that has faced great tragedies past and present with resilience and strength, according to the teacher’s biographical information. She works closely with the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and has earned several grants to allow students to have hands-on experience.

“The Northmont City School District is incredibly happy for Joy McKarns,” Northmont Superintendent Tony Thomas said. “She has been a dedicated teacher at Northmont. She inspires with an unsurpassed passion for her students and is first and foremost a quality person.”

McKarns also works in the summer as an instructor for Air Camp USA that works with students from all over the country in STEM opportunities using aviation as a theme. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wright State University and is National Board Certified.

The state superintendent will announce the statewide honoree this fall. The Ohio Teacher of the Year will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year selection in spring 2021, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers.