OEA Congratulates 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell

[April 19, 2022] Oberlin High School teacher and Ohio Education Association member Kurt Russell has been named the 2022 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Russell had been in the running for this prestigious honor after being selected as the 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year.

Russell, a 25-year veteran of the classroom, believes education can transform students’ lives and emphasizes cultural relevance and diverse representation in his curriculum. He teaches a number of highly popular courses, including African American history and Race, Gender, and Oppression to students in grades 9-12.

“The Ohio Education Association extends our warmest congratulations to Kurt Russell on this very well-deserved honor,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said. “Kurt exemplifies the leadership and courage of Ohio educators who deliver age-appropriate lessons on the tough topics to empower their students to become the best versions of themselves as strong critical thinkers and future leaders. To have CCSSO recognize Kurt Russell as the 2022 National Teacher of the Year is to recognize the importance of honesty in education for all students across Ohio and the United States.”

Kurt Russell decided to become an educator when he was in middle school. He was inspired by his math teacher, who was the first Black male teacher he had ever had in his classroom. Russell is the first Black male to be named Ohio Teacher of the Year in the nearly 60-year history of that program. As National Teacher of the Year, Russell will spend the next year shining a light on the vital role of educators, speaking at hundreds of events, sharing his wisdom, and advocating for students to elevate the issues teachers face and inspire others to join the profession.

To learn more about OEA Member Kurt Russell, read Empowering Students in the October/November 2021 issue of Ohio Schools and listen to the October 28, 2021, episode of the Education Matters podcast. Russell was also featured as a National Teacher of the Year finalist in the April/May 2022 edition of Ohio Schools.