Instructional Specialist Selected

APS Selects Teacher of the Year for 2023
Posted on 05/19/2023
Image of Toby Clifford AwardAt its 32nd annual Teacher of the Year Awards last evening, Akron Public Schools (APS) selected its top teacher from a field of eight finalists. Four represent elementary schools in APS, and four come from secondary schools.

The selection process began during the winter as the district started awarding school-building-level teachers of the year. That list was then reduced to the top eight in the entire district. On this night, hundreds of teachers gathered at downtown Akron's John S. Knight Center for dinner, recognition and the final announcement for Teacher of the Year.

At evening’s end, this year’s top educator in the district is Toby Liechty-Clifford, an instructional specialist in the APS Early Learning Program.

Image of Toby Clifford Award

Interim Superintendent Mary B. Outley calls Liechty-Clifford “a standout educator.” “When Toby walks into a classroom to support a teacher and her/his work, teachers are happy to see him and always welcome his expertise.”

APS School Board Vice President Diana Autry addressed the gathering, saying, “So many of our families express how much they appreciate APS teachers and what they do. I am sure the rest of the board welcomes me in saying we would really like to thank and acknowledge all the teachers and the work they do."

The other finalists for APS Teacher of the Year:

Elementary Division Teachers of the Year Finalists
Toby Liechty-Clifford - Early Learning Program
Megan Arsenault - Glover CLC
Anna Taylor - King CLC
Carol Rodenbucher - McEbright CLC

Secondary Division Teachers of the Year Finalists
Christine Milcetich - Firestone CLC
Allison Munson - Garfield CLC
Laura Pearce - Hyre CLC
Alexis Proskovec - Litchfield CLC

Also recognized during the evening:

The APS Marilyn Parks Achievement Award for teachers making a significant difference in the lives of their students was bestowed upon Shirley Holiday, Robinson CLC.

Shirley is an ambassador for Robinson CLC, Akron Public Schools and the Special Education Department.

It is specified in the award that it be given to a “life-long learner and one who stays connected to students and contributes to the wider community of educators.”

Image of Shirley Holiday Award

Brianna Miller from Glover CLC is this year’s David James Award winner. The winner must:
  • have taught for the district for fewer than 18 months,
  • be an advocate for excellence through equity,
  • use data effectively,
  • monitor and adjust learning conditions,
  • demonstrate culturally responsive teaching practices, and
  • be respected by students.
Miller has created a safe, welcoming, positive learning environment for her students, who eagerly come to music class knowing they are in for a treat. Her well-designed classroom decor informs students of essential music knowledge while also demonstrating a desire to meet students' social/emotional needs.
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