Conversation with Juliana Urtubey, 2021 Teacher of the Year

No Kid Hungry, in partnership with the Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC), co-sponsored a special edition of Ask an Educator with the 2021 National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey, the first teacher of Latino descent to receive this recognition since 2005.

We applaud this recognition, as an important step towards a diverse education workforce and equity in communities across the US. We cannot end childhood hunger without also working to end inequality and injustice.

Urtubey, a special education teacher in Las Vegas born in Bogotá, Colombia, shared her perspective on representation for teachers of color, building an inclusive environment in her classroom, teaching during the pandemic and the honor of representing teachers across the nation.

Affectionately known as Ms. Earth by her students after building a school garden, Urtubey said that leadership in the classroom is "creating a space where students can learn more about who they are, learn more about their role within the community and its balance with this interconnectedness."

Urtubey closed the conversation with a shout out to the people who ensured kids received the meals they needed during the pandemic.

"The unsung heroes of the Covid pandemic and the education world are the cafeteria workers," she shared. "They braved Covid to ensure every single family had access to food."

See the full recording of the interview here and visit LEC's Facebook's page for more Ask and Educator interviews.