A teacher holds up a student drawing in front of her classroom

Mandy Perez, a 6th-grade English language arts teacher at Crittenden County Middle School and the 2023 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, has been honored as the Kentucky representative of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) 2023 State Teachers of the Year cohort.

Every year, CCSSO names a teacher of the year from U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The 55 educators receiving the honor this year will take part in professional learning opportunities for the next year.

Perez has been a teacher for the past 18 years, starting at Crittenden County Elementary School, and she told the organization she always dreamed of becoming a teacher. She taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at the elementary school before moving to the middle school two years ago to teach 6th-grade math and English language arts.

As a teacher representative, Perez has been appointed to serve on the Coalition for Sustaining the Profession. She also serves in many roles at Crittenden Middle School, including the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, the Literacy Committee, English language arts content team leader, 6th-grade team leader and a new teacher mentor.