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Ohio Department of Education Press Releases

Olentangy Local’s Jonathan Juravich is the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Release date: 9/8/2017

Inviting a box turtle to help teach art along with nature conservation is one of many novel strategies Jonathan Juravich employs at Liberty Tree Elementary School in Powell to get children excited about learning. Today during school, those same young students enjoyed a surprise visit from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria, who announced that Juravich is the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year.

“I love this award program,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction, “Because it recognizes exceptional educators like Jonathan who reflect the many great teachers across the state. Teachers change lives and create futures — not only for our students but for our communities, our state and our nation. It’s only fitting that we should celebrate their role.”

With Olentangy Local Schools since 2005, Juravich also coaches cross country and track at Hyatts Middle School, and he is an adjunct instructor at Otterbein University. As the district’s elementary art department chair, he develops curriculum and facilitates teacher professional development. In addition to overseeing parent-teacher organization partnerships and community service learning opportunities, he leads Liberty Tree’s building environment team, which teaches children positive behaviors such as showing respect and empathy.

“Jon Juravich is a one-of-a-kind teacher who inspires young children to see the world in a new light, color or shape,” said Liberty Tree Principal Terri Caton. “His enthusiasm and passion for teaching, as well as the arts, engages young minds and allows them to open themselves up to something new and exciting.”

Juravich conducts several annual outreach programs at Olentangy Local Schools and throughout central Ohio that showcase student artwork and get families involved with their children’s education. He develops art programs for the Columbus Zoo and Columbus Arts Festival, and he serves as a leader in the Ohio Art Education Association.

In August, Juravich received the State Board District 6 Teacher of the Year award. He will represent Ohio in the national 2018 Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers next spring.

Juravich received a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University and a master’s degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

You can find more information about the Ohio Teacher of the Year program by clicking here.