Ohio educator one of four finalists for 2020 National Teacher of the Year
The Council of Chief State School Officers has named 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year, Leila Kubesch, as one of four finalists for its 2020 National Teacher of the Year designation. Kubesch teaches Spanish and English to English learners at Norwood Middle School in Norwood, Ohio, and outside the classroom is an advocate for emancipated foster youth. She has studied in eight countries and held Fund for Teachers, Christa McAuliffe and Fulbright Hays fellowships.
Kubesch helps students develop their own leadership skills and become globally- and civic-minded. She guides them as they work to rise above challenges and advocate for community change. Having committed to teaching in a high-needs school, she has become resourceful in securing unique opportunities for her students.
To empower all youth in the same way as those in affluent communities, Kubesch fosters community partnerships, writes grants for innovative learning, and instills a mindset of dreaming big through large-scale, service-learning projects that stem from youth initiatives. Work by her students has landed in museums around the country and won national recognition.
She advocated with Ohio lawmakers to pass Ohio House Bill 50, which took effect in September 2016. The law allows Ohio foster youth to have a home until age 21 rather than 18.
Kubesch is an experienced public speaker who has presented to large audiences, including TedXCincinnati, where she won the Audience Choice Award for her talk. She also is a certified yoga instructor. She holds a Master of Science in educational leadership from Purdue University and a Master of Arts in secondary education from Ball State University.