Missy Testerman named National Teacher of the Year: “She makes everyone feel important”

Missy Testerman has been educating young minds for over 30 years.

His hard work has been rewarded with a distinctive honor: Testerman has been named the 2024 National Teacher of the Year. He is selected by the Council of Public School Superintendents.

The news was first reported on CBS Mornings. Testerman is a longtime elementary school teacher at Rogersville City Schools in Rogersville, Tennessee.

“There are 3.5 million teachers in this country, so to be named as the teacher who advocates for our teachers and our students is just an incredible honor,” she said.

In a video tribute to her years of hard work and support as an educator, one former student told CBS Mornings, “she makes everyone feel important.”

Testerman has previously taught first and second grade and is currently the director of the English as a Second Language program. Testerman said she wanted to become a teacher when she walked into the classroom of her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Brown.

“I was very scared and she took me by the hand, led me to where my classmates and the toys were, and from then on I wanted to be like Mrs. Brown” , Testerman said.

Missy Testerman is revealed as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year on CBS Mornings on April 3, 2024.

CBS News

What she loves most about being a teacher is being the person who “unlocks the love of learning in students,” she said.

Testerman emphasized that there is no such thing as bad students and that everyone can have a bad day.

“There may be kids who are having bad days or kids who are struggling with the circumstances they find themselves in, but there is no such thing as bad kids.”

But when students trust teachers and create a strong bond, that’s when Testerman says she believes learning takes place.

“When students realize that you are on their side and want them to be able to create a great life for themselves, that’s when learning takes off.

First lady Jill Biden, who spent decades as an educator, surprised Testerman with flowers on CBS Mornings.

“I always say teachers are our heroes, and I wanted to be here today to celebrate Missy because I love celebrating teachers,” the first lady said.

First Lady Jill Biden Surprises National Teacher of the Year Missy Testerman


Although they share a love and passion for their profession, both women recognize the challenges facing today’s teachers.

Testerman said she maintains there is no shortage of teachers, but rather the problem is pay.

“Often we hear that there is a shortage of teachers. We have a lot of qualified teachers, people who were even in our classes, who were very effective educators, but they left because they had need to earn more money for their education. families,” she said. “The average new college graduate coming out of an education program earns 25% less than most other career fields.”

When it comes to retaining teachers, Biden looks to those currently in the classroom for help.

“I think it’s up to teachers who are already in the classroom to recruit other teachers and mentor them because that’s exactly what Missy does, she mentors other teachers and I think that’s very important,” she said.

Biden announced the first-ever State Teachers’ Dinner of the year, which will take place on May 1.


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