State announces 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year recipient

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The honor of 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year has been awarded to Ben Walker of Anchorage. The announcement was made as part of a surprise ceremony, Thursday morning.

2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year recipient Ben Walker of Romig Middle School. (KTUU)

Walker is a seventh-grade science teacher at Romig Middle School, where he also teaches applied technology, media technology and robotics.

And if that is not enough, Walker also serves on the school's Social and Emotional Learning committee, organizes STEM Career Day and helps organize the MathCOUNTS program.

Furthermore, this is not the first time Walker is being recognized for his contributions and teaching talents. Previously, he was the 2013 Alaska Awardee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.

Walker says his goal is to "help students learn to learn on their own." And to do this, he feels children need to go through a three-part experience to truly learn something: experimental, intellectual and emotional.

"When you have those three is when you truly have transformative learning," Walker explains.

As Alaska Teacher of the Year, Walker will serve as a member of Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson's Teacher Advisory Council. In addition, he may be called upon to attend statewide educational conferences and working groups.

If Walker is named National Teacher of the Year, then 2018 Alternative Alaska Teacher of the Year, Eric Rush of North Pole, will take over these responsibilities.

Rush teaches third-grade at Ticasuk Brown Elementary and created a YouTube channel that acts as a space for teaching professionals to collaborate and exchange ideas, globally.

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