Monday, April 19, 1999


Eight hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year, teachers hold the future of America in their hands...The best way we can honor American's teachers is for the rest of us to give them the tools to succeed with our children in the 21st century.

April 19, 1999

Today, in an annual ceremony at the White House, the President honored the National and State Teachers of the Year and discussed his initiatives to strengthen the quality of teaching in our nation's schools.

Recognizing Excellence in Teaching. The National Teacher of the Year program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest and most prestigious national honors program focusing public attention on excellence in teaching. The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing the major education organizations. The 1999 National Teacher of the Year, Andrew Baumgartner, a kindergarten teacher from Augusta, Georgia, will spend the year traveling nationally and internationally as a spokesperson for the teaching profession. Fifty-five Teachers of the Year were represented at today's ceremony.

Calling for Initiatives to Ensure High-Quality Teaching. President Clinton reiterated the call he made in his State of the Union Address for Congress to enact legislation to:

The President also discussed several initiatives announced earlier this year to help schools meet these higher standards and to attract talented, well-prepared teachers into our classrooms:

The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives