On Aug. 20 the Texas Association of School Administrators announced the six finalists for the 2019 Texas Teacher of the Year program. Among these finalists is Joe Parthemore from Cannon Elementary School in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

Parthemore has taught fifth grade at Cannon Elementary for the past two years. He serves as a district elementary science learning leader and curriculum collaborator and coaches his campus robotics team.

“Nurturing children from the ground up is a foundational piece in seeing students thriving,” Parthemore said in a statement. “Students are like plants in that each one is different and have needs in order to survive and thrive in their environment. As teachers, our focus can tend to be on academics and teaching all the content standards within the time constraints of the school year. It's our responsibility to know our students beneath the surface and foster those needs because, if students do not have everything they need, they will never grow.”

A panel of judges composed of representatives of Texas teacher associations and last year’s Texas Teacher of the Year finalists selected the finalists from the 40 Texas Regional Teachers of the Year—one elementary and one secondary teacher from each of the 20 Texas Education Service Center regions.

The six finalists will be invited to Austin in September for interviews before a panel of judges composed of representatives of educational leadership associations, community and business leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education and prior Texas Teachers of the Year.

The panel will select two state-level winners—Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year—and designate one to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year program. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony Sept. 14 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, where the 40 Regional Teachers of the Year will also be recognized.

“Every day in public schools across Texas, teachers perform miracles as they inspire children for lifelong learning,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA, which has coordinated the Texas Teacher of the Year program since 2011, in a statement.

“These six finalists are among the best in a profession that is perhaps the most important in our nation, both for individual children and for society," Brown said. "They are national heroes and deserve this tremendous honor. They have distinguished themselves among thousands of outstanding, dedicated teachers across our state and nation have who have answered the call to serve others.”