North Dakota 2022 Teacher of the Year Bret Docker is passing the title to the new teacher of the year for 2023. Ivona Todorovic received recognition and was applauded the moment her name was announced.

“You hear all of these wonderful teachers who are the four finalists and I get to be the one selected. I feel great, I feel honored,” Todorovic said.

The honor was granted by kind words spoken by Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

What does it take to be Teacher of the Year? He or she must represent our state well in school and must come up with unique ideas in the classroom that can influence the state and the country.

“We ask them how they involve families, how they involve their community. What types of products they do; what their philosophy is on teaching and learning,” Baesler said.

The Grand Forks teacher has been teaching in North Dakota for 17 years, but it doesn’t stop there.
Her teaching career started in Bosnia in the early 1990s after moving to the country as a refugee.
Because of that, she knows how important this country has been for her career and her family.

“I’m kind of thinking about my mom, she passed away in 2019, but I think she always recognized. She said I think you were born to be a teacher. When I was younger, I was always organizing the Girl Scouts, the theater groups,” Todorovic said.

Every morning Todorovich heads to class as she is living out the dream career she always imagined, and she says there are several things that can lead to becoming a teacher of the year.

“You’re a team, you’re a people. Sometimes it’s the community, sometimes it’s the people, sometimes the state and asks us for solutions because everything is possible,” Todorovic

Now Todorovic will soon have another adventure on the way with the new role she carries.

“They will go to space camp in Alabama, and they will learn about the program about becoming an astronaut along the way. How will elementary, middle, and high school teachers encourage to nurture the American dream,” Baesler said.

The four finalists in attendance were also recognized and thanked for their dedication to the classroom. The state teacher of the year is chosen by an eight-member committee of stakeholders and finalists are interviewed.