Jill Biden Gave 2021's Teacher of the Year a Sweet Surprise
Dr. Jill Biden knows the meaning and importance of being a teacher.
The first lady, who is teaching from the White House, flew across the country to surprise a fellow educator who was named 2021's Teacher of the Year. Dr. Biden came to Kermit R. Booker Sr. Innovative Elementary School in Nevada to personally deliver flowers to Juliana Urtubey herself.
In clips aired on CBS This Morning, Dr. Biden could be seen in a purple coat and mask, arriving at the school with a bouquet for Urtubey. She and Urtubey also appeared for a joint interview with Gayle King.
"I'm so excited because, you know, Juliana is our National Teacher of the Year, and I'm so proud today to be an educator," Biden said. "Look at Juliana—I mean, she is just the epitome of a great teacher, a great educator."
"I was obviously elated," Urtubey said about their meeting. "I mean, it's so amazing. And I'm so grateful for a change of tone of positivity, of focusing on education to get our students what they need. It's so beautiful."
According to her biography on the NTOY website, Urtubey is a coteacher in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade special education, and is an instructional strategist developing a schoolwide Multi-Tiered System of Supports for academic, social-emotional, and behavioral interventions.
During the interview, Dr. Biden discussed the important role teachers have in communities, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"For so long, teachers were undervalued," she admitted. "But now hopefully, you know, all of America after this pandemic has seen what teachers have done and how they've just taken care of our kids. It's just been such a tough time, and teachers have risen to this moment."
Dr. Biden is the first spouse in modern history to keep their profession while in the White House. In February, it was reported that she began teaching classes via Zoom from the White House.
"I taught all eight years that I was second lady," Dr. Biden told People. "That's my passion, that's my life."