COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Anthony Coy-Gonzalez was named the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year becoming the first teacher from the Ohio School for the Deaf to win the award.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria surprised Coy-Gonzalez Thursday by naming him the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year. Coy-Gonzalez teaches upper elementary students at the school located in Columbus.
DeMaria made an unannounced appearance during a video conference staff meeting to share the unexpected news with Coy-Gonzalez and several of his colleagues.
“I’m blown away by Anthony Coy-Gonzalez’s commitment to his students and their success,” said DeMaria. “He models persistence, hard work, positive attitude and civic mindedness. He brings an energy and enthusiasm to the classroom that is infectious not only among his students but among his colleagues as well. He truly embodies the characteristics we see in so many amazing teachers across the state.”
DeMaria says Coy-Gonzalez is intentional about connecting his students to role models within the community, and he recently initiated a school-wide Kindness Campaign involving students, school staff and community members to bring all three groups together in celebration of this important character trait.
DeMaria says Coy-Gonzalez strives to provide students with real-world experiences that broaden their horizons and shape their future goals. One example of this commitment is his work to bring about the “Little Spartans, Big News” elementary school newspaper that introduces members of the student body to journalism.
Coy-Gonzalez has served for five years as an executive board member for the State Council of Professional Educators. He also has served as an officer in the Parent Teacher Association since 2015.
In addition to community connectedness, Coy-Gonzalez works to instill a sense of humor and fun in his students. He delights in performing magic tricks and planning entertaining lessons. He even acted as the driving force behind planning the popular school carnival event.
Lou Maynus, superintendent of the Ohio School for the Deaf, praised Coy-Gonzalez’s ability to connect with students facing daily challenges.
“Anthony brings every ounce of himself to his work,” said Maynus. “His students know he cares for them and that allows them to trust him even when he challenges them. He is the type of individual who inspires both his students and his colleagues to do their best every day.”
Coy-Gonzalez holds a Master of Arts in Deaf Education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Education and Elementary Education, all from Flagler College.
The Ohio Teacher of the Year program began in 1964. Details about the selection process, the list of previous recipients and additional program information is available on the Ohio Department of Education website.