L. Juliana Urtubey of Booker ES named 2021 Nevada Teacher of the Year

L. Juliana Urtubey of Booker ES named 2021 Nevada Teacher of the Year

L. Juliana Urtubey, a learning strategist at Kermit R. Booker Senior Innovative Elementary School was honored in a surprise virtual ceremony for being selected as the 2021 Nevada Teacher of the Year with Governor Steve Sisolak, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert and CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara on Sept. 23, 2020.

As a strategist, Ms. Urtubey works with students who face learning, mental, emotional, or physical challenges. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, she is passionate about closing cultural and linguistic gaps that can exist between educators, students, and families. She served at Crestwood Elementary School for ten years and joined the Booker Elementary community at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. “My students and their families have always been my inspiration and each day they light the path we walk together,” she said. “It is an honor to receive this recognition and I’m so deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve my students and their families. Serving them is among the greatest joys in my life,” said Ms. Urtubey.

Ms. Urtubey serves as a member of the Superintendent Ebert’s Teacher Advisory Cabinet, a group of practitioners from across Nevada charged with providing feedback regarding the Nevada Department of Education’s initiatives and goals. “Juliana is a valued member of my Advisory Cabinet who consistently advocates on behalf of all students and their families,” said State Superintendent Ebert. “I am excited that this recognition as the State Teacher of the Year will provide a broader platform for her to share her talent and experiences with colleagues across Nevada.”

“Ms. Urtubey is a teacher leader who works tirelessly to support the learning of her colleagues as well as her students,” said Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara. “We are thrilled she will be representing the best of Nevada on the national stage.”

Ms. Urtubey has been an invaluable addition to Booker Elementary School this year,” said Principal Jose Silva. “She goes above and beyond her required duties, always putting the needs of others before her own. She is very kind, knowledgeable, supportive, and well-deserving of this recognition.”

The mission of the Nevada Teacher of the Year program is to celebrate excellence and strengthen the teaching workforce by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a school, district, State, and national level. The Nevada Teacher of the Year is chosen from individuals who are nominated and then are invited to apply. After a rigorous application and interview process, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction chooses from among five finalists. The number of nominations for the 2021 State Teacher of the Year more than doubled from the previous year. The four finalists for the 2021 Nevada Teacher of the Year are:

  • Perryn Hale of Roy Martin Middle School in Clark County School District
  • Shelly Nee of Pershing County High School in Pershing County School District
  • Christina Bourne of Mark Twain Elementary School in Carson City School District County
  • Lynn Jeka of Yerington Elementary School in Lyon County School District


As Nevada’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Urtubey will represent the Silver State in the National Teacher of the Year competition. Visit NDE’s Teacher of the Year “Hall of Fame” to view previous recipients. To learn more about the State Teacher of the Year program, click here. The National Teacher of the Year program is facilitated nationally by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Along with its sponsors, CCSSO brings together State Teachers of the Year from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Washington, DC, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. For more information about the National Teacher of the Year Program, click here.