Extraordinary educators named 2020 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year, runner-up

Two remarkable educators who have dedicated their lives to engaging families in education have been named the 2020 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year and runner-up.

Leila Kubesch, a Norwood City Schools teacher in Cincinnati, was named the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year. Kubesch’s work beyond the classroom has included making home visits, building a school library, advocating for youths and immigrants living in foster care, founding a nonprofit organization, and much more.

She was surprised Monday morning with the award when a professional development call about best practices turned out to be a wonderful start to her week. Kubesch was presented with a $20,000 check to continue her family engagement efforts.

Aminah Williams, a Parents as Teachers® parent educator in St. Louis, was named the national runner-up. Williams also serves as a licensed clinical social worker, public policy advocate, and certified doula. She was overwhelmed with emotion after being surprised during a weekly staff check-in. Williams was presented with a $5,000 check to implement a doula program with Black mothers in her community.

The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, a national honor now in its 24th year, recognizes families play a crucial role in the success of children and salutes educators who are exceptional at using intergenerational approaches to engage students and their families in education. Since 1997, Toyota Family Teacher of the Year winners, runners-up, and their respective organizations have received $600,000.

NCFL and Toyota congratulate this year’s deserving winners for modeling exemplary family engagement practices in their communities, working alongside families to achieve better futures for generations to come.