Nearpod Announces the 2022 Educator of the Year Award Winners


Selected through a public nomination and voting process, Nearpod recognizes five educators who are making a difference in their local school communities

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (March 9, 2023) – Nearpod, a Renaissance company and a teacher-centric, interactive instructional platform that gives teachers real-time insights into student learning, announces the 2022 Educator of the Year Award winners. With 2,900 nominations and 4,600 votes received, Nearpod’s 2022 Educator of the Year Award winners represent the best and brightest in education, recognizing five winners and five finalists within the U.S. and abroad for their innovative and impactful work in the classroom.

“You cannot imagine how much I am excited to be one of the five winners for the 2022 Educator of the Year Awards,” said Liudmyla Katereniuk, a School Director in Ukraine and one of the award recipients. “I believe that teaching is the most difficult job in the world. As a school director, I am always trying to support and encourage my teachers, especially these days, in spite of the challenges presented by the ongoing war. Some people say challenges and barriers make our lives complicated, but I think they are essential for success and self-development.”

The awards program—now in its second year—highlights how educators use Nearpod and Flocabulary in their classrooms to best support their students. Nearpod expanded the awards program in 2022 from one to five winners to shine a light on the hard work and dedication of educators who are making an impact. Educators were encouraged to nominate someone making a difference with their students, peers, and local communities and then vote for their favorites.

The awards program features five unique categories, recognizing educators who create equitable, inclusive learning environments (Breaking Barriers), collaborate with others and grow their local educator communities (Community Connector), use Flocabulary in extraordinary ways (Flocabulary’s Favorite), foster a love of learning in every student (Magic Maker), and are go-to Nearpod champions in their school (Nearpod’s North Star).

This year’s winners are:

  • Breaking Barriers: Liudmyla Katereniuk, School Director, Ukraine
  • Community Connector: Alexa Guy, Instructional Reading Intervention Coach, Florida
  • Flocabulary’s Favorite: Sherena Small, School Social Worker, Illinois
  • Magic Maker: Amy Taylor, English and French Teacher, West Virginia
  • Nearpod’s North Star: Christie Thompson, Social Studies Teacher, Georgia

In addition, Nearpod names five runner-up finalists:

  • Breaking Barriers: Ashley Cornejo, Second-Grade Teacher, North Carolina
  • Community Connector: Nolan Grady, Ninth-Grade Math Team Lead, Pennsylvania
  • Flocabulary’s Favorite: Jeremy Percich, Third-Grade Teacher, Hawaii
  • Magic Maker: Sarana McDaniel, Second-Grade Teacher, California
  • Nearpod’s North Star: Erin Merrill, Social Studies Department Chair, Virginia

Committed to helping educators foster a love of learning in every student, Nearpod provides real-time insights into student understanding through interactive lessons, videos, gamification, and activities—all in one single platform. Flocabulary offers educational hip-hop videos and research-based curricular tools to increase performance by emphasizing vocabulary and literacy. Together, Nearpod and Flocabulary engage students and elevate their voices in the classroom—setting them up for success now and in the future.

“Each one of these educators—the winners, finalists, and all the nominees—were nominated because someone recognized the difference they are making in students’ lives,” said Todd Brekhus, Chief Product Officer at Renaissance and General Manager of Nearpod. “The work each one of these educators do is inspiring amid the challenges and obstacles in education. Congratulations again to all!”

Each 2022 Educator of the Year Award winner receives $300, an upgraded Nearpod and Flocabulary subscription, and a personalized shirt.

To learn more about each one of the winners and runner-up finalists, please visit

About Nearpod

Nearpod is the leader in providing interactive and high-impact instructional experiences inside and outside of the classroom. The company’s award-winning interactive, instructional platform merges formative assessment and dynamic media for live and self-paced teaching and learning that empowers teachers with real-time insights into student understanding through interactive lessons, interactive videos, gamification, and activities created in partnership with leading brands like Common Sense Education and Smithsonian—all in a single platform. In 2019, Nearpod acquired Flocabulary, a learning platform that engages students in academically rigorous K–12 curriculum while promoting literacy through music videos. Together, Nearpod and Flocabulary reach educators in the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. In 2018, Nearpod was named EdTech Digest’s Company of the Year. In March of 2021, Nearpod was acquired by Renaissance, a global leader in assessment, reading, and math solutions for pre-K–12 schools and districts. To learn more about Nearpod, visit

About Renaissance

As a global leader in assessment, reading, and math solutions for pre-K–12 schools and districts, Renaissance is committed to providing educators with insights and resources to accelerate growth and help all students build a strong foundation for success. Renaissance solutions reach more than 40% of US schools and more than a half million students in other regions across the world. Our portfolio includes solutions for assessment (Star Assessments, Star Phonics, myIGDIs for Preschool, FastBridge, DnA, and SchoolCity); practice (Accelerated Reader, myON, Freckle, and Lalilo); data-driven insights (eduCLIMBER and Schoolzilla); and teacher-facilitated instructional delivery (Nearpod). For more information, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:

Equity & Access - Issue 28

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