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Iditarod sled dog race
Honor the Teacher. Honor the Journey.
Teachers walk many different paths on their way to the classroom. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank teachers like Kelly Villar for making the journey.
Teachers walk many different paths on their way to the classroom. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank teachers like Kelly Villar for making the journey.

Meet Kelly Villar

Like all heroes, Connecticut teacher Kelly Villar navigated the terrain and overcame obstacles, becoming the 2020 Teacher on the Trail™ for the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska. 

Read on to find out how she did it. Plus, you'll get advice for how to navigate your own path to teaching—and the tools that will help along the way.

Kelly and sled dog

Honoring Kelly

Second grade teacher, Southeast Elementary School in Mansfield Public Schools

Kelly and sled dog

“As I reflect on my journey to become a Connecticut teacher, the certification process stands out."

"TEACH Connecticut would have been a great resource for me, and I am certain it would have made the transition much smoother."

If you're looking for a career with purpose, check out our free coaching for future teachers. Just call to ask any question, get certification advice, access financial aid opportunities and more.

Going the Distance

Kelly at the race

In 2000, Kelly discovered the 1,000-mile Iditarod sled dog race, and she was hooked. She immediately began developing ways to use the race in her classroom. She loved sharing the inspiring lessons in courage and perseverance with her students. But she aimed to do more than develop lesson plans. Kelly knew she would one day hit the trail herself!

“On March 27, I received the call I had been waiting for for 20 years. I was selected to be the 2020 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.™ I will travel along the trail, write daily journals and present at schools."

"My journey through the arduous application process was my own lesson in courage and perseverance, two traits I’ll take with me on the trail!”

Kelly at the race

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Stay Inspired on the Hero's Path

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