BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – A Bristol high school teacher, who was named the 2023 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, is now a finalist to become the National Teacher of the Year.

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) and Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker announced on Wednesday that Carolyn Kielma, a science teacher from Bristol Eastern High School, has been named by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as one of five finalists under consideration to become the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.

The National Teacher of the Year Program’s Selection Committee will interview the five finalists, and the winner will be announced in the spring.

“Connecticut has the best public school teachers in the nation, and I am delighted to hear that our extraordinary teachers are receiving national recognition for their service,” Lamont said. “Ms. Kielma has provided so many students in the Bristol Public Schools system with a top-level education, and I’ve heard nothing but extraordinary compliments about her from her colleagues and students, many of whom I had the honor of meeting late last year when we visited Bristol Eastern High School to surprise Ms. Kielma with the announcement that she has been selected as Connecticut Teacher of the Year. She has made a real impact on the lives of many young people, and I thank her for her dedication to Connecticut’s public schools.”

Kielma has taught students in Connecticut since 2002, and for the past 15 years, she has taught biology, biotechnology, forensics, environmental science, anatomy, and physiology at Bristol Eastern High School.