WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is honoring the finalists for the 2013 National Teacher of the Year award and saluting the winner, a Washington state teacher credited with improving science enrollment at his high school.

The winner is Jeff Charbonneau, a science teacher at Zillah High School in Washington state’s Yakima Valley.

Obama made special mention of the six educators who died last December in Newtown, Conn., during a shooting spree where a lone gunman also killed 20 elementary school children.

The president said teachers encourage children’s passions, inspire their imaginations.

Obama said: “These teachers, they are the ones we entrust with our kids, they are the people who love our kids.”


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