Charbonneau goes to Washington

Danielle Charboneau addresses 2023 Teachers of the Year in town-hall style meeting with First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. — Courtesy MVRHS

Danielle Charbonneau, winner of the 61st Massachusetts Teacher of the Year award last year, was recognized at the White House this past month, along with teachers from across the country.

The White House visit was part of the Teacher of the Year Program Washington Week.

Charbonneau was the first teacher from the Vineyard to win the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year award. She runs the Project Vine alternative education program at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS), and is an English teacher. 

The 2023 State Teachers of the Year got a tour of the Smithsonian during the April event, which was followed with a reception at the White House. 

According to a press release, President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona attended the event. 

The release states that a “major highlight” for Charbonneau was speaking at a town-hall style meeting with the First Lady and Cardona. Charbonneau shared some of the concerns of the Project Vine students, and the success of the alternative education model at MVRHS. 

“I was honored to represent the Island and the commonwealth in D.C.,” Charbonneau said in the release. “To be perfectly honest, though I don’t usually have a fear of public speaking, I was pretty much shaking before I spoke! But I had messages from our students I needed to deliver. I hope I made everyone back home proud, and continue to do so in the rest of my ‘service’ year, and beyond.” 

Charbonneau also had the opportunity to advocate for alternative education to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Board in January. 

A video and transcript of the Bidens honoring the award recipient teachers are available online.