Teacher of the year
Preparing young people for their future and success in a rapidly changing society is important. Delivering entrepreneurial education in schools and inspiring and encouraging young people happens due to active people.
Junior Achievement Finland rewards teachers of excellent merit yearly. The teachers are chosen as the JA Teachers of the Year, each of which will have delivered the JA programme in his or her educational institutional. A Teacher of the Year is an ambassador for entrepreneurial education, an enabler who excites and motivates students, an active networker and developer in his or her own educational institution.
On the basis of the nominations received we will choose three teachers who will be awarded in the end of spring 2023.
- Excites and motivates students
- Taking students’ abilities and strengths into account
- Involving one’s local businesses
- Spreading the message about JA activities
- Promoting learning by doing and an entrepreneurial attitude in one’s own educational institution
The Teacher of the Year may be a teacher who has long worked with programmes, or a new teacher who has just mastered the programme. Not all criteria need to be filled to be chosen Teacher of the Year.
Meet the past Teachers of the year
Tanja Ingelin is the driving force and central figure of Kyrkslätts gymnasium, i.e. Kirkkonummi’s Swedish-speaking upper secondary school entrepreneurial specialisation. She has guided young people through our Company programme for many years. She inspires students to implement their ideas. She has many years of experience in entrepreneurial education and a wealth of know-how on the subject. Tanja Ingelin is a role model in entrepreneurial education in Swedish-speaking schools in Uusimaa.
Anne Leikari is a hard-liner in entrepreneurial education in Hj. Nortamo elementary school in Rauma. Leikari has been teaching entrepreneurial education since 2008 and has succeeded in motivating many young people to continue on the entrepreneurial path even after comprehensive school. She is able to encourage pupils to seek their own path from young people’s own perspective. On the other hand, Anne Leikari’s perseverance has also helped those students to develop their strengths that have not experienced entrepreneurship as their own. She does not give up even when the pupil were giving up, but keeps encouraging and guiding the pupils over and over again to different ways of working. Hj. Nortamo comprehensive school’s entrepreneurial education courses have also included many visits to local companies over the years.
Päivi Marttila-Lampinen has worked as a JA teacher since 1999. She is the foundation of Sedu’s entrepreneurial education, an active network player with long experience. Päivi Marttila-Lampinen also completed one of her work placements in the office of the international network of Junior Achievement in Hawaii and in schools there. Marttila-Lampinen is a developer, an innovator and an entrepreneurial educator who thinks critically outside the box. She believes in experiential learning and an entrepreneurial approach. Marttila-Lampinen has also introduced and guided many of her colleagues to the implementation of the Junior Achievement programme and the learning method.
Regarding primary schools, the Junior Achievement association award goes to Markus Koskinen from Vesivehmaa elementary school in Asikkala. Antti Karkiainen, who is responsible for the Pikkuyrittäjät (Little entrepreneurs) programme, describes Koskinen’s actions in developing active and new activities as follows:
“Future working life requires creative problem-solving skills and an entrepreneurial attitude. Class teacher and principle Markus Koskinen has begun to solve this challenge together with the Asikkala municipality educational administration and entrepreneurs. An entrepreneurial education model has been built in the municipality, which includes the Pikkuyrittäjät programme together with a business mentor and networking activities with local entrepreneurs. Children come up with ideas and implement fundraising measures for tangible things, such as company visits and school yard refurbishment. In addition to practical entrepreneurial education, Koskela has a research background: she has completed her dissertation on entrepreneurial education and a doctoral dissertation is also in preparation.”
Juha Kujansuu, Ulvila upper secondary school, Ulvila
Juha Kujansuu, vice principle and lecturer of history and social studies at Ulvila upper secondary school, is a veteran entrepreneurial educator who always gives advice and encouragement to colleagues. Juha Kujansuu has been drafting Finland’s first regional strategy for entrepreneurial education in Satakunta. His networks, both nationally and internationally, are unparalleled.
Tuire Pervilä, Samiedu, Savonlinna
Tuire Pervilä, Samiedu project coordinator in Savonlinna, inspires and throws herself into entrepreneurship together with students. Her motto is “Hands dirty”. She sees the students’ competence and wants to sincerely support their strengths. Tuire Pervilä is delighted with the success of the students and rewards them verbally. With her cooperation skills, entrepreneurial education has gained new ways of working and visibility, e.g. at the East Savonia start-up centre. She paves the way and lures others with her, like the pied piper.
Jari Heiskanen, Pielisjoki comprehensive school, Pielisjoki
Jari Heiskanen, head of the course “Getting to know business life” at the Pielisjoki school, and a teacher of history and social studies, is the heart of the Company programme, under whose leadership the programme has already been run for five years. He has encouraged his students to engage in entrepreneurship and guided and supported them to participate in the Uskalla Yrittää semi-finals – with great success. For two years in a row, the JA entrepreneurs, led by Jari Heiskanen, have won the semi-finals in the region.
Tarja Manner, Tampere vocational college Tredu, Virrat
Tarja has strong experience in teaching entrepreneurship and has also been an entrepreneur herself. Although she has been teaching entrepreneurship for several years, she is new to JA teaching. Entrepreneurial education in accordance with JA activities is being implemented at the Tredu Virrat campus this academic year, and Tarja has been one of the pioneers. Tarja is an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher, who always thinks about things from the student’s perspective and for their benefit.
The Tredu Virrat entrepreneurship student group has students from three different grades and the group is very heterogeneous. Thus, special skills are required from the teacher to steer the group forward. In her teaching, Tarja takes into account students requiring special support and inspires them to progress in entrepreneurial studies and gain positive experiences of entrepreneurship using different teaching methods. Students at the Tredu Virrat campus have participated in various JA competitions under the guidance of Tarja, thus gaining valuable capital and expertise of entrepreneurship, which will surely carry far into the future.
Sanna Sirola, Karhula upper secondary school, Kotka
Sanna has been leading the entrepreneurial specialisation of Karhula upper secondary school with enthusiasm and good results for approximately 15 years. She has actively developed activities and acted as a pioneer and an example in entrepreneurial education, both in own school, and paving the way for others. As a teacher, Sanna is a positive pedagogue who pays attention to individuals, encourages each student to take into account their strengths, and is able to smile happily, even though there is a lot of work to be done.
As a gym teacher, Sanna has, for example, developed sports entrepreneurship and also runs a sports tutor project. She has played a very active role in advancing the joint JA camps and other entrepreneurial education activities of the Kotka-Hamina region upper secondary schools and in cooperating with the development company Cursor. Sanna runs the Company programme year after year with the same energy, inspiring students to implement their own business ideas. She also implements the recently renewed entrepreneurship curriculum of Karhula upper secondary school together with the upper secondary school entrepreneurship team and the rest of the faculty. Sanna is an energetic and diligent organizer, whose happy and cheerful attitude is easy to grasp by pupils and colleagues!
Heikki Honkanen, Pori lyceum school, Pori
Heikki Honkanen is one of Satakunta’s most experienced entrepreneurship teachers in both primary and secondary education. He has worked as an entrepreneurial education teacher for 18 years, and has been involved in the Company programme six times in recent years. In addition to his pupils and colleagues, he has good and uncomplicated relations with the people and the board of the Pori entrepreneurs’ association, which enables mutual cooperation with the local entrepreneur association. Last spring, he was also able to participate for the first time in the national Uskalla Yrittää finals as a guiding teacher, which further strengthened his faith in the wide-ranging impact and functionality of this great programme.
Anu Pokela, OSAO (Oulu region vocational school), Oulu
Anu is a very bold, enthusiastic and inspiring teacher. She teaches with a very entrepreneurial approach, making use of her networks in business life in Finland and abroad. In the work community, she has highlighted the companies of her students and presented the JA programme and its good opportunities in teaching. She is a very positive and energizing co-worker. Her commitment to work is illustrated by a strong desire to develop the content of her own work to be a better coach and team player, for which she has acquired competence in her own work through internal and external training.
She works as an entrepreneurial and customer service teacher at the Kaukovainio services unit of the Oulu region vocational school. She has been developing an entrepreneurial and competence-based path for the unit through the implementation of innovation pedagogy.
Oskari Ropponen, Vihti upper secondary school, Vihti
Oskari has done excellent work at Vihti upper secondary school in entrepreneurship education and JA activities.
When Oskari came to Vihti upper secondary school, there was no entrepreneurial activity at all. The Company programme was implemented for the first time in the academic year 2013 and the first implementation involved 28 students. Since then, Oskari has run the Company programme (this academic year included six times). Over the past six years, he has guided a total of 56 companies with as many as 144 students. Very few students have left the activity unfinished during the year, thus Oskari has managed to encourage students through difficult moments. In addition, large numbers of students indicate successful motivation towards entrepreneurship.
In addition, the entrepreneurial activities of Vihti upper secondary school have expanded. For the last couple of years, Vihti upper secondary school’s programme has included a 24h camp, which has inspired young people immensely to become entrepreneurs.
Marjut Helvelahti, Riveria vocational school, Joensuu
As a Junior Achievement teacher, Marjut is an adult and her journey has been an incredible experience. It has been filled with joy, laughter, success, surprises, tears of joy and disappointments. Marjut started her JA journey from Lohja and is currently building and developing JA activities in Joensuu at Riveria vocational school.
Marjut describes her own journey as a JA teacher as follows: “When you love something as much as I love the work of an entrepreneurial educator, they do not always have their head in the fluffy, pink clouds, but are ready to suffer for their own case, their own dream, their own beloved work.”
Over the past couple of years, JA activities in Riveria have expanded enormously. Both the camping activities and the Company programme have entered the scene. Marjut has also contributed to the fact that JA activities have crossed academic level boundaries in Joensuu.
|Sampo Niskanen||Business College Helsinki||Helsinki|
|Petra Blomqvist||Ekenäs Gymnasium||Raasepori|
|Mikko Puustinen||Etelä-Tapiolan lukio||Espoo|
|Katri Råglund||Etelä-Tapiolan lukio||Espoo|
|Heini Pennanen||Gradia Jyväskylä||Jyväskylä|
|Pia Kotro||Gradia Jyväskylä||Jyväskylä|
|Antti-Pekka Nikula||Gradia Jyväskylä||Jyväskylä|
|Tuija Tiala||Hämeenlinnan lyseon lukio||Hämeenlinna|
|Antti Rönty||Kainuun ammattiopisto||Kajaani|
|Heli Mylly||Kainuun ammattiopisto||Kajaani|
|Mikko Hankaniemi||Keski-Pohjanmaan ammattiopisto||Kokkola|
|Minna Savolainen||Kouvolan seudun ammattiopisto KSAO||Kouvola|
|Mervi Naskali||Nokianvirran koulu||Nokia|
|Tomi Lähde||Nokianvirran koulu||Nokia|
|Alla Miller||Rantakylän yhtenäiskoulu||Mikkeli|
|Matias Haukkala||Rantakylän yhtenäiskoulu||Mikkeli|
|Jari Koljonen||Riihenmäen koulu||Mäntsälä|
|Leena Rättyä||Riihenmäen koulu||Mäntsälä|
|Tarja Malinen||Riveria ammattiopisto||Joensuu|
|Risto Kiuru||Savonia ammattikorkeakoulu||Kuopio|
|Kirsi Nevanpää||Seinäjoen lyseo||Seinäjoki|
|Mika Jokiaho||Vaasan lyseon lukio||Vaasa|
|Tiina Nyrhinen||Vasaramäen koulu||Turku|
|Eeva Himberg||Vasaramäen koulu||Turku|
|Paavo Kriktilä||Vehkalahden koulu||Hamina|
|Tiina Halonen||Ammattiopisto Keuda||Kerava|
|Mia Nousiainen||Ammattiopisto Keuda||Kerava|
|Vesa Liukkonen||Etelä-Savon ammattiopisto||Mikkeli|
|Lasse Alinen||Iitin lukio||Kouvola|
|Mia Mattsson||Jakobstads gymnasium||Pietarsaari|
|Suvi Salminen||Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu||Jyväskylä|
|Päivi Patja||Jyväskylän yliopisto||Jyväskylä|
|Anne Määttä||Kajaanin ammattikorkeakoulu||Kajaani|
|Minna Busch||Koulutuskeskus Sedu||Seinäjoki|
|Marja-Riitta Tikkala||Padasjoen yhtenäiskoulu||Padasjoki|
|Jari Heiskanen||Pielisjoen koulu||Joensuu|
|Risto Räsänen||Savon ammattiopisto||Kuopio|
|Leena Laakso-Seppälä||Savon ammattiopisto||Kuopio|
|Mathias Blom||Strömborgska skolan||Porvoo|
|Pekka Stenholm||Turun yliopisto||Turku|
|Tommi Pukkinen||Turun yliopisto||Turku|
|Pirkko Peiponen||Business College Helsinki||Helsinki|
|Marjo Lehto||Etelä-Kymenlaakson ammattiopisto||Kotka|
|Jenni Korte||Etu-Töölön lukio||Helsinki|
|Heidi Räihä||Gradia Lukio||Jyväskylä|
|Esa Räty||Joensuun yhteiskoulun lukio||Joensuu|
|Pilvi Tervahonka||Kajaanin lyseo||Kajaani|
|Natascha Skog||Keski-Pohjanmaan ammattiopisto||Kokkola|
|Margita Engelholm||Kristinestads högstadieskola||Kristiinankaupunki|
|Pirjo Piiroinen||Oulunsalon lukio||Oulu|
|Ville Laitila||Reisjärven kristillinen opisto||Reisjärvi|
|Aulikki Leisku-Johansson||Tampereen yliopiston normaalikoulun lukio||Tampere|
|Hanna Savolainen||Ulvilan yhteiskoulu||Ulvila|
|Päivi Lindberg||Vaisaaren koulu||Raisio|
|Päivi Parkkonen||Valkealan lukio||Kouvola|
|Elina Ämmälä||Vehkalahden koulu||Hamina|
Frequently asked questions
Can I nominate myself as Teacher of the Year?
Yes you can! You can either nominate yourself or someone else. As you nominate yourself, you can justify to us why you would be the most appropriate choice.
Can a teacher who has previously received the award win the award again?
Yes they can! If the teacher has done a laudable and excellent job, they can win the award.