The 21st Show

Why Idaho’s 2023 Teacher of the Year moved to Illinois


AP Photo

After 20 years of teaching children, Karen Lauritzen was named Idaho’s 2023 teacher of the year, and with that achievement came celebration and harassment that drove her to leave Idaho and teach in Illinois. Since winning the award, Lauritzen was accused by conservative media of being a “left-wing activist,” Parents, she said, began regarding her with suspicion, opting their children out of certain lessons. The political harassment and tension Lauritzen received along with the award contributed to her decision to move to Illinois to teach the college students studying at Millikin University.


Dr. Karen Laurentzen