Meet New York State's Teacher Of The Year

Ashli Dreher

A Niagara County special education teacher praised for her collaboration with parents and drive to improve has been named the state's 2014 Teacher of the Year.

Ashli Dreher, who teaches students with developmental and intellectual disabilities at Lewiston-Porter Senior High School, received the award in Albany on Tuesday. "What I find most impressive about Ashli is her drive to continuously improve her practice," Education Commissioner John King said.

Besides earning National Board Certification, an advanced, voluntary teaching credential that goes beyond state standards, Dreher is a doctoral student at the University of Rochester. She has been a teacher for 18 years and has also has served as a regional coordinator for the New York State United Teachers Education and Learning Trust, which promotes training and professional development for teachers. "It really is an honor and a privilege, and my message this year really is that we are aiming higher all across our state," Dreher said.

Dreher will visit the White House as the state's 2014 representative for national Teacher of the Year. She succeeds Webster High School history teacher Greg Ahlquist as 2013's New York Teacher of the Year.