Carolyn Kielma is the 2023 CT Teacher of the Year and a 2023 National Teacher of the Year Finalist. Since 2002, she has taught the love of science to students in Connecticut. For the last 15 years, she has taught biology, biotechnology and forensics, environmental science, anatomy and physiology, and is the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator at Bristol Eastern High School. Kielma believes teaching is not only about curriculum but also helping youth become better humans. Her goal is to provide an inclusive environment where all students feel valued, accepted, and treated with equity. Kielma believes learning is not about knowing the right answer; it is a process of discovery. As AVID coordinator at her school, Kielma works to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college and career readiness and success in a global society. She provides professional development to inspire teachers across her district and travels nationwide as an AVID Staff Developer to train teachers in engagement strategies that promote equity and inclusion.