2023 ND Teacher of the Year Ivona Todorovic with Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and Governor Doug Burgum
From left: Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, 2023 ND Teacher of the Year Ivona Todorovic, and Gov. Doug Burgum

Ivona Todorovic teaches English learners (EL) in grades 9-12 at Red River High School, Grand Forks, North Dakota. A former elementary teacher in Bosnia, Todorovic has a persistent passion for teaching and working with children. After surviving the civil war and immigrating to the United States, Todorovic worked as a Title I paraeducator at an elementary school, where her determination to teach and make a difference in students’ lives became stronger than ever. She enrolled at the University of North Dakota to obtain a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Soon after, through the resident teacher program, she earned a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in reading education.

Upon earning her master’s degree, Todorovic was hired as an EL teacher for Grand Forks Public Schools, where during the last 17 years she has been teaching, learning, and growing with EL students who resettled in Grand Forks. Todorovic’s teaching does not stop at her classroom door. She has been involved with community events, bringing the world into her classroom, where her students learn the academic language that gives them access to content.

As a strong student advocate and teacher-researcher, Todorovic believes that every student brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her classroom and it is her job not just to teach students standards, but to teach with intentional teacher collaboration and curriculum rigor to provide them with real-world opportunities. This will help them become successful, contributing 21st-century citizens.