Since its inception in 1964, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers statewide celebrating their effective work in and outside the classroom. The mission of the program is to provide opportunities for professional growth to exemplary teachers as leaders in and advocates for public education. Selected teachers move through two levels of recognition: (1) the State Board District Teacher of the Year as a regional recognition and (2) the Ohio Teacher of the Year as the state-level recognition.
The Ohio Teacher of the Year program is a two-year opportunity:
- Year 1 – Recognition, Celebration, and Professional Development
- Year 2 – Teacher Fellowship with the Ohio Department of Education (pending funding)
A candidate for the Ohio Teacher of the Year (OTOY) is eligible to apply as a licensed Ohio educator with a minimum of five years of teaching experience currently employed in a state- approved public school; pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, working directly with students a minimum of 50% of their contracted time; who has not been a previous regional or state OTOY honoree: and, who is planning to continue in an active teaching status.
The Ohio Teacher of the Year candidate has the respect and admiration of their colleagues and:
- Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence
- Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success
- Deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large
- Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning
- Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way*All applications are evaluated against these criteria.
*All applications are evaluated against these criteria.
All nominations are online and available on the Ohio Teacher of the Year Webpage. For local districts or community schools that annually recognize a local district Teacher of the Year, it is recommended to nominate the local honoree. If the local district timeline for selection and recognition does not align with the Ohio Teacher of the Year timeline, it is recommended to nominate the previous year’s honoree.
A school district or community school is not required to have a local Teacher of the Year recognition process in place. School administrators, colleagues, community members, parents or students may submit a nomination for an outstanding teacher.
The Territory Lead for each State Board District receives and verifies all nominee’s eligibility. Once confirmed, the Territory Lead will invite each nominee to submit an Ohio Teacher of the Year application for review.
REGIONAL: State Board District Teacher of the Year
Ohio’s 11 educational regions are identified as State Board of Education (SBOE) Districts, each represented by an elected board member. Nominations come from public traditional and community school administrators, students, parents, peers and community members. Territory Leads facilitate the selection of the State Board District Teacher of the Year.
STATE: Ohio Teacher of the Year
Each State Board District Teacher of the Year moves forward as a candidate in the state- level Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process. A committee, identified by the Department, reviews applications and selects finalists to interview. The interview panel follows a process outlined by the Department to confirm the final selection of the Ohio Teacher of the Year. Finally, the Department nominates the selected teacher for consideration as the National Teacher of the Year.
NATIONAL: National Teacher of the Year
The Ohio Teacher of the Year is nominated by the Department to the National Teacher of the Year selection, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). A selection committee reviews applications from every State Teacher of the Year selecting four national finalists to interview. If selected as the National Teacher of the Year, the Ohio Teacher of the Year is then released from classroom duties for one year to travel nationwide as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession.
|February 14 – May 29th, 2020||Nomination Period (extended to May 29th)|
|June 12, 2020||Deadline to submit 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year application to Territory Lead for regional selection process.|
|June 15 – 26, 2020||All regional committees select one SBOE District Teacher of the Year|
|July (TBD), 2020||Public announcement of SBOE District honorees|
|July 24, 2020||State committee reviews applications from (11) State Board District honoree applications to select four state finalists (subject to change if necessary).|
|August 7, 2020||State committee interviews finalists, deliberates and makes a final selection of the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year (subject to change if necessary).|
|TBD||Public announcement of 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year|
All nominations are online and available on the Ohio Teacher of the Year Webpage.