The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 as a means of recognizing outstanding teachers. The Nebraska Teacher of the Year Program has been in place since 1972 and affords an opportunity to honor dedicated teachers for excellence in classroom teaching. The Nebraska Department of Education coordinates events surrounding Teacher of the Year activities, working with the Nebraska State Education Association, Nebraska Association of School Boards, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Nebraska Parent-Teacher Association, The Sherwood Foundation, Union Bank & Trust Company, The Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Inc., and ConAgra Foods Foundation.
The Nebraska Awards of Excellence Program, which features selection of the Nebraska Teacher of the Year, serves to recognize the contributions of the classroom teacher. Candidates must be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teachers; have the respect and admiration of parents, colleagues, and students; play active and useful roles in the community as well as in the school; be poised and articulate; and possess the energy to withstand a busy schedule. The most important criterion is a superior ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
The Nebraska Application Review Committee examines all applications submitted and selects five Award of Excellence Teachers. Each of the Award of Excellence Teachers will be interviewed to determine the Nebraska Teacher of the Year, who will be eligible for consideration as the National Teacher of the Year.
Certified teachers, who plan to continue in an active teacher status in any state-approved or accredited school pre-kindergarten through grade 12, may be nominated. Supervisory and administrative responsibilities are secondary considerations.
Whether nominated by someone else or applying directly for the honor, each candidate must personally complete the application form. All answers must be in the teacher's own words.
Although the selection committee will consider all items on the application, effective classroom teaching and the capability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn are the most important qualifications.
March 2014 Application packets available
August 8, 2014 Postmark deadline for receipt of applications.
September-October 2014 Finalists will be selected and notified.
October 2014 Finalists will be interviewed in Lincoln.
November 6, 2014 Recognition luncheon
The Nebraska Teacher of the Year's duties will be extensive. The selected candidate will maintain a regular teaching schedule while also fulfilling the duties of the Teacher of the Year position. Some highlights of the Nebraska Teacher of the Year may include:
Participating in the National Teacher of the Year program as a representative of Nebraska;
Speaking at various engagements across the state – Administrators' Days conference, Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA) conference and others;
Participating in workshops and local school programs across the state;
Participating in the Council of Chief State School Officer (CCSSO) conference in Phoenix, AZ (this conference is approximately one week);
Participating in the National Teacher Recognition Ceremony in Washington, DC (this event is approximately one week);
Participating in International Space Camp in Huntsville, AL (this event is approximately one week);
Participating in the National Teacher of the Year Program/Educational Testing Service Next Steps Conference in Princeton, NJ; and
Participating in the Education State Teacher of the Year Digital Storytelling Project, New York City, NY (The Princeton, NJ and New York City, NY events are approximately one week)
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Lora Sypal, Teacher of the Year Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Telephone: (402) 471-5059
Fax: (402) 471-4433