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Michelle Doherty,

2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year

Arizona Teacher of the Year Program

Each year, AEF spotlights the contributions of ten outstanding public school teachers throughout Arizona. One is named the

AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year and represents the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition. Four finalists are named "Ambassadors for Excellence" and the remaining five are Semi-Finalists.

The top ten are honored each Fall at the annual Teacher of the Year Awards where the winner is announced.

Considered the "Oscars" of the teaching profession, the Arizona Teacher of the Year Award is a glorious celebration of Arizona educators! Each year, from hundreds of nominations, ten Arizona teachers are identified as finalists and semi-finalists for our state's highest teaching profession honor. The Arizona Educational Foundation's Arizona Teacher of the Year program is a component of CCSSO's National Teacher of the Year Awards. The teacher selected as Arizona Teacher of the Year goes on to represent our state in consideration for the National Teacher of the Year title.

eligibility.

Any full-time certified teacher working in Arizona at a state-accredited public school or school operating under the Bureau of Indian Education is eligible to apply.

 

Additionally, applicants must:

 

  • Spend the majority (over 50%) of their teaching assignment in direct instruction to students.

  • Teach any grade Pre-K-12th (or combination) in Arizona. Teachers may work in any content area, including Special Education, P.E., the Arts, etc.

  • Have completed at least six (6) full years as a classroom teacher at the time the application is submitted with the most recent three years in Arizona.

  • Be a full-time teacher and plan to continue in an active teaching status through 2021.

  • Not have been selected as an AEF™ Teacher of the Year, Semifinalist or Ambassador for Excellence in the past.

  • Be available to fulfill ambassadorial duties during the year of service and be supported by their employer.

nominations.

The nomination process is entirely open. Teachers may self-nominate, be nominated by a student, co-worker, administrator, school or district committee, friend or family member.


 

Nominations for the 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award are closed and will reopen January 2021.

expectations.

Step 1: Once a teacher is nominated, they are provided with a link to the online Arizona Teacher of the Year application. Teachers have until the specified deadline to submit the online application. Included with the application, teachers will also upload three letters of recommendation and a current resume.

Step 2: The Arizona Teacher of the Year selection panel reviews written applications and narrows them down to the top ten highest rated teachers for that year. The top ten teachers are notified and invited to participate in an in-person interview. Teachers not selected for that year, are encouraged to try again!

Step 3: If selected as one of the top ten, teachers will attend an in-person interview to meet and interact with the Arizona Teacher of the Year selection panel. Teachers will also be asked to deliver an impromptu speech and be expected to provide a video teaching demonstration.

 

Step 4: Following the in-person interviews, the top ten teachers will be notified of results. Five will be named "Ambassadors for Excellence" and five will be semi-finalists. All ten will be celebrated at the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards. The five Ambassadors will be considered finalists for the Teacher of the Year title, which will be revealed during the Awards.

 

Step 5: Due to the generosity of our amazing sponsors and partners, all ten teachers will be beneficiaries of various opportunities throughout the year. The individual ultimately named "Teacher of the Year" and the four Ambassadors engage in a "year of honor"with AEF. This year may include public appearances, speaking engagements, providing professional development, and serving on policy committees and task forces. The Ambassadors and Teacher of the Year are provided with professional speech and storytelling training.

Step 6: The individual named Arizona Teacher of the Year will have additional opportunities and responsibilities, both in Arizona and outside of the state as part of the National Teacher of the Year program.

Following their year of honor, Teachers of the Year and Ambassadors are encouraged to remain active in a "year of service" as participants in AEF's work by serving on the Teacher of the Year selection panel; serving as a judge for the A+ Schools of Excellence program; and participating in the Arizona Chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.

 

timeline.

January - April

Nominations accepted.

June

Applications due.

August - September

Top Ten selected.

October

Teacher of the Year Awards

Nominations are accepted January 1 - April 30.

Nominees must submit the Teacher of the Year application in order to be considered.

The application deadline for the 2021 Teacher of the Year has been extended to June 12th, 2020 at 5:00pm MST.

 

awards.

Additionally, through the generosity of our donors, AEF is able to provide the following* for the top 10 nominated Teachers:

 

For the Arizona Teacher of the Year:

  • $15,000 cash

  • Arizona’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year

  • Travel to Washington D.C. to meet the President of the United States (pending each administration)

  • Travel to International Space Camp in Huntsville, AL

  • Travel to the National Teacher of the Year Program Induction**

  • Classroom Makeover by a professional designer

  • Considered to receive Honorary Doctorate from NAU College of Education

  • AZ K12 Center Scholarship to pursue National Board Certification; Three (3) AZK12 Coaching Saturdays; Registration at One National Board Institute and National Board Workshop; Registration at annual Teacher Leadership Institute

  • Professional speech and storytelling training

  • Special dinner provided by Fiesta Bowl Charities and on-field recognition at the Fiesta Bowl

  • Honored in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on the APS fire engine

  • One-year membership to Treasures 4 Teachers

 

For the four Ambassadors for Excellence:

  • $5,000 cash

  • AZK12 Center Scholarship to pursue National Board Certification; Three (3) AZK12 Coaching Saturdays; Registration at One National Board Institute and National Board Workshop; Registration at annual Teacher Leadership Institute

  • Special dinner provided by Fiesta Bowl Charities and on-field recognition at the Fiesta Bowl

  • Honored in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on the APS fire engine

  • One-year membership to Treasures 4 Teachers

 

For the five Semi-finalists:

  • $1,000 cash

  • AZK12 Center Teacher Leadership Institute registration

  • Special dinner provided by Fiesta Bowl Charities and on-field recognition at the Fiesta Bowl

  • Honored in the Fiesta Bowl Parade on the APS fire engine

  • One-year membership to Treasures 4 Teachers

 

*Awards are dependent on funding and donor participation and are subject to change each year without notice.

**The National Teacher of the Year program is the oldest and most prestigious honors program to focus public attention on excellence in teaching. It is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in partnership with Voya Foundation.

staff contact.

For more information, contact Kim Graham at kim@azedfoundation.org.

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