The nominating site for the 2018 awards is now closed. Applications for the 2019 class are due on May 1, 2018.
How to nominate
Please note all educators must be nominated by an NEA affiliate. If you are an individual who would like to nominate an outstanding educator, please contact the appropriate NEA state or direct affiliate.
Preview the application.
What are the selection criteria?
Applications for the national awards are judged according to five criteria. Panelists rate state awardees on each criterion using the point value indicated below.
The awardee demonstrates instructional expertise, creativity, and innovation. The awardee uses a variety of pedagogical techniques and effectively addresses students’ different learning styles and needs. The awardee is an instructional leader at the local, state, and/or national level.
Advocacy for the profession15 points
The awardee is a current, active member of the local, state, and/or national education association, and has assumed leadership roles at one or more of these levels. The awardee is an active member of other professional organizations and engages in activities that advance the profession and public education. The awardee speaks out on behalf of public education, educators, and students.
Community engagement5 points
The awardee frequently interacts with parents and other community members on substantive education issues. The awardee brings community resources to the classroom and conducts service learning projects with his or her students in the community.
Professional development10 points
The awardee continually engages in experiences to improve his or her practice and to gain new skills and knowledge. The awardee shares this new learning with colleagues in a variety of venues. The awardee’s participation in and commitment to professional development has a visible impact on his or her institution, students, and community.
Attention to diversity5 points
The awardee works to provide a learning environment that meets the needs of all students, regardless of differences. The awardee recognizes and explicitly addresses the full array of values, cultures, and experiences represented in our diverse modern society, both through curriculum and instruction and in other interactions with students.