Nominees shall be skillful and dedicated teachers, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Administrative personnel such as principals and guidance counselors are not eligible to be considered for State Teacher of the Year. Nominees for State Teacher of the Year who are not actively engaged in teaching in a public school at the time at which observations are made shall be disqualified.

The candidate should:

  • be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher;
  • inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;
  • have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
  • play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; and
  • be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule.

Nominees shall submit a portfolio describing themselves and setting forth their positions on education issues. Format will be based on the National Teacher of the Year program.

Please submit these as nominating materials:

Be sure to review the Delaware State Teacher of the Year Program Guide prior to submitting nominating materials.

  • Complete application. This application follows the sequence and form used by the National Teacher of the Year Program. Please follow the guidelines about length and font size. The application form can be found on EdAccess.
  • Ten letters of support from colleagues, parents, administrators, students, or other persons.
  • A color 5×7 photograph of the nominee showing full-face head and shoulders.
  • Diskette of the written narratives—preferably in Microsoft Word—labeled with the nominee’s name and school.
  • Prepare a 5-minute presentation: As the 2017 National Teacher of the Year, you would serve as a spokesperson and representative for the entire teaching profession. What would you communicate to your profession and to the general public?
    • The purpose of the video is to establish the speaker’s ability to express his/her ideas with conviction and poise. No point value is assigned to the video.
    • Each candidate will be scheduled to come to the Department of Education for the video taping of the 5-minutepresentation before the beginning of the school year; tentatively scheduled for the second week of August.

District Nomination Process

In Delaware, Teachers of the Year are annually chosen at the school and district levels through a variety of procedures. The department asked for, and has received, a copy of each district’s selection process in writing. District-level processes range from open nomination to formal selection by a district-wide committee among nominees from every school. The charter schools have a similar selection process. On-going change to improve the selection process is expected and recommended. It is the desire of the State Teacher of the Year program to promote and encourage a consistent selection process in every school district and ultimately in every school building.

Teachers who have received recognition as Delaware Teacher of the Year are not eligible for nomination. Those who have been recognized as a District Teacher of the Year in the previous three years are not eligible for nomination. Teachers who have been nominated in prior years, but did not achieve at least a district ranking, may be nominated the following year.

In the selection process at all levels, emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that we are looking for the best representative of the teaching profession and best teaching practices. Final selection of each school-level and district/charter school-level Teacher of the Year should be completed by a broad-based committee representing teachers, building administrators, parents, and students.

School and District nomination should take place in the spring for the following year. This will give the nominee ample time to prepare his or her portfolio for submission to the state. (Refer to the Timeline in the Delaware State Teacher of the Year Program Guide.)

The program should always be described as a search for a person who will represent his or her fellow teachers. Before the district decides, it should make sure that each nominee is willing to accept the title if offered.

State Nomination Process

The Delaware Teacher of the Year Program adheres to the requirements of the National Program regarding schedules; composition of the portfolios; and areas in which nominees will be judged. We are glad that we can go beyond the National guidelines by giving more attention to selected nominees at work in the classroom and by having persons from outside the Department make the final recommendation.

Following the submission of the portfolios, selected Department of Education staff members and selected former state and local district Teachers of the Year shall be assigned in pairs to read two nominee’s portfolios and observe those nominees in the classroom. Another group of Department of Education Staff members are assigned to read all of the portfolios and rate them based on forms found in the Teacher of the Year Program Guide.  Based on the numerical ratings from both the portfolio readers and from the observations, three nominees shall be identified as finalists for consideration by a panel of judges.

The panel of judges shall include: the current State Teacher of the Year; the President of the Delaware State PTA; the President of the Future Educators Association; a member of the State Board of Education; a representative of the Chamber of Commerce; the President of the Delaware State Education Association; and the Chair of the Professional Standards Board or, if necessary, their designees. The judges shall recommend one person for the Secretary of Education to declare as the State Teacher of the Year.