Every year, each of the 50 states names a teacher of the year. The Oregon Teacher of the Year Program started in 1955 when elementary school teacher Margaret (Perry) Teufel of Monmouth Elementary School won the honor. Candidates for Oregon Teacher of the Year should be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled educators in grades preK-12 (administrative responsibilities should be of secondary consideration). The candidate should be planning to continue in an active teaching status.
In addition, candidates for Oregon Teacher of the Year should:
The Oregon Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence, with the Teacher of the Year serving as the face and voice of exemplary educators across the state. As a representative of the profession, this teacher leader is asked to engage and inspire other teachers and community leaders. Among other activities of their choice, they present at workshops; speak at education conferences and meetings; address student, civic, higher education, and governmental groups; participate in professional development at local, state, and national levels; and operate special programs in accordance with their interests and expertise. Publicly recognizing outstanding teachers encourages students to think about teaching as a career, and provides the community a sense of pride and investment in their teachers who are making a positive impact on student’s lives every day.
Thanks to the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery, the Oregon Teacher of the Year receives a gift award of $5,000 as well as a special fund to cover all travel costs for the year. In addition, a matching monetary gift ($5,000) goes to the Teacher of the Year’s school. The winner also receives a technology package award from SMART Technologies as well as other gifts and recognition from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), founder of the National Teacher of the Year Program. Finally, the first and second runners up receive a $2,000 cash award as a part of the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery.