Teacher of the Year Small Logo Teacher of the Year Logo


Every year, each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, DC, and the Department of Defense Education Activity 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. Beginning in 2018-19, the Oregon Teacher of the Year program has expanded to celebrate exemplary educators in every region of the state! Outstanding teachers are honored in up to 19 Education Service District regions in Oregon, and are entered to win the recognition of Oregon Teacher of the Year. Watch this video to learn more about the  Oregon Teacher of the Year expansion.

Candidates for Oregon Teacher of the Year should be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled licensed public school 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:

  • Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
  • Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
  • Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

Why It’s Important

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 gifts and recognition from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), founder of the National Teacher of the Year Program. Finally, finalists receive a $2,000 cash award, and regional winners each receive $500 as a part of the Oregon Department of Education’s partnership with the Oregon Lottery.

Follow ODE on Twitter  Image result for twitter png@ORDeptEd