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Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year (PA-TOY)

Awards to Pennsylvania PreK-12 Teachers for
Outstanding Contributions to Public Education

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National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) - Pennsylvania Chapter and Pennsylvania Department of Education

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Awards to Pennsylvania PreK-12 teachers to recognize outstanding contributions to the quality of public education. Nominations are invited on behalf of exceptional teachers who inspire students to learn, play an active role in their community and school, and have the admiration and respect of students, colleagues, and parents.

Teacher of the Year Responsibilities:

Being a Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and nominee for the National Teacher of the Year is a great honor and responsibility. Regional finalists for Teacher of the Year and the national nominee, in particular, will be asked to participate in a variety of activities, such as serving on Pennsylvania Department of Education committees and making presentations to various groups. The national nominee will also be invited to participate in state nominee activities.

Districts will be expected to provide substitute teachers for the teachers to participate in a reasonable number of activities as regional finalists and Teacher of the Year. Regional finalists and the Teacher of the Year will return to the annual Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Educational Forum the following year to present best practices and participate in professional development sessions. The National Teacher of the Year is released from classroom duties for a year to serve as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144240

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible, teachers must:
-Possess a valid Pennsylvania Instructional II certificate;
-Be exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled pre-kindergarten through grade twelve teachers in any public school in Pennsylvania;
-Plan to continue in an active teaching status through the current school year;
-Incorporate effective and innovative instructional strategies, particularly elements of the Standards Aligned Systems (SAS);
-Inspire students of all backgrounds to learn;
-Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
-Play an active role in the school and community;
-Be poised, articulate, and have good communication skills.

Pre-Application Information:

Any parent, community member, student, or educator can nominate an individual who meets the criteria in the section above to be a Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. Nominees must complete the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year application form for consideration. Applications are due December 15.

Nomination forms received after December 15 will be entered into the PA-TOY class for the following year.

The selection committee of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, with the guidance and assistance of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will review and score the nomination packets to select the semi-finalists and regional finalists from each of the state’s four regions.

The Teacher of the Year selection process is rigorous. Scoring criteria incorporate the components of the SAS to validate a candidate’s instructional methods in the classroom and ability to communicate educational philosophies and issues to a wide audience. For more information on Standards Aligned Systems (SAS), visit

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Michelle Switala

Michelle Switala
821 Washington Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15229

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania

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