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Nebraska Teacher of the Year

Award to a Nebraska PreK-12 Teacher to Recognize
Outstanding Contributions to Education

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Funding Source:

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Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) - Nebraska Awards of Excellence Program

Deadline Date:

08/27/20 11:59 PM CST Postmarked or Receipt


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Award to a Nebraska PreK-12 classroom teacher and $1,000 grants to award finalists to honor outstanding achievements and contributions to education. Key qualifications include the use of effective teaching methods and the ability to inspire and motivate students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.

The Nebraska Teacher of the Year candidate has the respect and admiration of colleagues and:

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

In order to encourage innovative educational programs to benefit students and local school districts, the Nebraska State Board of Education awards a grant to each of the finalists so each honored teacher can pursue an educational project of special interest. In the past, teachers and their students have acquired (or produced) special curriculum materials, purchased classroom technological equipment, acquired new skills through attendance at seminars, studied arts and humanities, sponsored student field trips, and purchased unique items not otherwise budgeted for (such as artwork for display and a school sign for placement outside a new building).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158260

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Nebraska State Board of Education awards a $1,000 grant to each of the finalists.

The Nebraska State Education Association, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Nebraska Association of School Boards, and corporate partner BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska will present a monetary award and sponsoring corporate friends will present gifts and mementos to the Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Each of the remaining finalists will be given a monetary award or gifts and mementos from sponsoring corporate friends and education associations. The Nebraska Teacher of the Year Program also receives support from the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA); Channel 10/11, a community partner; and the Nebraska Corn Board.

Term of Contract:

Nebraska Teacher of the Year state obligations begin November 13, 2020. National Teacher of the Year obligations begin January 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Certified teachers, who plan to continue in an active teacher status in any state-approved or accredited school pre-kindergarten through grade 12, may be nominated. Supervisory and administrative responsibilities are secondary considerations.

Candidates must be:
• Exceptionally dedicated
• Knowledgeable/skilled
• Respected/admired by parents, students, and peers
• Active in the community in which they teach
• Poised, articulate, and energetic
• Able to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities

Teachers who have been nominated in prior years but did not achieve at least an Award of Excellence ranking may be nominated.

Teachers who have received recognition as Nebraska Teacher of the Year or who have been recognized as an Award of Excellence Recipient in the previous three years are not eligible for nomination.

Pre-Application Information:

- April 2020: Application packets available (Please note, the classroom video submission is postponed for 2021)
*A two-minute Public Speaking video is submitted with the 2021 Application
- August 27, 2020 (CST): Postmarked or Submitted deadline for receipt of applications, no later than 11:59 p.m. (Central Daylight Time).
- September 2020 Finalists will be selected and notified (Deadline extended)
- September 2020 Finalists will be interviewed in Lincoln (Deadline extended)
- November 12, 2020 Awards Recognition Event

The Nebraska Application Review Committee examines all applications submitted and selects five Award of Excellence Teachers. Each of the Award of Excellence Teachers will be interviewed to determine the Nebraska Teacher of the Year, who will be eligible for consideration as the National Teacher of the Year.

Those individuals interested in nominating a teacher will complete and submit the nomination form. The teacher will then receive the Teacher of the Year application to be completed and submitted. Candidates do not need to be nominated to complete the application. Whether nominated by someone else or applying directly for the honor, each candidate must personally complete the application form.

The Nebraska Teacher of the Year’s duties will be extensive. The selected candidate will maintain a regular teaching schedule while also fulfilling the duties of the Teacher of the Year position. For more information, see the URL for Full Text.

Contact Information:

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

Nebraska Teacher of the Year Nomination Form:

Nebraska Teacher of the Year Application:*&hosted=false%22

Nebraska Teacher of the Year Applications - Part A and Part B forms for the 2021 Nebraska Teacher of the Year are available through your superintendent or principal or by calling the Coordinator listed below.

For additional information, questions, and requests for application forms, please contact:
Lora Sypal, Teacher of the Year Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Telephone: (402) 471-5059

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska

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