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Florida Teacher of the Year Program

Award to a Florida Teacher or Educator
for Outstanding Contributions to Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Florida Department of Education

Deadline Date:

02/15/21 - Receipt


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Award to a Florida teacher or educator to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of education. Please note that participating districts and institutions must select their winning teacher through an internal application and review process in advance of the state award deadline. Teacher of the Year candidates should have a track record of a positive impact on student learning.

The Teacher of the Year shall serve as the Ambassador for Education. If the Teacher of the Year is unable to serve as the Ambassador for Education, the first runner-up shall serve in his or her place.

The Ambassador for Education shall serve for one year and shall be assured of returning to his or her teaching position upon completion of the program. The ambassador will not have a break in creditable or continuous service or employment for the period of time in which he or she participates in the program.

The Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education Program is established to provide salary, travel, and other related expenses annually for an outstanding Florida teacher to promote the positive aspects of teaching as a career. 

The goals of the Florida Teacher of the Year program are to:

  • Enhance the stature of teachers and the teaching profession.
  • Promote the importance of quality education and teaching for the future.
  • Inspire and attract talented people to become teachers.
  • Provide information regarding Florida’s scholarship and loan programs related to teaching.
  • Promote the teaching profession within community and business groups.
  • Provide information to retired military personnel and other individuals who might consider teaching as a second career.
  • Work with and represent the Department of Education, as needed.
  • Work with and encourage the efforts of school and district teachers of the year.
  • Support the activities of the Florida Future Educator of America Program.
  • Represent Florida teachers at business, trade, education, and other conferences and meetings.
  • Promote the teaching profession in other ways related to the teaching responsibilities, background experiences, and aspirations of the Ambassador for Education. 

This program engages educators in a year of professional development, learning, and active collaboration through the Florida Teacher Lead Network, connects them within an alumni network to further their skill set, and provides opportunities to work with educators at events like the Teacher of the Year Roundtable.

Teacher of the Year Roundtable:

All 74 Florida District Teachers of the Year join together for three days of professional learning rooted in the belief that all students can succeed.

Teacher Lead Network:

Teachers from across the state gather to learn more about mentoring other teachers with the goal of positively affecting outcomes in classrooms beyond their own.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168395

Term of Contract:

The Ambassador for Education shall serve for one year, from July 1 to June 30.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following requirements must be met in nominating a candidate for the 2022 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year:
- Each district and/or participating institution may nominate only one teacher.
- Nominations should be made without regard to race, age, sex, national origin, religion, or disability.
- Teacher of the Year candidates shall have a track record of a positive impact on student learning.
- A positive impact on student learning can be reflected in the form of achievement, learning growth, or a combination of the two.
- Available data will be reviewed by the selection committee in context by comparing performance to school, district, state and/or national performance as appropriate.
- Examples of data may include but are not limited to: proficiency rates on IB, AP, AICE, EOC and FSA assessments, Music Performance Assessment scores, VAM scores, CTE Pass Rates, learning growth on FSA grade level assessments.
- Teachers who have recent VAM scores that are not classified as at least Effective using the State Board of Education’s approved methodology will not be considered.
- The candidate selected should be willing and able to attend the Teacher of the Year Roundtable and Gala held in Orlando in the summer of 2021.

The following full-time district educators are eligible for nomination:
- Classroom teachers in traditional and charter public schools - Grades Pre-K through 12
- Guidance counselors
- Media specialists
- Speech/language pathologists
- Special area teachers (e.g., exceptional student education, world languages, music)
- Other professional educators performing instructional support services with students (e.g., school psychologists, school social workers, and instructional coaches)
- Adult education teachers
- Postsecondary vocational/technical education teachers

School personnel who work in an administrative or supervisory capacity, such as principals or deans of students, are ineligible.

Pre-Application Information:

Nomination applications must be submitted by February 15, 2021, to be considered for the 2022 Florida Teacher of the Year.

Prior to February 15, 2021, participating districts and institutions must select a candidate who will represent the district or institution as their Teacher of the Year. The method and materials used to select the candidate may vary according to the district.

- October 2020: Applications are distributed to superintendents, eligible institutions, and program coordinators.
- February 15, 2021: Applications must be submitted online. All documentation will be submitted electronically as part of the online application. Submissions received after February 15, 2021, will not be considered.
- March 1, 2021:The department begins communication with District Teachers of the Year.
- March – April 2021: State selection committees review nominees.
- May 2021: Announcements of the Teacher of the Year Finalists are made.
- May – June 2021: State selection committee interviews finalists in Tallahassee.
- July 2021: Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Roundtable, Gala, and announcement of the 2021 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year.

Program homepage:

For more information on the program, see:

Learn more about the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education Program:

Contact Information:

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

Nominate online:

For more information please contact:
Ginnie Whitaker, Senior Educational Program Director
Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development and Retention
Turlington Building, Suite 126
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Phone: 850-245-0608

Please contact the department via email at with any questions regarding the nomination process.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Florida

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