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South Dakota Teacher of the Year (TOY)

Awards to South Dakota PreK-12 Teachers to
Recognize Outstanding Classroom Instruction

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South Dakota Department of Education

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Awards to South Dakota preK-12 teachers to recognize outstanding contributions to classroom education. Strong candidates for this award inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities; demonstrate outstanding skill and dedication in the classroom; are active in their school and community; and have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues.

Each District Teacher of the Year becomes a nominee for his or her district’s Regional Teacher of the Year Award. If the District TOY is selected as the Regional TOY, he or she becomes a nominee for the South Dakota TOY. If chosen as the South Dakota TOY, he/she then becomes a candidate for the National TOY.

The National Teacher of the Year selection is not completed until the following Spring, so in order for a District TOY to be eligible for Region TOY and South Dakota TOY they must plan to be an active teacher for at least two more school years.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171693

Number of Grants:

There will be one (1) teacher of the year for each district. From the district winners, five (5) regional winners will be selected, one for each region. From the regional winners, one (1) state winner will be selected.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Note: a classroom teacher is a person who has a class of his/her own and spends at least three or more hours per day, five days a week, for six or more calendar months during a school year in a classroom teaching students. School counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers are NOT eligible.

A District TOY candidate who wishes to be considered for Region and State Teacher of the Year must:
-Be a fully certified teacher;
-Be employed by a South Dakota accredited school district - pre-kindergarten through grade twelve;
-Have at least 3 full years of teaching experience;
-Be planning to continue in an active teaching status (supervisory and administrative responsibilities are secondary considerations) for at least 2 more years;

A District TOY candidate who wishes to be considered for Region and State Teacher of the Year should:
-Have a superior ability to inspire students of ALL backgrounds and abilities to learn;
-Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated classroom teacher;
-Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
-Play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; and
-Be poised, articulate, and have the energy to withstand the demanding schedule that would accompany selection as the South Dakota Teacher of the Year.

Pre-Application Information:

A school district may choose to set up its own selection process for choosing a District Teacher of the Year, or use guidelines created by the Department of Education. The guidelines can be altered to fit a district’s needs.

To nominate a teacher for the, complete the nomination form and send it to the school district's superintendent by March 2, 2018.


-February 15: Districts should begin process to select their own District TOY.

-March 15: Deadline for districts to submit the name of their District TOY. All submitted District TOY winners will be invited to submit a Region application.

-March 30: Deadline to submit All Regional Teacher of the Year Applications to SD DOE.

-April 15: Region TOYs will be announced. Regional TOYs will be notified and asked to complete the 2019 South Dakota Teacher of the Year Application and send a hard copy and an electronic version to the Department of Education.

-June 29: Deadline to submit State Application.

-July/Aug TBA: State Teacher of the Year Selection Day in Pierre

Contact Information:

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

Sherry Dickerson, Department of Education

Department of Education
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Dakota