2013 Teacher of the Year: Administrators

DoDEA Teacher of The Year Recognition Program 2013

The DoDEA Teacher of the Year (ToY) Program is designed to recognize and honor our outstanding teachers who exemplify the quality professionalism of our teaching work force. The DoDEA ToY Program is modeled after the National ToY Program, sponsored by the Chief States Schools Officers, and provides an avenue for the DoDEA ToYs to be nationally recognized. Any stakeholder may nominate a DoDEA teacher for this award and is highly encouraged to participate in the nomination process.


  • Recognition is good for the teacher. It boosts morale among teachers and supports the encouragement of teachers to further promote student academic achievement.
  • Recognition is good for the students and parents. Students feel pride and joy when a teacher they know and respect is publicly recognized.
  • Recognition is good for the school and faculty. Colleagues nominated for Teacher of the Year increase respect for a school and its staff.
  • Recognition is good for the school district. Enhanced community prestige and community pride directly contribute to improved expectations, support for schools, and student learning.
  • Recognition is good for the profession. The Teacher of the Year nominees are among the best spokespersons for the profession and can put forth their expertise as evidence of success in education. Each nominee represents hundreds of educators in sending the message about the work and dedication of America's teachers.
  • Recognition is good for the community. The Teacher of the Year provides society the opportunity to recognize the importance of formal learning and to reconfirm its respect and debt to teachers of the past, present, and future.
  • Recognition is good for DoDEA. Recognition of our outstanding educators promotes talent excellence and showcases the exemplary efforts of our teachers.


  • Teachers must be nominated in writing by a peer, administrator, parent, or student. Letters of Nomination should be submitted to the nominee's principal.


  • Letters of Nomination will be accepted by the District Superintendent's Office (DSO) as determined by the the timeline. The 2013 nomination process will be in May 2012.


Nominate a great teacher by writing a letter (no more than one type-written page) to the principal of the teacher's school. Please include the following:

  • Name of the teacher you are nominating with name and address of school.
  • Your relationship to the teacher (peer, parent, student, community leader, etc).
  • Reasons why this teacher deserves to be nominated. Include your name, address, duty station, and phone number.
  • Please see details for nomination below.



  • Be a full-time, U.S. certified teacher in the DoDEA school.
  • NOT have been selected as a Teacher of the Year during the previous 3 years.
  • Have completed three years of successful teaching in DoDEA.


  • Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.
  • Have the respect and admiration of student, parents, and colleagues.
  • Play an active role in the community as well as the school.
  • Be poised and articulate with excellent written and oral skills.
  • Be able to provide presentations and workshops to diverse audiences in his or her area of expertise.
  • Possess the energy to withstand a busy schedule.

DoDEA Teacher of The Year (ToY) Nomination and Selection Process

  • The School Level is the first and most important level of the DoDEA Selection Process.
  • The Principal/designee informs all school staff members, parents, organizations, community leaders, students, and the School Liaison Officer about the ToY Program.
  • The information should include purpose, duties, and eligibility.
  • Information about the TOY Program may be disseminated through school newsletters, school marquees, the community newspaper, Chapel Bulletins, flyers, posters, DoDEA videos, and through all education level websites.
  • Stakeholders (administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, students, community leaders and members, and the School Liaison Officer) are invited to nominate a teacher by writing a letter to the principal explaining why the teacher should be Teacher of the Year.
  • Self-nomination is not an option.
  • The principal notifies each nominee by email. Each nominee receives their letter/s of nomination from the principal. These letters will be needed to complete the final National application packet.
  • Eligible nominees reply with either an acceptance or decline statement to the principal.
  • The principal gives accepting nominees the DoDEA Application for 2012 District Teacher of the Year.
  • The principal/designee convenes a review panel of stakeholders including an administrator, educator/District Teacher of the Year, union representative, parent, community member, and student, where appropriate and feasible, to evaluate the applications. The review panel rank orders all applications and compiles a list to be forwarded to the district superintendent.
  • The principal sends all accepting nominees' completed information to the district superintendent.
  • The district superintendent/designee acknowledges by email the receipt of each application with the principal's endorsement and nomination letter(s).


Selecting the Panel:

  • The panel selection process is directly aligned with the National Teacher of the Yeat selection process in efforts to prepare the nominees for the National Panel selection process.
  • Panel participants must be knowledgeable about the selection process and the program expectations of the nominees.
  • The district superintendent/designee convenes the selection panel comprised of stakeholders including administrator, educator/District Teacher of the Year, union representative, parent, community member, and student where appropriate and feasible.
  • The panel reviews all school application packets.
  • Applications may be reviewed electronically (PDF) by panel participants that cannot meet face to face.
  • The panel reads and evaluates the application packets. The panel rank orders all applications and compiles a list to be forwarded to the HQ State Coordinator via Deborah Donnelly.
  • The panel conducts telephone interviews with the top four candidates and selects the District Teacher of the Year.
  • The district superintendent/designee sends the District Teacher of the Year's name, home and school email address, grade level and/or subject area, and phone contact numbers immediately to the HQ State Coordinator.
  • The district superintendent/designee provides the Area Director the name of the District Teacher of the Year.
  • The Area Communication's Officer distributes a press release via district website, community news, etc.
  • The district superintendent/designee provides the nominee the attached National Teacher of the Year Application Packet. The teacher should be encouraged to visit the DoDEA Teacher of the Year and the National Teacher of the Year websites. Both will provide valuable information to support the application completion. The NTOY website includes
  • The District Superintendent, Area Deputy Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and/or Area Director makes the public announcement of the District Teacher of the Year by a surprise school visit and/or personal phone call.
  • The Area Director and staff join the district superintendent and staff in recognition of the District Teacher of the Year and the three finalists in a planned event. Community participation is recommended.
  • The Area Director and staff join the district superintendent and staff in celebrating "all" school nominees with a personal phone call and a Teacher of the Year Nominee Certificate and/or District and/or Area memento.
  • The current and former District Teachers of the Year are encouraged to mentor the new District Teacher of the Year.

The Application Checklist and Timeline provide guidance and assistance for the remainder of the selection process for the DoDEA ToY and the NTOY.

  • The District ToY obtains and official photo. Depending on the location of the District ToY, the official photo can sometimes be taken on the military installation. The former District ToY and/or the School Liaison Officer should know more about this process and be able to assist with this information.
  • The District ToY creates a 3 to 5 minute video stating the ToY's educational platform. This video must be included in the National Application Packet. See more details at The Application Checklist.
  • Principals, superintendents, former ToYs, and other colleagues are encouraged to assist the applicant with the edits and completion of the National Application Packet.
  • The DoDEA State Coordinator will also assist with any questions and/or concerns.

  • The DoDEA State Coordinator compiles and prepares all District Teachers of the Year application packets for review by the HQ selection panel.
  • The Coordinator convenes the selection panel.
  • The HQ Selection Panel consists of all stakeholders as aligned with the district panel.
  • The panel participants will evaluate and score all packets using the DoDEA Scoring Rubric.
  • The panel will view and score each applicant's audio presentation.
  • The panel participants will collaborate face-to-face and/or by telephone and select the top four nominees.
  • The four nominees are interviewed by the panel telephonically.
  • Through the process of a caucus, the panel comes to a consensus and selects their recommendation for the DoDEA State ToY.
  • The panel recommends the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year to the Director for approval.
  • The Director and the Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director for Education review the top four finalist packets; view the video presentation; if applicable interview the finalists; and discuss interview results and selection with the panel.
  • The Director; the Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director for Education; and the panel select the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year.
  • The Director notifies the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year.
  • The State Coordinator sends the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year's Application Packet to the National POC to compete in the National Teacher of the Year Selection Process
  • The State Coordinator notifies the Chief of Communication.
  • The Chief of Communication completes the press release and other PR duties.
  • Letters of congratulations.
  • Press release to DoDEA system-wide and the appropriate Pentagon Offices.
  • Chat Room Interview.
  • Commemorative plaque or trophy.
  • Professional Development opportunities.
  • Cash Awards
    • The DoDEA State Teacher of the Year attends a national professional development conference
    • Second semester, the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year participates in National Teacher of the Year events and works with the Director and the professional development branch in support of DoDEA initiatives


Participation in the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program is coordinated by the State Teacher of the Year Coordinator, the DoDEA Professional Development Branch, and the Chief States Schools Officers' NTOY Director. Each year the 50 states, five U. S. extra-state jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, and the DoDEA name a state teacher of the year. Within the states the selection processes vary, but each state conducts a rigorous selection procedure in validating the State Teacher of the Year's abilities in the classroom and in communicating the recipient's message to a broad audience.

  • The top four finalists are brought to Washington, DC, for individual interviews with the committee.
  • The National Selection Committee includes one representative from each of the following esteemed organizations:
    • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
    • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
    • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
    • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
    • ASCD
    • Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
    • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
    • National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
    • National PTA
    • National Education Association (NEA)
    • Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
    • National School Boards Association (NSBA)
    • National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)

These organizations represent all the major, noncurricular based, national associations representing the education profession. Because of the broad range of constituencies within these associations, their consensus view embodies what is current and needed in education. This consensus view truly makes their selection the nation's Teacher of the Year.


During the official year of recognition, the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) is released from classroom duties to travel nationally and internationally as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession. The teacher's home state and district ensure the teacher's salary and benefits. All scheduling and logistical arrangements for the National Teacher are coordinated through the NTOY Program.

National Teachers average over 150 events each year before audiences ranging from several hundred to over ten thousand. Television, radio, and the print media readily utilize National Teachers to represent the voice of education. The National Teacher may be called upon to represent American educators to audiences in other nations. National Teachers are frequently requested to sit on national and state commissions and policy advising bodies.


If the DoDEA candidate is selected as the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY), the state coordinator and the teacher will be notified, on a confidential basis, several weeks in advance of the public announcement. The three finalists not selected and their state coordinator will receive confidential notification at the same time.

  • January: The National Teacher of the Year Conference, Dallas, TX. This conference brings together all of the State Teachers of the Year and the State Teacher of the Year Program Coordinators to help them to further define what it means to be a Teacher of the Year and how state programs can better support that role.
  • March: If the DoDEA State Teacher of the Year is one of the four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year, he/she interviews with The National Selection Committee, Washington, D.C. This will include each finalist will have a videotaped interview to be seen by the committee later in the process. The first meeting will be dinner with the National Selection Committee. The second meeting will include a 60 minute individual interview with the Selection Committee. Beginning with a 7-10 minute spoken presentation by the finalist and the remaining time will be in conversation with the selection committee. Then there will be a public press conference for the four finalists (the only public event in the selection process). Following the four interviews the National Selection Committee will, on the basis of each finalist's demonstrated qualities, select the National Teacher of the Year.
  • April: The State Teachers of the Year recognition, Washington, D.C. The President introduces the National Teacher of the Year and the State Teachers are invited to join that recognition. During this week's activities, the teachers will network and learn about national education trends and challenges.
  • Early July: Education Commission of the States (ECS) National Forum, Atlanta, GA. State Teachers bring the "teacher's voice" to the Forum. Policy makers from all aspects of state government attend. Governors, legislators, chiefs and state board members for both K-12 and higher education attend this Forum.
  • Late July: International Space Camp, Huntsville, AL. State Teachers, as well as teachers and students from more than twenty countries, learn about space technology. They also experience some of the training that astronauts receive before space travel.
  • October: Next Steps Conference National Teacher Forum, Princeton, New Jersey. This conference provides the State Teachers the opportunity to process the year's experience and plan for the future. The teachers learn that the role as Teacher of the Year does not end after recognition and they will continue to advocate for what is best for children.
  • October: Teachers leave Princeton, New Jersey, and travel to the Mobile Video Institute, New York City. Here they meet with representatives of Pearson Education to receive tools to share with their classroom and school to further their communication effectiveness.