Ohio Teacher of the Year


What Is The Ohio Teacher of the Year Program?

Mona Al-Hayani
2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Since its inception in 1964, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers statewide celebrating their effective work in and outside the classroom. The mission of the program is to provide opportunities for professional learning to exemplary teachers as leaders and advocates for public education. 

Selected teachers move through two levels of recognition: (1) the State Board District Teacher of the Year as a regional recognition and (2) the Ohio Teacher of the Year as the state-level recognition.

The Ohio Teacher of the Year program is a two-year opportunity:

  • Year 1 -  Recognition, Celebration and Professional Development
  • Year 2 – Service to Ohio as a Teacher Fellow at the Department

​Who is Eligible?

A candidate for the Ohio Teacher of the Year (OTOY) is eligible to apply as a licensed Ohio educator with a minimum of five years of teaching experience currently employed in a state-approved public school (pre-kindergarten through grade twelve), community school or career center working directly with students a minimum of 50% of their contracted time; who has not been a previous regional or state OTOY honoree and, who is planning to continue in an active teaching status.

Ohio Teacher of the Year candidates have the respect and admiration of their colleagues and:

  1. Are experts in their fields who guide students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence;
  2. Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success;
  3. Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community;
  4. Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom that embodies lifelong learning; and
  5. Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.


What Is The Selection Process?

Regional: State Board District Teacher of the Year

Ohio’s 11 educational regions are identified as State Board of Education (SBOE) Districts, each represented by an elected board member.  A Territory Lead for each State Board District receives and verifies all nominee’s eligibility. Once confirmed, each nominee is invited to complete an Ohio Teacher of the Year online application for review.

Each Territory Lead facilitates a committee to review applications and select one State Board District Teacher of the Year

State: Ohio Teacher of the Year

Each State Board District Teacher of the Year moves forward as a candidate in the state-level Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process. A selection committee, identified by the Department, reviews the online applications and selects up to five state finalists. Each finalist will present a mock keynote and interview with a panel of education stakeholders. This panel follows a process outlined by the Department to confirm the final selection of the Ohio Teacher of the Year. Finally, the Department nominates the selected teacher for consideration as the National Teacher of the Year.

National: National Teacher of the Year

The Ohio Teacher of the Year is nominated by the Department to the National Teacher of the Year selection, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). A selection committee reviews applications from every State Teacher of the Year selecting four national finalists to interview. If selected as the National Teacher of the Year, the Ohio Teacher of the Year is then released from classroom duties for one year to travel nationwide as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession.

Previous Ohio Teachers of the Year

Last Modified: 4/5/2019 3:32:24 PM