Learn more about this year's teacher of the year or read the full press release.

What Is The Ohio Teacher of the Year Program?

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.

​Who is Eligible?

A candidate for the Ohio Teacher of the Year (OTOY) is eligible to apply if they hold a valid Ohio Professional Teaching License or a Career Technical Teaching License; currently completing their tenth year or more of teaching; working a minimum of 120 days in the current school year; employed full-time in a state-approved public school, community school or career-technical center. Candidates also must work directly with students at least 50 percent of the time, have received no previous Ohio Teacher of the Year recognition and plan to continue as an active teacher. 

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

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

What Is The Selection Process?


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


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 four 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.


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.

Additional Information

Previous Ohio Teachers of the Year

Last Modified: 12/1/2023 5:05:05 PM