Texas Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year logo Since 1969, the Texas Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program has honored excellence in classroom education and provided a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve.

Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher. Facilitated by TASA, the Texas Teacher of the Year Program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.

Every fall, 40 Regional Teachers of the Year are selected — one elementary and one secondary teacher from each of the 20 Education Service Center regions in Texas. Six finalists are then chosen from among the 40 semifinalists. Following an interview process, the Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year are chosen. One is selected to represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year program.

The national program is the oldest and most prestigious awards program designed to focus public attention on excellence in teaching. A selection committee representing the major national education associations selects the National Teacher of the Year from the nominees submitted by the 50 states.

Every spring, the National Teacher of the Year is announced by the president during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House and is honored at special events in the nation’s capital. The National Teacher of the Year takes a year’s sabbatical from classroom instruction and serves as a roving ambassador for the teaching profession.


Educators must be nominated by the accredited public school in which they were employed full time during the school year in which they were nominated.
While the program traditionally recognizes classroom teachers, school librarians and counselors who teach students at least four hours per day may be nominated for regional, state and national honors. Administrators are not eligible. Candidates who, prior to the selection of the state finalists, accept non-teaching positions (such as in administration or outside a school or district) or in which they teach students for less than four hours each day are not eligible to advance in the state competition.
Additional criteria, provided by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which sponsors the national program are used for both the state and national programs and say that candidates should:
  • inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn
  • 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
  • be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to withstand a busy schedule
Suggestions for Schools and Districts Conducting Teacher of the Year Contests


Jennifer Garrido, Texas Teacher of the Year Program Coordinator, 512.477.6361

Nominations Closed

Nominations for 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year were due by 5 p.m., June 10, 2015, to the regional ESCs. Nominations are now closed.

Texas Teacher of the Year Named National Teacher of the Year

Shanna Peeples Shanna Peeples, 2015 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, has been named 2015 National Teacher of the Year. Follow coverage of Peeples throughout the year by searching Twitter for #NTOY15. Learn more.

Platinum Sponsors

Professional Association Sponsors

  • Texas AFT
  • Texas Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Texas Association of School Boards
  • Texas Association of School Business Officials
  • Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators
  • Texas Association of Secondary School Principals
  • Texas Classroom Teachers Association
  • Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers
  • Texas Council of Women School Executives
  • Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association
  • Texas School Public Relations Association
  • Texas State Teachers Association