Elevate Your Teacher to Stardom: Nominate Now for Illinois’ Teacher of the Year


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SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education is calling on all Illinois residents to shine a spotlight on the outstanding teachers and educators who have made a difference in their communities. The 2024 “Those Who Excel and Teacher of the Year” awards are now open for nominations, and it’s your chance to acknowledge the incredible work happening in and around Illinois schools.

Nomination is open to everyone, so whether it’s a seasoned teacher, a dedicated school nurse, a visionary principal, or a devoted community volunteer, you can put forward an educator who deserves recognition. These awards celebrate those who go above and beyond to create positive impacts in their school communities.

For those interested in nominating or applying, the deadline for submissions is October 15, 2023. To access more information and the nominating application, visit this link.

Those selected for Illinois Teacher of the Year award will leave their classroom duties for a one-year sabbatical.

The awards recognize educators across various categories, including:

  • Teachers: Those with five or more years of teaching experience.
  • Early Career Educators: Teachers with less than five years of experience.
  • Administrators: Superintendents, principals, and assistant principals.
  • Student Support Personnel: School nurses, psychologists, and more.
  • Educational Service Personnel: Aides, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and more.
  • Community Volunteers: Individuals who positively contribute to their school/district.
  • Teams: A group of individuals from various categories who contribute to their school/district.

In addition to the nomination process, the “Teachers of the Year Cohort” award has specific criteria. These educators must currently teach in an Illinois school for more than 50% of the school day and be prepared to hold a teaching position in an Illinois school for the next two school years. Previous awardees are also eligible to participate, provided they have not received the award since 2019.

The awards span multiple categories, including:

  • Regional Teachers of the Year: Recognizing excellence in various regions.
  • Specialized Teachers of the Year: Highlighting outstanding educators in specific areas.

All awardees will be announced in January 2024, with the Illinois Teacher of the Year being revealed in April 2024. The 50th Annual Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Banquet will take place in May 2024.

Now is the time to honor those educators who have made a lasting impact on Illinois schools. Nominate an outstanding colleague or apply today and be a part of celebrating educational excellence in the Land of Lincoln! Nominations are accepted year-round for “Those Who Excel (TWE) & Teacher of the Year (TOY)” and other applicable awards.


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