Washington’s Teacher of the Year program recognizes a cohort of regional finalists and selects one state Teacher of the Year annually. This state Teacher of the Year is Washington’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Washington’s educational service districts each select a Regional Teacher of the Year. The state selection committee chooses one of these Regional Teachers of the Year as the Washington State Teacher of the Year. The state committee uses the written application, interviews, a short keynote, and a mock press interview to decide which candidate best exemplifies the Teacher of the Year criteria:
- The teacher has the respect of their community.
- The teacher is knowledgeable in their field and guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
- The teacher collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
- The teacher deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
- The teacher demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embody lifelong learning.
- The teacher expresses themselves in an engaging and effective way.