Educator Awards - Teacher of the Year
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  Hilary Seidel



Education Awards

Teacher of the Year

Washington's Teacher of the Year program recognizes as many as ten regional finalists and selects one state Teacher of the Year annually. This state Teacher of the Year is Washington’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year. 

Meet the 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year and Regional Winners

Previous Teachers of the Year

How is the Teacher of the Year selected?
Washington’s educational service districts and tribal schools each select a regional finalist. The state selection committee chooses one of these regional finalists as Teacher of the Year. The committee reviews a written application and interviews each finalist when making its decision.

The state selection committee uses the selection rubric. Some regions use this rubric for their selection. Contact your regional coordinator for more information on your region's selection process.

When is the Teacher of the Year selected?
He/she is selected in mid-September. Regional finalists attend a day of interviews followed by a weekend leadership retreat in Olympia. The State Superintendent announces the Teacher of the Year the following Monday during our annual Teacher of the Year award ceremony at EMP in Seattle.

How do I nominate a teacher?
Nominate your teacher online. The nomination form opens in January.

What happens after I nominate a teacher?
OSPI sends your nominee, their principal and their regional coordinator a copy of the nomination and a link to the online application.

What do the State and Regional Teachers of the Year do?

  • Attend a long weekend (Friday – Monday) of interviews, leadership retreat and awards ceremony (mid-September).
  • Complete a collection of teacher tales to be shared with legislators, educational leaders and other stakeholders.
  • Travel the state and their regions to share their expertise with community groups, businesses, government officials and future teachers.
  • Identify and advocate for educational issues of particular interest to them.
  • Receive small cash awards and additional prizes in recognition of their achievements.

What does the State Teacher of the Year do?

  • Attend all National Teacher of the Year program activities, including a national leadership conference (late January) and national recognition week in Washington, D.C (late April).
  • Attend Space Camp (mid-July)!


Nominations for 2017 are now closed.

Nominations for 2018 will open in January 2017.

2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to
Nathan Gibbs-Bowling
Lincoln High School

Learn more about Nathan

Enjoy the Ceremony Pictures on Flickr


Teachers of the Year Release Annual Collection of Stories

Teachers of the Year Release Annual Collection of Stories


   Updated 4/4/2016

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