Teacher of the Year Program

Georgia's Teacher of the Year Program (GTOTY) annually spotlights the teaching profession and recognizes outstanding public school teachers at the local and state levels.  The program is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education.  It is a prestigious awards program to focus attention on excellence in teaching. The first Georgia Teacher of the Year was selected in 1971. 

Selection Process

  1. School TOTYs are chosen in May
  2. The TOTY application and "About Me" questions are emailed to honorees so they can complete it over the summer
  3. Applications are due to the district office at the end of October
  4. Applications are mailed or emailed to judges outside of the system in November to be scored
  5. The application with the highest cumulative score is named the System Teacher of the Year at the Teacher of the Year Banquet that is held in late January or early February

Qualifications for the Teacher of the Year

  • Certified public classroom teachers (with a clear and renewable certificate) in prekindergarten through grade 12 may be nominated
  • Applicants should be full-time teachers with at least three years of experience
  • Teacher is an exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher planning to continue an active teaching status
  • Special education, physical education, art, music, ROTC, speech pathologist and media specialists can all be included as long as they are spending the majority of their time with students
  • The ability and desire to be an articulate spokesperson for Georgia public education are the most important qualifications.