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NH Teacher of the Year Process

Teachers may be nominated or self apply. Each candidate submits a written application containing biographical and professional information, essays on topics ranging from personal teaching philosophy to the issues facing education, and letters of endorsement. The Teacher of the Year Selection Committee meets to choose semi-finalists from the applications received. The Committee then visits semi-finalists' schools where they observe the teacher in class, interview school personal, community members, parents and students, as well as the semi-finalist. Over the summer finalists present their professional portfolios and give a speech on education to the Committee. The Committee then selects the NH Teacher of the Year. (Teacher of the Year Selection Timeline)

Committee members: State Board of Education, Chair or designee, NH Association of School Principals Director, NH School Administrators Association Director, Former Teachers of the Year, Deputy Commissioner of Education or designee, and NH Teacher of the Year Coordinator.

A Teacher of the Year candidate should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled classroom teacher from any state-approved or accredited school, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, who is certified in the State of NH, demonstrates leadership and intends to continue in the teaching profession. This individual has the respect and admiration of their colleagues and:

  • is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence;
  • collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success;
  • deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large;
  • demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning;
  • expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way; and
  • is committed to improving education.

They must be poised, articulate, and possess the energy to work under a taxing schedule. The New Hampshire Teacher of the Year carries out his/her duties while maintaining a full classroom load.

The Department of Education not only administers and presents awards to recognize leadership in education, these national and statewide awards build community awareness of our educators while providing positive messages about the teaching profession as a whole. The purpose of the program is to select a teacher who is capable of speaking for and energizing the teaching profession, and representing the positive contributions of all teachers statewide.

The Teacher of the Year Program does not attempt to single out any individual as the best teacher in New Hampshire, but rather to honor one teacher who represents all the excellent teachers in our State. Selecting a Teacher of the Year is an exceptional way to celebrate the many outstanding and dedicated people teaching in New Hampshire schools.

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers and presented by Voya Financial, identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

Nominations or applications can be sent to Lori Kincaid, NH Teacher of the Year Coordinator, New Hampshire Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301 or e-mail If you have any questions, please telephone Lori Kincaid at (603) 271-6646.

Some of the opportunities as Teacher of the Year

  • Attend National Teacher of the Year Conference (January)
  • Address the NH State Board of Education (March)
  • Attend National Teacher of the Year Announcement Ceremonies in Washington, DC (April)
  • Attend Education Commission of the States (ECS) National Forum (June)
  • Attend Space Camp (July)
  • Attend National Teacher of the Year Next Steps Conference (September)

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711