State Board Policy
DESCRIPTOR TERM: Awards
ADOPTION DATE: August 19, 1994
The Mississippi Teacher of the Year Program recognizes outstanding achievement and performance by our public school teachers. Each local school district has the opportunity to honor its teachers and nominate one for the state title. The 1995 Mississippi Teacher of the Year must be a certified classroom teacher (K-12) in a state-accredited public school who plans to teach next year. The teacher should have superior ability to inspire students, should possess leadership capabilities, and should be an active member of the community.
Official entry forms and instructions will be mailed to each district's central office. The local Teacher of the Year entry form, signed by the local superintendent, is returned to the Mississippi Department of Education for judging during the summer. Five finalists (one from each Congressional District) are chosen and a selection committee visits the classroom of each near the beginning of the school year. The teacher selected as the Mississippi Teacher of the Year will be the state's nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Entries are limited to one per school district. These are judged on a biography, professional development activities, community involvement, philosophy of teaching, insight on education issues and trends, personal teaching style, comments on the teaching profession, letters of recommendation, and how one would handle the duties of National Teacher of the Year.
The Mississippi Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Education, Southern Educators Life Insurance Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and Bryan Foods, Inc. of West Point, Mississippi. The national program is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Mississippi Teacher of the Year (TOY), alternate and finalists receive the following honors and awards:
- $5,000 for the state TOY from the Mississippi Department of Education, if approved;
- $500 for the alternate and $250 for regional finalists from Southern Educators;
- $500 for the state TOY and $250 for the TOY's school from Bryan Food;
- a set of encyclopedias from the Britannica Company (TOY only);
- a dinner honoring all five teachers and their guests, hosted by Southern Educators;
- TOY and alternate receive formal recognition at a State Board of Education meeting;
- TOY and finalists included in the Milken Educator Award Pool.