The GaTOTY program strives to promote and retain quality teachers and focuses on three program goals:
- Elevate the teaching profession by recognizing, celebrating, and
providing unique and innovative learning experiences for highly accomplished teachers.
- Amplify teacher voice to advance student learning and champion
- Expose teachers to relevant policy topics and develop the context
for teacher leadership.
About the Program
The GaTOTY serves as an ambassador for education, traveling the state speaking to educators and community groups. The GaTOTY competes in the National Teacher of the Year Program, representing Georgia at national conferences with other State Teachers of the Year.
All local education agency (LEA) superintendents are responsible for selecting the local system Teacher of the Year, but may appoint a person to oversee this project and an outside committee to interview, observe, and select the system’s representative. The
questions asked in the Georgia TOTY Application parallel the questions for the CCSSO National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) program. It is suggested that participating systems use the same narrative response questions contained in the Georgia application when
conducting the selection process within their systems. Local
system superintendents may nominate a representative to participate in the
selection process for Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Georgia Teacher of the Year Qualifications
The Georgia Teacher of the Year candidate has the respect and admiration of their colleagues and must possess the following attributes:
A certified public school classroom teacher with a valid and current Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) Professional or Advanced/
Lead Professional certificate in prekindergarten through Grade 12. Special education, physical education, art, music, and ROTC are eligible, along with media specialists.*
Full-time, with a minimum of three (3) years of classroom teaching experience.
Is an exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher planning to
continue in active teaching status**.
Is an expert in the field who advances growth for students of all backgrounds
Builds collaborative relationships with colleagues, students, and families to
create a school culture of success.
Plays an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.
Deliberately connects the classroom to community to impact student growth
As a lifelong learner and teacher leader, utilizes innovation to create learning experiences within and beyond the classroom.
Expresses themselves in an engaging and clear way, conveying the classroom experience to a variety of audiences.
*Counselors and Speech Pathologists are not eligible for the state or national programs.
**Active teaching status is defined as spending at least 50% of contract time teaching students in a classroom setting through the term of the GaTOTY. Supervisory responsibilities should be of secondary consideration.
District Coordinator's Guide
2025 GaTOTY District Coordinator's Guide
It is the desire of the Georgia Teacher of the Year program to encourage a consistent selection process in every school district. The Georgia Department of Education does not have a state-mandated deadline for districts to select their local teacher of the year. It is recommended that districts choose their representative in the spring semester, having that DTOTY serve their district term during the fiscal year from July 1- June 30 to align with the state and national timeline. This process will provide the nominee ample time to prepare their state application portfolio. Refer to the District Coordinator's Guide above for further program guidance.
|2024 DTOTY||Spring 2023||July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024||Fall 2023||2025 GaTOTY: |
July 1, 2024-
June 30, 2025
|2025 DTOTY||Spring 2024||July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025||Fall 2024||2026 GaTOTY: |
July 1, 2025-
June 30, 2026
|2026 DTOTY||Spring 2025||July 1, 2025-June 30, 2026||Fall 2025||2027 GaTOTY: |
July 1, 2026-
June 30, 2027
Coordinators: Announce Your 2024 District Teacher of the Year!
The state program would like to welcome and congratulate each District Teacher of the Year as they are named. The 2024 District Teachers of the Year are those completing their district's term of service during the 2023-2024 school year. This cohort is eligible to apply for the 2025 Georgia Teacher of the Year in Fall 2023 if all qualifications have been met.
Announce your 2024 District Teacher of the Year here: Announcement Form.
Georgia Teacher of the Year Annual Timeline
The GaTOTY application window opens in September and
closes in November. District Teachers of the
Year serving in the application window's school year are eligible to apply for the following
year’s Georgia Teacher of the Year, if all program qualifications are met.
District Teachers of the Year Selected
Spring or Early Fall
Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Opens
Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Closes
Application Review Period
December – February
Georgia Teacher of Year Finalists Announced
Georgia Teacher of Year Finalist Interviews
Georgia Teacher of Year Conference and Gala; New Georgia Teacher of Year Announced
May or June
Georgia Teacher of Year Term of Service Begins
Georgia Teacher of Year Term of Service Ends
Follow the Georgia Teacher of the Year on Facebook.