Seeking Oregon’s Next Teacher of the Year

(Salem, Ore) – Every year, the Oregon Department of Education honors teachers and their impact on students’ lives through the Oregon Teacher of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding teacher as a representative of all of the educators in our state and gives Oregonians an opportunity to share information on teachers who are making a difference in their communities. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Oregon Teacher of the Year award.

“In my travels across the state of Oregon, I have been privileged to meet countless extraordinary teachers who are experts in their field and who inspire students to strive for greatness every day,” said Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor. “We know there are many excellent educators across the state of Oregon, and one way to elevate teacher voice in our state is to celebrate and recognize one of these outstanding educators who can serve as the face and voice of this admirable profession.”

Anyone can nominate a prekindergarten through grade 12 teacher for the award, but teachers may not nominate themselves. Candidates should have the respect and admiration of their colleagues and:

  • Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
  • Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
  • Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

We encourage you to nominate an outstanding educator deserving of recognition today! Nominating is an easy, four-step online form. To nominate an educator for 2018 Oregon Teacher of the Year, click here. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 12, 2017 and the award will be announced later this fall.

The Oregon Department of Education is proud to partner with the Oregon Lottery to honor Oregon teachers through the Teacher of the Year award. Once selected, the Teacher of the Year and his or her school are each awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Two runners-up also each receive an award of $2,000.

Oregon’s Teacher of the Year will continue to teach in the classroom and will have opportunities to speak and present around the state. In addition, he or she can to apply for the National Teacher of the Year award and attend several out-of-state events, including a trip to Washington, D.C. where he or she has the opportunity to meet the President at the White House.

To learn more about the Teacher of the Year program or to make a nomination today, go to:

Letter Writing Guide

Want to write a letter to your legislators, but aren’t sure how? Check out this great letter writing guide!

This document is designed to help you get into contact with your legislators. Sometimes this is done when we want our voices heard on a specific issue and sometimes it is just to let them know about us. One of our greatest powers as parents is our voice and our stories. These stories help make personal the positive impact Head Start has on our families to our politicians. Many appreciate letters from us. This document has contact information and a form letter.

2017 Children’s Agenda

Children's Agenda

We are once again proud partners in the creation of the Children’s Agenda. We have been a partner since the first Agenda was created in 2015. We’ve been excited to watch the group grow from 65 organizations in the first year, to over 90! By coming together, we can amplify our voices to make Oregon a great place to be a kid!

You can learn more about the Children’s Agenda at

Tips for Advocacy

Here are some tips shared by Karelia Harding around advocacy

  • Be flexible about what is defined as “winning”
  • Always consider the next move, next year
  • Do not burn bridges
  • The best advocates have relationships that go beyond advocacy
  • Debate is not only inevitable, it is healthy
  • be a “team player” and do not get mired in your own importance
  • Read everything, try to go to all meetings- 90% of success is just showing up
  • Help when you can, even if it’s not something you would normally do
  • if you do no work, you don’t get to complain
  • Spread your message everywhere you go and take advantage of opportunities
  • Evaluate regularly whether participation is still worth it and if the benefits continue

Persuasion and Creating Relationships

  • Know as much as you can about your target
  • Meet with them where they are
  • Be friendly, helpful
  • Be sure what you want to say, practice
  • Get it down to an “elevator ride”
  • NEVER make anything up- there is nothing wrong with saying “I’ll get back to you on that” and make sure you follow through
  • Understand that sometimes the answer is no