ISBE Recognition

  • Every year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognizes Teacher of the Year and Those Who Excel awardees. 

    Illinois Teacher of the Year

    Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has sponsored the Illinois Teacher of the Year program, recognizing the best of the teaching profession in Illinois. All public and nonpublic preK-12 educators in Illinois with more than five years of teaching experience are eligible. The top nominees from eight regions are designated as Regional Teachers of the Year; the Illinois Teacher of the Year is selected from that cohort. We also recognize Bilingual, Early Childhood, and Special Education Teachers of the Year.

    Award Distinctions Presented by ISBE: 

    The Teacher of the Year program offers multiple award distinctions, including Awards of Excellence, Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Meritorious Service, Special Recognition, Regional Teacher of the Year, and Outstanding Early Career Educator.

    Outstanding Early Career Educator

    The Outstanding Early Career Educator is presented to the top teacher in Illinois with one-four years of teaching experience.​​​​​​ The remaining nominees are awarded on two levels: Meritorious Service and Special Recognition.​

    Those Who Excel

    Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has sponsored Those Who Excel to honor individuals who have made​​ significant contributions to our state's public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Awards are presented in five ​categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteer and teams. Nomination materials are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of individuals who represent a variety of educational organizations. ​

    State Information

    State information on these programs is available on the ISBE Elevation Educators website

    Employee Nomination

    Employee nomination information is found on the Employee Intranet.  

ISBE Recognition Archive

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