Educator Recognition

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Virginia Teacher of the Year Program

All public and accredited nonpublic schools are invited to participate in the 2025 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year Program. This award honors teachers who represent the best in teaching in the Commonwealth of Virginia and across the nation. Since 1964, Virginia has participated in the National Teacher of the Year Program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). In 2006, Virginia’s Teacher of the Year Program was renamed in honor of the 1989 Virginia and National Teacher of the Year, Dr. Mary V. Bicouvaris. 

The program is open to all teachers in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, including library media specialists, school counselors, career and technical educators, mathematic specialists, and reading specialists, who hold a current renewable Virginia teaching license in the assigned teaching area. Teachers must be employed in a Virginia public or accredited nonpublic school. Candidates should be dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled, and plan to continue in an active teaching role. Candidates must hold a five- or ten-year renewable Virginia license issued by the Virginia Board of Education. Teachers holding provisional, provisional (special education), provisional (career switcher), eligibility, or international educator licenses are not eligible to participate in the program. Additional information on eligibility can be found in the application.

2025 Teacher of the Year Application

Applications are due by 4pm on Thursday, February 8th and should be submitted by email to Questions regarding the application of the Teacher of the Year program can be sent to

2024 Teacher of the Year & Past Recipients

Read more about the current and past Virginia and Regional Teachers of the Year using the list below.  Our network of Teachers of the Year continue to demonstrate leadership not only in the classroom and in their communities, but by participating on committees and panels, in focus groups, and through other VDOE initiatives. 

Teacher Appreciation Week

Since 1984, the National PTA and the National Education Association have designated a week in May as a special time to honor and celebrate teachers for the important role they play in the growth and development of our children. Virginia takes great pride in joining with these national organizations to #ThankATeacherVA each year.

The Milken Family Foundation Educator Awards Program

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards are designed to reward elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and administrators who promote excellence and innovation in public education.


Pamela Stepko, a math interventionist and coach at Coventry Elementary School, was named a Virginia Milken Educator for 2022.  First Lady of Virginia Suzanne S. Youngkin, representatives from the Virginia Department of Education, Cumberland County Public School officials, and members of the community celebrated Ms. Stepko at a surprise announcement in December 2022. 

National Teacher Recognition Programs

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.

National History Teacher of the Year Award

2018 Virginia History Teacher of the Year – Rusty Carlock is the 2018 Virginia History Teacher of the Year. Carlock is an eleventh-grade teacher of Virginia and United States History at Albemarle High School in Albemarle County.