Nomination/Application Guidelines

Nominations are closed for the 2017 Texas Teacher of the Year program; deadlines for the 2018 program will be posted in fall/winter 2016. The annual program allows participating school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to nominate two teachers — one elementary and one secondary educator. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Application Instructions

  • Complete the application form (available here when nominations are open) and answer the essay questions, providing all information requested. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

  • Be brief and succinct in responses to essay questions, focusing on the most significant experiences and characteristics. Candidates who add a personal touch to their applications will produce stronger entries, as well as provide contest judges — who have a limited amount of time to evaluate each entry — with applications that are more readable and highlight applicant strengths.

  • Section I must be submitted on the form provided on page 2. Sections II-VIII should be produced using your own word processing software. Following the formatting instructions below. The result should be a clean, clear copy suitable for easy black-and-white copying and placement in a three-ring binder with other applications.

  • Make sure the applicant, the applicant's principal, and the applicant's district superintendent (chief school administrator) sign the application.
  • Include a color photograph of the applicant. Hard copy (5"x7") or electronic (high-resolution jpg), suitable for publicity purposes (professional headshot such as a school photo). Please no cellphone selfies, PDFs, or Word documents with photos embedded. No photocopies or photographs of photos will be accepted.

  • Submit an electronic copy of the completed application form (PDF preferred), essay question responses, and photograph, with required original signatures to your Regional Education Service Center by the ESC's close of business on the deadline (usually in June). This is considered the official entry, and any failure to meet this deadline will result in disqualification. 

  • Both applicants and their districts should retain copies of entry materials, as originals cannot be returned.


  • Use page 1 of the completed application form (available here when nominations are open) as the cover sheet for the application package. Please do not add another cover sheet with photos or artwork.

  • For the essay questions, start each section on a new page and include the section number and heading at the top. (For sections that allow for a 2-page response, repeat the section number and heading on page 2, adding “continued.”)

  • Number all pages and adhere to the page limits specified for each section; additional pages and/or materials submitted will NOT be presented to the Selection Committee.

  • Use at least 1-inch margins, a minimum of 10-point, easy-to-read type, and double space.

  • Double-check for spelling errors.
  • The application, on plain white paper, should be paper-clipped or submitted in a clear plastic folder with a simple sideways clasp. No notebooks or loose-leaf binders, please.


Contact Jennifer Garrido, Texas Teacher of the Year Coordinator, 512.852.2105