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Colorado Teacher of the Year
About the Program
Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in the state. The selected teacher will automatically become Colorado's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. The national program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Visit the National Teacher of the Year program webpage for more information.
The Colorado Teacher of the Year receives many professional development opportunities and, along with the country’s other teachers of the year, is honored at a special ceremony at the White House and gets the opportunity to go to NASA’s Space Camp. The teacher also becomes a member of the Colorado Education Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet.
Nominations are now closed. Nominations will reopen in 2024. Thank you!
Do you know an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 classroom teacher? Nominate them to be the next Colorado Teacher of the Year! Anyone - students, family or community members, even fellow teachers - can nominate an amazing teacher in their life to apply.
Complete a brief online survey form with some basic information about the educator you're nominating for this award. Once a teacher is nominated, they are sent a notification and invitation to apply.
Apply to be the 2024 Colorado Teacher of the Year
Are you the next exceptional educator who will represent the profession in our state? Access the application and begin working on it before Friday, June 16, 2023, deadline. Applicants do not have to be nominated to apply.
2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year winner announced
Jimmy Lee Day II, the band director and instrumental music teacher at East Middle School in Aurora Public Schools, was named Colorado’s 2023 Teacher of the Year in a surprise ceremony at his school on Friday, Oct. 28.
Day has taught at East Middle School since 2017. During his more than 13 years as an educator, he has rebuilt three band programs, transforming them into award winning programs that earned superior rating scores from district music festivals. As a result of his effective teaching, Day became a highly recommended educator to participate in the Public Education & Business Coalition and the Aurora Public School Mentoring Community of Practice. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music at Tennessee State University and his Master's of Arts and Teaching at Trevecca Nazarene University.
Read the full CDE news release.
Teacher of the Year Archives
Recent Colorado Teachers of the Year
- 2023 - Jimmy Lee Day II
- 2022 - Autumn Rivera
- 2021- Gerardo Muñoz
- 2020 - Hilary Wimmer
View a list of all past Colorado Teacher of the Year recipients.
Colorado Council of the Network of State Teachers of the Year
The Colorado Council of the Network of State Teachers of the Year (NSTOY) is an organization committed to the preservation and enhancement of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program. The Council works with the Colorado State Department of Education and other corporate and organizational partners to celebrate teaching excellence through the recognition of educators who have inspired a love for learning in their students, and who have distinguished themselves in the profession. All Colorado State Teachers of the Year, as well as each year's finalists, are invited to participate.
For more information for upcoming meetings, as well as how to join, visit the Colorado Council's website.
For more information on this program, please contact:
Grants Program Administration
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