What Makes a Strong Teacher of the Year Application?

  • The Teacher of the Year nomination packet is used to determine whether a nominee would be an outstanding representative of excellence in teaching for Anne Arundel County. It also serves as the first step in determining whether an AACPS nominee will be a strong candidate for the Maryland State Teacher of the Year competition.

    Click on a heading to review the the criteria that the selection committee considers when scoring a nominee’s Round One application.

  • What Makes a Strong Cover Letter?

    The cover letter, submitted by the nominating principal, is designed to highlight the nominee as a leader across the school community. The letter for an exceptional nominee:

    • Provides specific and varied examples of the impact that the nominee has had on the school learning community;
    • Describes how the teacher demonstrates a strong connection between teaching and student achievement;
    • Illustrates how the teacher provides leadership and models community service;
    • Shows evidence of extraordinary service, leadership, and community partnerships in support of student achievement.
    • Include anecdotes and testimonials from students, parents, and/or colleagues to illustrate the impact the nominee has had on the school community.

  • What Makes a Strong Philosophy of Teaching?

    This section, written by the nominated educator, allows the nominee to articulate a strong philosophy of teaching and share how this philosophy is reflected in the classroom. A highly scored philosophy of teaching:

    • Communicates a philosophy that is based on research-based practices; 
    • Reflects an understanding of the relationship between teaching and learning;
    • Reflect a grasp of the age-appropriate learning needs of students;
    • Includes concrete examples, and
    • Is written clearly, without errors.

  • What Makes a Strong Resumé?

    The resumé is designed to highlight the nominee’s education and career background. The resumé of an exceptional nominee will highlight: 

    • Academic credentials, such as a Master's Degree or an Ed.D./PhD, advanced professional certifications, and/or National Board Certification that the nominee has earned or is in the process of earning;
    • Participation in on-going professional development opportunities;
    • Regular collaboration with colleagues to implement innovative approaches to teaching;
    • Frequent contributions to non-classroom activities, including activities within the community, and to the education initiatives at the local, regional, and national levels;
    • Membership of professional organizations;
    • Other awards or recognitions the nominee has received, if applicable. 

    Note: Only information from the Professional Resume (1-2 pages) submitted with your application will be reviewed by the Selection Committee.

Meet our Past Winners

  • Previous TOY Winners

    Read stories by past AACPS Teacher of the Year winners and nominees that take you inside some of the best classrooms in Anne Arundel County.

Contact Us


                      Teacher of the Year logo

    For questions about the Teacher of the Year selection process or awards ceremony:

    Jenn Lombardi
    Senior Manager, Office of School and Family Partnerships


    Meghan Willmore
    Marketing and Outreach Specialist, Communications Office