• 2020 Kansas City Public Schools Teacher of the Year Award



    2019 Teacher of the Year Banquet




    The purpose of the Kansas City Public Schools Teacher of the Year (TOY) program is to recognize the contributions of the classroom teacher. Teacher quality and effectiveness are the most important school-based factors impacting student learning. Our teachers create the learning environment where children flourish and grow. The mission of the KCPS Teacher of the Year Program is to honor, promote and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession in alignment with state and national recognitions. This program is sponsored by the KCPS Education Foundation.

    Who is eligible?

    • Each teacher nominated must hold a valid Missouri Teaching Certificate and be employed full-time in KCPS.
    • Each nominee must first be selected as the Teacher of the Year for his or her individual school.
    • A teacher who has won the KCPS TOY cannot be nominated for the award again for two full academic years after their service as the TOY. (For instance, the 2017 winner cannot be nominated until 2020.)
    • The teacher must have plans to remain teaching in KCPS during and after their year as the school system's TOY.
    • The teacher must have demonstrated practice in effectively promoting performance with equity among ALL students.
    • The teacher must be highly respected by students, parents, colleagues and the community.
    • The teacher must be an effective public spokesperson (articulate, poised, self-confident, etc.)
    • The teacher must be willing to commit to all expectations laid out for one year of service as the KCPS TOY


    A KCPS Teacher of the Year…

    ...understands the central concepts, structures and tools of inquiry of the discipline(s) she/he teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful and engaging for all students.

    ....understands how students learn, develop and differ in their approaches to learning. The teacher provides learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners and support the intellectual, social and personal development of all students.

    ....recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development. The teacher develops, implements and evaluates curriculum based upon standards and student needs.

    ....uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills including instructional resources.

    ....uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning, positive social interaction and self-motivation.

    ....models effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques with students and parents to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom.

    ....understands and uses formative and summative assessment strategies to assess the learner’s progress, uses assessment data to plan ongoing instruction, monitors the performance of each student, and devises instruction to enable students to grow and develop.

    Selecting a Winner

    The KCPS Division of Communications and Community Engagement will solicit Teacher of the Year nominations from stakeholders for each school. The principal of each school will decide how to select that school’s Teacher of the Year. Some sort of voting process will be suggested but not required. As each school selects its TOY, each honoree will complete an online nomination form for the KCPS TOY Award. A committee will use a blind-judging process to select a KCPS Teacher of the Year and two runners-up from the school-level TOYs. The selection committee will use a scoring rubric based on criteria established at the local, state and national level. All school TOYs will be honored at the KCPS Teacher & Principal of the Year Awards Banquet, where the winner and runners-up will be announced.

    Roles & Responsibilities

    The KCPS Teacher of the Year serves as a spokesperson for the school system. This is a role that comes with enormous responsibility. The Teacher of the Year will find that many new doors will be open and many new ears will hear his or her message concerning education issues. The Teacher of the Year represents the entire teaching profession in the Kansas City Public Schools.

    The KCPS Teacher of the Year will be expected to fulfill the obligations inherent in this honor. Throughout the recognition year, the KCPS Teacher of the Year may be called on to:

    • Serve as an advocate for students
    • Work with local and state policy makers, business and community leaders, and others who shape public opinion to promote accurate perceptions of the realities of today’s classrooms
    • Work with pre-service teachers
    • Work at college/university career fairs to recruit young people to the teaching profession
    • Speak with students about the education profession
    • Use his/her voice to help shape education policy at the local and state level
    • Serve on local and state advisory committees
    • Serve as a conference and workshop presenter
    • Serve as an educational consultant
    • Attend a variety of local and state education meetings
    • Apply as the KCPS nominee for the 2020 Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year Program
    • Potentially attend the Missouri Teacher of the Year event if selected from the region
    • Potentially attend the National Teacher of the Year Conference
    • Potentially attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama
    • Potentially attend the presidential ceremony in Washington, DC to honor all state Teachers of the Year



    • Friday, Jan. 10: Open school-level Teacher of the Year nominations to the general public
    • Friday, Jan. 24: School TOY nominations submission deadline
    • Friday, Feb. 7: School TOY selection deadline
    • Friday, Feb. 21: KCPS TOY online nomination form completion deadline
    • Thursday, March 5: KCPS TOY recipient and runners-up selected
    • Friday, March 6: TOY banquet digital invitations to school TOYs, School Board, Foundation Board, Superintendent’s Cabinet, assistant superintendents and principals
    • Thursday, April 2: RSVP deadline for banquet
    • Thursday, April 9, 2020: Teacher & Principal of the Year Awards Banquet

    CLICK HERE: KCPS Teacher of the Year Award Digital Application
    (to be completed by 2020 school-level Teachers of the Year for the district-level award)