Giving back to teachers who give their all

Sanford Programs wants to recognize and reward 51 of the nation's top inspiring teachers — one from each U.S. state and Washington, D.C. The Sanford Teacher Award includes a gift of $10,000 for each of the 51 finalists and a $50,000 total award for the grand prize winner!

We're calling on all teachers, faculty, staff, principals, parents, and students to nominate an extraordinary, inspirational teacher. You know the one — the teacher who engages students in inspirational learning opportunities, supports student resiliency, develops strong connections, instills a sense of curiosity, and promotes a strong student voice.

Tell us about this teacher!

Nominations Closed

How It Works

Simply fill out the nomination forms with as much detail as possible and submit the forms — you may nominate any teacher that meets the eligibility requirements and embeds the inspirational indicators in their daily instruction, even yourself if you wish.

Our committee reviews each and every submission and will reach out to those who qualify.

If your nominee meets the requirements, he or she will be sent an email from Sanford Programs ( and asked to participate. The nominee will be asked to complete the application as part of the selection process.

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Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a licensed/credentialed teacher
  • Teach at a Pre-K-12 school (public, private, or charter) in the United States
  • Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible
  • Have a minimum of three years of classroom teaching
  • Be a United States resident