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!

Nominate Now

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 (sanfordprograms@nu.edu) 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

Who We're Looking For

We want to hear about teachers who consistently demonstrate these key inspiration indicators in their classrooms:

Engages Students

Inspiring teachers reflect on and continuously improve their practice; and students engage in interesting learning opportunities.

Builds Confidence

Inspiring teachers build rapport by understanding students' backgrounds; and students are resilient in the face of challenge.

Creates an Inclusive Environment

Inspiring teachers are caring and respectful; and students feel a sense of belonging due to relationships with peers and staff.

Motivates Students to Succeed

Inspiring teachers use assessments to improve their understanding of students; and students set goals and achieve their dreams.

Gives Students a Voice

Inspiring teachers engage in a high support/high demand approach; and students are confident, curious, and have a voice.

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"My teacher Mr. Toon... basically told me 'You do you — you be who you are, you're amazing the way you are,' and he helped me pull out the strengths in me by looking at what makes me unique and wonderful."

- Angela K., Thurgood Marshall, Recipient of the Inaugural Sanford Teacher Award

The Sanford Teacher Award

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!

The deadline for submissions is November 20, 2019.

Nominate an inspirational teacher today!

Nominate Now

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY; Contest ends at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on 12/15/2019; open only to U.S. residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who are 21 years and older and are licensed/credentialed teachers who have been teaching for 3 or more years at a pre-K-12 school in the United States; see Official Rules for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions/values, odds, alternate free method of entry, and complete details; limit one (1) submission per nominee. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: National University System, 11355 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037