The Idaho Teacher of the Year Program, which began in 1959, is one of the most prestigious honors in the state for teachers. The program focuses public attention on excellence in teaching that has a real impact on the students of Idaho. Peers, school personnel, parents, community members and students may nominate teachers. Many nominees come from school district-level Teacher of the Year programs throughout the state.
About Idaho Teacher of the Year
The Idaho Teacher of the Year (ITOY) automatically becomes the nominee for the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program, which is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). If the ITOY is selected as the NTOY they will be released from classroom responsibilities during the year of national recognition.
The selected candidate for ITOY will maintain a regular teaching schedule while also fulfilling the duties of the Teacher of the Year position. Some highlights of the position may include:
- Participating in the NTOY Program as a representative of Idaho
- Presenting to the Senate and House Education Committees in Boise during the legislative session
- Travel across Idaho to speak with other educators, legislators, and policymakers about education in the state
- Participating in the CCSSO NTOY Program Induction conference (approx. one week in length)
- Participating in the NTOY Washington Recognition Week in Washington DC (approx. one week in length)
- Participating in International Space Camp in Huntsville, AL (approx. one week in length)
- Participating in the ECS National Forum on Education Policy – location TBD (approx. three days in length)
- Receive a cash prize from the State
|January 2023||Nomination window for the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year opens|
|March 20, 2023||Nomination window closes|
|March 27, 2023||Application window for the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year opens. *Nominated educators will be contacted by the SDE. Applications are not open to the public.|
|May 8, 2023||Application window closes|
|June – August||Panel reviews applications and selects finalists|
|Fall Semester||Announcement of the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year|
Idaho State Teacher of the Year Selection Criteria
A candidate for Teacher of the Year:
- Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
- Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
- Deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large.
- Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning.
- Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way.
2024 Teacher of the Year - Trent Van Leuven
Trent Van Leuven
Idaho Teacher of the Year
Mackay Jr./Sr. High School
Idaho’s 2024 Teacher of the Year, Trent Van Leuven, started his teaching career as an agriscience instructor at the West Ada School District in 2009 before moving on to teach career technical education subjects at Mackay Jr./Sr. High School in 2014. He is the President of the Mackay Education Association, Chairman of the State and Federal Lands Committee of the Idaho Farm Bureau and Secretary-Elect and Secretary for the Idaho Agriculture Teachers Association. He was the 2014 recipient of the National NAAE Ideas Unlimited Winner award and the 2008 recipient of the Platinum Award for Regional Dairy Challenge Event in California. He was also named National Agriscience Teacher of the Year from Region 1 in 2017. Van Leuven will serve as Idaho’s 2024 Teacher of the Year and will be Idaho’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Congratulations Trent Van Leuven!