Teacher of the Year Award Program

  • Each school year, Grand Forks Public Schools recognizes an educator as the Grand Forks Public Schools Teacher of the Year. The award recipient is then nominated as the Grand Forks County Teacher of the Year and may also be considered as the North Dakota Teacher of the Year.

    The purpose of the GFPS Teacher of the Year program is to celebrate the work of a classroom teacher who teaches students in kindergarten through 12th grade. To be considered for the award, the nominee must:

    • Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities in their quest for excellence;
    • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success;
    • Demonstrate leadership, innovation, and lifelong learning skills in and outside of the classroom; and
    • Present themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

    Nominations may be completed by any parent/guardian, teacher, student, administrator, or community member. Selection committee members will first individually review the applications and then reach a consensus on the GFPS Teacher of the Year.

    The award recipient will receive a plaque from the Grand Forks School Board, cash award from the Grand Forks Foundation for Education, and will be recognized at an upcoming Grand Forks School Board meeting. Their name and information will also be forwarded to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction for consideration as the North Dakota Teacher of the Year.

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Criteria

  • Selection Criteria

    • Teaches kindergarten through grade 12, and who is planning to continue as a teacher;
    • Has the respect and admiration of their colleagues;
    • Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities in their quest for excellence;
    • Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success;
    • Connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community,
    • Demonstrates leadership, innovation, and lifelong learning skills in and outside of the classroom; and
    • Presents themselves in an engaging and articulate way.

    Duties & Responsibilities

    The Teacher of the Year will shoulder the significant responsibility of representing the teaching profession in North Dakota. The person who is chosen must maintain his/her current employment position. If the North Dakota Teacher of the Year is selected as the National Teacher of the Year, they will be released from classroom responsibilities during the year of national recognition.

    The North Dakota Teacher of the Year acts as

    • A liaison between the teaching community, the North Dakota Legislature, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, schools, and communities.
    • An ambassador for education to businesses, parents, service organizations, and the media.
    • A resource on the state of the profession. The Teacher of the Year should be available for workshops and conferences around the state and nation.
    • An education leader who takes part in teacher forums and discussions about how to improve education.

    The North Dakota Teacher of the Year automatically becomes the nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Program.

Past GFPS Teacher of the Year Recipients

    • 2021-2022: Ivona Todorovic, English Language teacher, Red River High School
    • 2020-2021: Shari Jerde, family and consumer sciences and business education teacher, Community High School
    • 2019-2020: Trevor Lennon, business education teacher, Grand Forks Central High School