The mission of the Montana Teacher of the Year Program is to elevate student success by empowering classroom innovation and enhancing pathways to teacher leadership. 


A+ The TOY Program elevates student success by celebrating teachers who honor individual student strengths and each child’s unique abilities.

A+ The TOY Program empowers classroom innovation by recognizing teachers who are responsive to the complex realities that define Montana’s diverse and unique classrooms across the state.

A+ The TOY Program enhances pathways to teacher leadership by creating teacher ambassadors at the local, state, and national level to connect classrooms to the community.  

About the MT TOY Program

The MT TOY Program is part of the National Teacher of the Year Program conducted by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), of which Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction is a member.

The MT TOY is chosen from a group of ten regional teachers of the year. Regional selection committees from each of the nine Montana Association of School Superintendent regions and an American Indian educator chosen by the Montana Indian Education Association ensure geographic and cultural diversity.

Those ten teachers will be reviewed by a statewide committee of diverse education stakeholders to narrow the pool to three semi-finalists who will be invited to interview in-person to determine the MT TOY. The TOY will be announced during a celebration ceremony at the Montana Capitol each October.

The Montana TOY will then compete at the national level to become CCSSO’s National TOY. For more information on the National TOY, please visit:

All active Montana K-12 teachers who are making a positive difference for students in their community are encouraged to apply. 

For more information, you can email or call 406-444-7325.



February 1

May 1

June 1

July 15

Early Sept

Mid- Sept

Early Oct


November 1


Applications and nominations open

Nomination closing date

Application closing date

Regional selection deadline

The State Superintendent will travel the state for local school celebrations with the ten regional winners.

A committee will review the ten regional TOY selections and identify three individuals to interview as statewide semi-finalists.

OPI will have a different team interview the three finalists in-person.

Announcement of the Montana Teacher of the Year—Celebration at the Capitol

Montana Teacher of the Year application is forwarded to CCSSO 

National Teacher of the Year Convening