Michigan Teacher of the Year Program
Please note: Nominations for the 2020-2021 MTOY program will be available on this website beginning September 2019.
Since 1952, one of Michigan’s outstanding teachers has been named our state’s Teacher of the Year (MTOY). The MTOY serves as a representative and spokesperson for Michigan’s more than 90,000 teachers, working with 9 other regional Teachers of the Year (rTOYs) as the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC) to share feedback and concerns of educational policies and initiatives with the MDE and propose ways to enhance student learning.
Each month, the MTOY attends State Board of Education meetings as a non-voting member of the board and presents on issues of importance to teachers across the state with one of the rTOYs. In addition to meeting with state legislative and educational leadership, the MTOY can meet national leaders and work with their fellow state teachers of the year from other U.S. states and territories through programming arranged by the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO), the organization which coordinates the National Teacher of the Year program. Each year’s MTOY is Michigan’s applicant for National Teacher of the Year. To date, several MTOYs have been named as NTOY finalists, most recently, Robert Stevenson in 2010. Michigan has had one National Teacher of the Year, Thomas Fleming, who was honored in 1992.
As part of the CCSSO’s programming for state teachers of the year, the MTOY attends four national conferences through the NTOY program, including attendance at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. The MTOY has the opportunity through Walden University for a full scholarship to the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership programs. Each regional TOY brings recognition to the district he or she represents and has expanded opportunities for professional development at the state level.
Thank you to the Meemic Foundation for their continued sponsorship and support of the Michigan Teacher of the Year, the Regional Teachers of the Year and the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC).
2018-2019 Michigan Teacher of the Year - Laura Chang, Second Grade Teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg Community Schools.
Laura Chang is entering her nineteenth year of teaching at Sunset Lake Elementary in Vicksburg Community Schools where she currently teaches second grade. Previously, she has taught pre-K, first/second grade multiage, third grade and has worked as an instructional consultant at Tobey Elementary. She serves as a mentor coach and district technology integration leader. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in the Special Educational and Literacy Studies department at Western Michigan University. In her free time, Laura enjoys reading, camping, and downhill skiing with her family.
Laura is looking forward to working with the other Regional Michigan Teachers of the Year to share strategies to meet the diverse needs of the learners across the state. She is thrilled to be a part of this dynamic team of teachers who are invested in finding ways to impact the students of Michigan’s public schools in a positive way.
She loves being a teacher because of the precious little learners who walk into her classroom each day. They inspire her daily with their hard work, their perseverance, and their joy for learning. Chang’s students also encourage her with their curiosity, excitement for learning and passion for accomplishing difficult tasks. Chang says she is so blessed to have a job in which every day is different, and is so fortunate to work in the fulfilling, life-changing career of teaching.
2019-2020 MTOY Program Documents
- 2019-2020 MTOY Timeline
- Why apply for MTOY?
- State Teachers of the Year Code of Conduct
In the Media
MDE Teacher of the Year Coordinator
Office of Educator Excellence
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
- Veteran Michigan Teachers of the Year
- National Teacher of the Year
National Teacher of the Year program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing the major national education organizations. Each April, the National Teacher of the Year is introduced to the American people by the President of the United States. The National Teacher of the Year is released from classroom duties during the year of recognition to travel nationally and internationally as a spokesperson for the teaching profession. All activities of the National Teacher, and projects involving the State Teachers of the Year, are coordinated through the National Teacher of the Year Program. The National Teacher of the Year Program, presented by the ING Foundation, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.