Award Programs

Teacher and Principal of the Year Programs

TOY + POY Benefits of Participation Button


The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that great teachers and school leaders are critical to student success. Annually, the Department, in partnership with Dream Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Principals, recognizes and celebrates some of the state’s most exceptional educators through the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs. These programs provide an opportunity to acknowledge those teachers and leaders who are making exceptional gains with students. Their commitment to student success exemplifies the Louisiana education profession.

Part of the selection process for naming the district and state-level winners includes recommendations from teachers, principals, district employees, parents, colleagues, and community members. If you know an outstanding teacher or leader, please submit a nomination. Self-nominations are also welcomed. Read more about the nominations process here.

The nominations portal is open through October 10, 2019. The nominations will be sent to local school districts for their consideration in this year’s process. 

The 2020 Teacher and Principal of the Year state-level winners were honored at the 13th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala on Friday, July 19, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

To view previous Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees and state-level winners, visit the library and view winner announcements.

The application materials for the 2019-2020 school year will upload to the website in October 2019.  

For questions about the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs, email

Teacher and Principal of the Year Library

Students of the Year Awards Program

Students of the Year Logo

The Department of Education recognizes that many outstanding students are enrolled in public, private, or charter schools throughout the state of Louisiana. To acknowledge these accomplishments, the Department, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, annually honors one incredible fifth, eighth, and twelfth grade student based on their leadership, academic performance, achievements, citizenship, and service to the school and community.

Students are selected by their school and submitted to the local education agency/diocese level; these nominees are then forwarded to a Regional Selection Committee. The resulting eighteen finalists then compete at the state level. The winner of the three grade levels are announced on the evening of the final day of competition.

Students of the Year Materials

US Senate Youth Program

Two Louisiana juniors or seniors will be chosen to attend the U.S. Senate Youth Program in Washington, D. C. and will also receive a $10,000 education scholarship. Student nominees, chosen by their schools, must submit an application and a portfolio of required information to the Louisiana Department of Education by October 1, 2019. Please read the National Brochure and Louisiana Logistics Memo for more information including eligibility requirements and the application process. Finalists will be notified by October 21, 2020 and delegates will be announced by the Hearst Foundation in mid-December.

Sponsored by the Hearst Foundations.