Award Programs

Teacher and Principal of the Year Programs

Meet the 2022 Teacher and Principal of the Year Semifinalists


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 Louisiana’s education profession.

This year, school systems from all across the state submitted nominations to the state-level Teacher and Principal of the Year process. From this impressive group, the Department is proud to announce the 2022 Teacher and Principal of the Year Semifinalists.

All Teacher and Principal of the Year Semifinalists will be honored at the 15th Annual Excellent Educators Awards Gala that will be held virtually on the evening of July 16, 2021. This exciting event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

To learn more about the current and previous Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees, visit the library

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 school system/diocese level; these nominees are then forwarded to a Regional Selection Committee. The resulting twenty-one finalists then compete at the state level. The winners of the three grade levels are announced on the evening of the final day of competition.

Students of the Year Materials

Outstanding School Support Employee Awards Program

The Department hosts an annual awards program that provides the Superintendent of each school system the opportunity to honor an outstanding school support employee at the elementary, middle/junior high and high school levels. School support employee categories include: teacher aides, paraprofessionals, school bus drivers, child nutrition program staff, clerical workers, custodial/maintenance staff or any other school support employee classification that does not require a teacher’s certificate as a condition of employment. Criteria for selection includes employees that provide leadership in the operation of non-instructional activities throughout the school year as well as those that have rendered time and talents beyond the call of duty.  

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are due on April 9, 2021 and should be emailed to See additional information about the OSSE Awards program, including the selection process and nomination application.

For questions about the Outstanding School Support Employee Award Program, email

US Senate Youth Program

Two Louisiana juniors or seniors will be chosen to attend the online U.S. Senate Youth Program held during the week of March 15, 2021. The exact timeframe of the program is to be decided. Upon completion of all online meetings these two delegates will receive a $10,000 education scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed. Students nominated by their principals must submit an application and a portfolio of required information to the Louisiana Department of Education by Monday, November 16, 2020.

Please read the National Brochure and Louisiana application packet for more information including eligibility requirements and the application process. Finalists will be notified by December 4, 2020 and delegates will be announced by the Hearst Foundation at the beginning of February.

U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school students selected on the basis of outstanding scholarship. This is a recognition program, not a scholarship program.  The 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars and receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion.

School systems can submit, for consideration, up to two students in the General Component and up to two students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Component. Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students may not apply individually to the program or be nominated by a school system. Only the Chief State School Office or YoungArts™ can submit nominations to the USDOE. 

In order to recommend students for nomination to the program, school systems are required to submit to the LDOE a parental release form for each nominated student and a nomination letter for each nominated student not to exceed one page for each student. The nomination letter must be sent on school or school system letterhead and signed by the school system leader. Full instructions may be found in the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program Information Guide.

Nomination letters are due to LDOE by 4 p.m. November 13, 2020. School systems should submit nominations to using the subject line: U.S. Presidential Scholar Program. Submissions that do not include the completed parental release form will not be accepted.  It is recommended that school systems review the LDOE evaluation rubric prior to nominating students.

Please contact with questions.