For Teacher of the Year Honorees

  • Congratulations on being selected as Teacher of the Year (TOY) for your school! Being named Teacher of the Year from among your peers is a great honor. The Foundation is excited to celebrate your accomplishment at the Teacher of the Year Gratitude Banquet in November! We know you are excited as well, and we know that you have questions. The purpose of this webpage is to serve as a one-stop-shop for information related to the Teacher of the Year Gratitude Banquet.


    Important Dates & Deadlines

    Tuesday, November 12 Teacher of the Year Gratitude Banquet - Athens State University Ballroom at 6:00 pm - TOYs arrive at 5:30 pm for photos
    Friday, October 4 Photo & Interview Signup Deadline
    Friday, October 11 Teacher of the Year Profile Submission Deadline



    Each school Teacher of the Year receives two complimentary tickets to the banquet (for the TOY and one guest). Additional tickets are available for purchase. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. To purchase tickets, complete the Ticket Order Form and return, with payment, to Melanie Delap at Central Office. Physical tickets will be returned to you via interoffice mail. Seating is limited. It is common for each school principal, either independently or in partnership with the school PTO/PTF, to purchase additional tickets for the family of the TOY. Please contact your school administrator to determine if this courtesy will be extended to you.




    Banquet Seating for Teachers of the Year

    We understand that you want to celebrate with your closest friends and family beside you. To this end, each Teacher of the Year will have a reserved TOY Table exclusively for the TOY and his/her guests of choice. This table typically seats 6-8 guests comfortably. Any overflow of guests who are in attendance to celebrate you will be seated adjacent and nearest to your TOY Table. Additionally, tables near your TOY table will be reserved for your school family who will likely be there to support and cheer you on as well. Put simply, we make every effort to have you surrounded by the ones who mean the most to you. If you have any special seating needs, please contact us directly. The Athens State University Ballroom is ADA compliant and handicap accessible. Your best contact is Melanie Delap at


    What to Expect as Teacher of the Year

    As part of celebrating you as TOY, we will work together to produce two interviews; one for print and one for video. We have worked to make this process as simple as possible, as we are very mindful of your busy schedule shaping the hearts and minds of students each day. 


    Athens News-Courier Teacher of the Year Series

    Deadline to submit is October 11. Our partners at the Athens News-Courier will publish a Teacher of the Year Series featuring the profile of each TOY. The interview for your profile is structured as a Google Form for your convenience. We ask that you answer and complete your interview profile questions no later than Friday, October 11.


    Click here to see an example of a TOY profile from last year.


    Profile Photo or "Headshot"

    In addition to the TOY profile, a profile photo (headshot) will be needed for the News-Courier series. We will take a profile photo (headshot) for you when we complete the on-camera interview in early October. The responses given in the News-Courier profile and the headshot will also be used to produce the printed program for the banquet. 


    Teacher of the Year Spotlight Video

    Deadline to Schedule is Monday, October 7.  As part of the event celebration on the evening of the banquet, we will share a short video highlighting each TOY. 


    • We will conduct an on-camera interview with each TOY.  This should be recorded in a quiet place for just the TOY and the interviewer (Ginger Hickman). Typically, your classroom during planning is best for teachers. However, we will do whatever is best for you.
    • We will take short video footage of your students and your classroom at work. This piece will be video only with no audio of you teaching. This is usually the class before or after your planning period (so we can have quiet time for the one-on-one interview with you).
    • We will interview three students on-camera. This will be during class time, after we take the class video footage. We usually take this in the hallway or library - somewhere outside the classroom. Please select three students to be interviewed, and prepare them briefly beforehand. We find that the students like to be prepared with answers, too. We will be asking them to talk about the things that make you a special teacher. The student interview will be independent of your interview - we want the words they share about you to be a surprise! 
    • We will take a headshot (profile photo) of you. This will be for the program and the News-Courier series. We typically step outside to take this photo outdoors. This is usually fairly quick. 


    We will send you the interview questions beforehand so you can prepare. 


    To get an idea of what the finished video product looks like, check out last year’s TOY Video now. 


    Scheduling Your Video Session

    Your on-camera interview will be sometime between Wednesday, October 9 and Friday, October 18. Please schedule your session by Monday, October 7. The time slots available are in one hour increments. These time slots are meant to be a guide. Please keep in mind a few things when scheduling. We are here to serve you. We are flexible with scheduling and can adjust to whatever your scheduling needs/preferences are. The schedule signup is a helpful tool, but please reach out to Ginger Hickman if you need special arrangements or have any questions.



    Important Contacts

    The Teacher of the Year Gratitude Banquet is presented by the Athens City Schools Foundation. For questions or needs related to the Teacher of the Year banquet and celebration, contact one of the committee members listed below.


    Beth Patton Executive Director Athens City Schools Foundation
    Melanie Delap Executive Assistant to Beth Patton Athens City Schools Foundation
    Tammie Brand Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Athens City Schools
    Ginger Hickman Communications Specialist Athens City Schools


    State Teacher of the Year Program

    The official State of Alabama Teacher of the Year program is administered through the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and is separate from the Foundation event (Teacher of the Year Gratitude Banquet). For questions regarding the State of Alabama Teacher of the Year Program, please contact the Athens City Schools Curriculum Director Mr. Garner Ezell at