MSA Teacher of the Year Program

Application Deadline

November 19, 2019 (Must be a PAID 2019-2020 MSA Member by November 4, 2019)

Applications are open — apply here (scroll down and click on the Individual Awards Programs Icon)!

For a printer-friendly copy of the Teacher of the Year application packet, click here.


At Magnet Schools of America (MSA) we already know great teachers inspire not only their students but their colleagues and others in the community as well. Magnet Teacher of the Year (TOY) Award annually recognizes an outstanding, dedicated full-time teacher who exemplifies excellence in academic achievement and executes innovative programs that promote equity and diversity for students in magnet schools.

This successful teacher-candidate is acknowledged by peers, parents and students for exemplary contributions made to the profession. This teacher inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn. The award honors a PreK through K-12 Magnet School Teacher who has demonstrated excellence in the teaching profession, community, and parental involvement.


Nominees must be full-time magnet teachers (including specialists, resource/lead teachers) who:

  • Are currently serving as a teacher at one or more PreK-12 or K-12 Magnet school(s) for a minimum of three (3) years;
  • Demonstrate and encourage creativity and innovation in curriculum;
  • Foster cooperation between the classroom and the community;
  • Maintain a continuing dialogue with students and parents as well as other staff;
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of education;
  • Encourage team spirit;
  • Maintain their position as magnet teacher throughout the 2019-2020 school year; and attend the national conference of the subsequent year “to pass the torch.” (at the discounted host district rate)

All previous regional recipients are not eligible for three (3) years after being awarded.
All previous monetary recipients are not eligible for five (five) years after being awarded.


  • Nomination application for Teacher of the Year must by submitted by the district Magnet Director.
  • Only MSA Members/Districts may submit candidate nominations.
  • Districts may submit only one candidate.
  • A letter of nomination explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award, signed and submitted with the online application at the time of submission.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: including one from a parent, one from a community partner, AND one from a co-worker or administrator. Each letter must be signed and submitted/uploaded separately with the online application at the time of submission.

  • Nomination (General/Applicant) Information, complete online:
    • Nominee’s Name
    • Nominee’s School
    • School URL
    • School District
    • Elementary or Secondary
    • Grade Level(s)
    • Years as Magnet Teacher
    • Region
    • Theme(s)
    • School Address
    • Phone/Cell Phone
    • Email
  • Description of each Application Criteria (Narrative), see next tab, complete online;
  • Additional Materials, see next tab, upload during online submission;
    • Resume & Photo
    • Signatures

The following information will be ENTERED ONLINE during the submission process.  The narrative for each criteria must be completed by the candidate or nominator.


In no more than 700 words.

Educational History and Professional Development Activities:

  • Colleges and Universities attended, including post-graduate studies, indicating degrees earned and dates of attendance;
  • Teaching employment history indicating time period, grade level, and subject area(s);
  • Professional association memberships and information about offices held and other relevant activities that demonstrate on-going learning and leadership in education;
  • Professional development leadership activity and leadership experience in the training of future leaders;
  • Conferences and workshops attended and presentations made that demonstrate leadership within the magnet school field and;
  • Awards and other recognition of teaching accomplishments.


In no more than 400 words.

Professional Biography:

  • Factors that influenced you to become a teacher and;
  • Description of what you consider being your greatest educational contributions and accomplishments as a magnet teacher.


In no more than 600 words.

Community/Parental Involvement:

  • Describe your commitment to the community through service-oriented activities such as volunteer work, civic responsibilities, and other group activities;
  • Describe how you have worked to develop community partnerships into your magnet theme lessons and;
  • Describe how you encourage magnet parents to play a role in your classroom.

Criteria 4: PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING (20 pts)

In no more than 600 words.

Philosophy of Teaching:

  • Describe your personal feelings and beliefs about teaching, including ideas about working with equity and diversity within the classroom and;
  • Describe one unique unit that you teach and have developed, that aligns with your magnet theme(s).

Criteria 5: TEACHING PROFESSION (25 pts)

In no more than 950 words.

Teaching Profession:

  • Efforts that you have taken to strengthen and improve the magnet teaching profession;
  • Describe how you build capacity with your colleagues by mentoring newer teachers in the magnet mission;
  • Describe a lesson or unit that you teach that differentiates various student learning styles. Give special attention to technology, if you can;
  • Describe how you bring diverse groups of learners together to work for a common goal in your classroom; and
  • Describe how you collaborate with other teachers to foster the interaction of students between/among grade levels.


CANDIDATE INFORMATION - to be completed online

The following candidate information will need to be populated during the online submission process:

  • School
  • Grade Level(s)
  • Elementary or Secondary (includes middle & high schools)
  • Years as Magnet Teacher
  • School Address
  • School URL/Website
  • School District
  • Magnet Theme(s)
  • Phone and Cell Phone
  • Email


Upload PDF during the online submission process.

A basic resume (no more than 3 pages) should accompany the application along with a professional headshot (.jpg, .jpeg or .png) of the Teacher. Resume should include education, administrative experience, professional growth opportunities and dates (i.e., memberships and offices held in professional organizations/associations; professional development activities; publications/articles; leadership positions/roles).


Upload PDF during the online submission process.

Download blank signatures page HERE. Three signatures needed:

  • Nominee Verification
  • Nominee Assurance
  • Magnet Director/Designee

2019 National Magnet Teacher of the Year

2019 Teacher of the Year. Walter Carter

2019 Teacher of the Year. Walter Carter

Walter Carter, Milford Mill Academy, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore County, Maryland

Mr. Walter Carter, automotive services teacher at Milford Mill Academy, distinguishes himself as an automotive professional with a large and ongoing body of knowledge in automotive education.

Mr. Carter has taken his lifetime love and involvement in automotive service to develop a program to expand his students’ knowledge and skills. He has developed relationships with the business community and coordinated internships and externships for the automotive students.

Carter, an ASE certified technician since 1985, has been teaching for 12 years, all of them at Milford Mill Academy. From 2008 – 2014, he served on Maryland’s curriculum writing committee for automotive technology. He is a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certified automotive educator and was selected as the school’s own 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Congratulations to our 2019 Regional Teachers of-the-Year:


Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont


Waterbury Arts Magnet School

Theme(s): Art
Grade(s): 6-12
Waterbury Public Schools
Waterbury, Connecticut


Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, The District of Columbia and International


Milford Mill Academy

Theme(s): Arts & Technology
Grade(s): 9-12
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore, Maryland


Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands


Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts

Theme(s): Fine & Performing Arts
Grade(s): 9-12
Clayton County Public Schools
Jonesboro, Georgia


Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee


Broughton Global Studies/Language Immersion Magnet High School

Theme(s): Global Studies, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Language Immersion (Spanish & Chinese) beginning in 2 years in connection with magnet pathway elementary and middle schools
Grade(s): 9-12
Wake County Public School System
Raleigh, North Carolina


Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas


South Highlands Academic & Performing Arts Magnet Elementary School

Theme(s): Academic, Visual & Performing Arts
Grade(s): 3-4
Caddo Parish Public Schools
Shreveport, Louisiana


Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin


Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts & Science

Theme(s): Arts & Science
Grade(s): K-5
District 196
Eagan, Minnesota


Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Marianas Islands and Trust Territory of the Pacific


Veterans Tribute Career & Technical Academy

Theme(s): Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Pre-Law, Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, 911 Dispatch
Grade(s): 9-12
Clark County School District
Las Vegas, Nevada

2018 National Magnet Teacher of the Year

Dr. April Guenzler, Brooks Museums Magnet Elementary, Wake County Public School System, Raleigh, North Carolina
Dr. April Guenzler has been a classroom teacher in North Carolina for 17 years. She became a National Board certified teacher in 2014 and graduated with an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University in May of 2016. Dr. Guenzler loves working with families and their communities and is passionate about integrated curriculum. She has been a part of her school since the conception of its magnet program and her teaching philosophy clearly aligns with the Paideia principles, which provide the foundation for Brooks Museums Magnet Elementary. She believes that learning occurs when students are actively engaged in hands-on authentic experiences and she has facilitated professional development on Paideia Principles, Responsive Classroom, museums approaches to learning, the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI), and curriculum unit design.

She is also a mentor at her school and works weekly with new teachers (during their first three years of initial licensure) to develop their capacity in teaching. Most recently she was invited by Gardner-Webb faculty to become involved with the Urban Educators Leadership Collaborative (UELC) through Teachers College at Columbia University, NY.

Congratulations to our 2018 Regional Teachers of-the-Year:


Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont


Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School
Theme(s): Performing and Visual Arts
Grade(s): K-5
New London Public Schools
New London, Connecticut


Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, The District of Columbia and International


Randallstown High School
Theme(s): Biomedical Technology and Mass Communication, Academy of Health Professions
Grade(s): 11-12
Baltimore County Public Schools
Randallstown, Maryland


Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands


Howard D. McMillan Middle School
Theme(s): Medical and Health Sciences, Robotics Engineering and Technology
Grade(s): 6-8
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami, Florida


Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee


Brooks Magnet Elementary School
Theme(s): Museums
Grade(s): K-5
Wake County Public School System
Cary, North Carolina


Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas


Southeast Middle School
Theme(s): Digital Arts and Technology
Grade(s): 6-8
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin


Franklin Fine Arts Center
Theme(s): Fine Arts
Grade(s): K-8
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago, Illinois


Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming


McLean Science & Technology Magnet
Theme(s): Science and Technology
Grade(s): K-5
Wichita Public Schools
Wichita, Kansas


Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Marianas Islands and Trust Territory of the Pacific


Las Vegas Academy
Theme(s): The Arts
Grade(s): 9-12
Clark County School District
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Magnet School must be a paid member of Magnet Schools of America (MSA) for 2019-2020 by November 4, 2019. Membership inquiries, please call 202.824.0672.

Learn how to become a Nationally Certified Magnet School

Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.

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