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Teacher of the Year

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What makes an exemplary teacher?

To us, they exert great care for their work, for their students, and for their workplace. The best teachers are innovative problem-solvers who motivate and engage students. These teachers hold their students to high expectations, provide supports to help them achieve, and treat them with kindness when they fail. The best teachers build positive relationships, fostering collegiality and collaboration with their peers. Such educators profoundly impact student learning.

The Impact Teacher of the Year award recognizes and honors a Michigan teacher who demonstrates exemplary impact on student learning, innovates classroom instruction, and builds positive relationships with students and staff. 


What makes an exemplary administrator?

Excellent school leadership is a mix of character, relationships, and vision. Successful school administrators empower, equip, and engage teachers to be effective in the classroom by building a positive and productive culture and identifying and addressing areas of need with compelling solutions. Beneath these leaders, teachers are thriving and students are growing.

The Impact Administrator of the Year award recognizes and honors a Michigan school administrator who demonstrates exemplary impact on school/district culture through leadership, relationship building, positivity, and kindness. 

How Does it work?

Complete the nomination form before the deadline. Anyone may nominate a Michigan PreK-12 teacher or administrator.

Our team of educators will review nominations based on the respective criteria listed above.

The winner will be contacted directly as well as announced publicly.

But the BEST part? The winner will be awarded a cash prize! (Teachers: $2,000 plus two $500 runners-up. Admin: $1,000)

Have you visited our Instructional Strategies Library?

Find effective strategies for discussion, collaboration, knowledge building, reflection, writing practice, and more! (And it’s completely free!)



Founded in 1991, Communications by Design supports districts, schools, and individual teachers in technology integration and professional development. We focus this work on what matters most: successful students, innovative classrooms, and thriving schools. Whether equipping teachers with practical and proven strategies like during our Project-based Learning Academy or Fostering Engagement workshops or helping district leaders make and implement technology decisions, our work begins and ends with effective teaching and learning.

Take a look at some of our most popular programs and services!

Virtual coaching anchors all our work with teachers and administrators. We don’t leave teachers to figure things out on their own after a training– we provide ongoing support throughout the year to ensure teachers are able to implement what they’ve learned and get the just-in-time coaching and support they need.

Using years of top research, we’ve developed a framework for student engagement that any teacher can use to improve student motivation, effort, and achievement. Participants will learn over 20 practical strategies they can start using in class tomorrow!

PBL Academy helps teachers develop authentic learning experiences that engage students in deep, rigorous learning to improve student achievement. Participants experience three unique PBL frameworks, over 15 PBL strategies to implement with their students, and leave with a fully formed PBL unit!

Learn to make online learning engaging AND effective! In this interactive online course, teachers learn how to adapt content and instruction for online and hybrid learning. Participants create a unit of instruction that optimizes technology for any format and will be on a path to continue to build engaging and rigorous learning experiences–online or in-person.

This immersive, in-person experience prepares teachers, and thus their students, for an ever-changing future. Leveraging the power of educational technology, teachers will gain knowledge, skills, and strategies to prepare students for success in the classroom and beyond.

Coaching Academy is designed to expand coaching and leadership skills for instructional and technology coaches. Participants learn essential coaching questions, practice powerful coaching conversations, and workshop real-life coaching scenarios. Coaching Academy is an essential training for anyone in an educational coaching role.

Consider that technology goes through a complete change revolution every 45-60 days. Communications By Design creatively establishes a Technology Plan that addresses the present and future needs of all students. Flexible and adaptive solutions for your district today!

Communications By Design effectively communicates the intricate details inherent in technology design to the architect creating facility drawings and the construction management company overseeing the physical construction of the building.

We schedule contractors, assuring just-in-time delivery and accurate installation and programming of equipment, attending to evolving specifications of hardware, and guaranteeing thorough clean-up and restoration of the environment. From network electronics to file-servers and PCs, we’ve got it covered.

A hands-on, full-service approach to bid, budget, and project management that supports meaningful technology innovation for satisfied teachers and students. All through a combination of streamlined and efficient virtual interactions and on-site support for the most imperative tasks.

Our online professional development programs are designed to empower teachers in light of the unified vision for your school district. Continuing education requirements can be a pain point for your teachers who are already stretched thin enough, but our consistently positive teacher reviews exemplify our uplifting approach to professional development.

Professional learning is most effective when ideas are practical and concise and target the aspects of our work that matter most. Our Micro Learning Courses are the solution for educators inundated with time-intensive tasks who want to learn but don't have hours each day to devote to it.

Our Fostering Engagement framework is helping K-12 educators better engage and motivate students, but some may not have time for the full course. The Student Engagement Micro Course is the solution to bringing high-impact strategies to busy teachers in the midst of the whirlwind.

Facilitated by literacy expert Annemarie Johnson, school and district literacy teams can join this low-cost 1-day event to develop a design-focused blueprint for literacy transformation and the tools to support a literacy coaching system.

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