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CCSS Outstanding Educator Award

The annual Colorado council for the Social Studies Outstanding Educator of the Year Awards recognize exceptional classroom social studies teachers for grades K-6 and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and systematically in elementary school settings and/or at least half-time in middle or junior high and high school settings.  The purpose of the CCSS Outstanding Educator of the Year is to recognize a CCSS member whose classroom teachings and whose professional practices reflect the goals and purposes of an exemplary social studies education. Nominees should represent the very best in social studies education – teachers we would be thrilled to have for our own children.  If you or someone you know meets the following criteria, please nominate him or her!  Nomination deadline is February 15, 2023.

Each award recipient will receive:

  • A plaque
  • Recognition at the CCSS State Conference luncheon
  • One year membership to both National Council for the Social Studies AND Colorado Council for the Social Studies(if a non-member)
  • Registration to EITHER the 2023 National Council for the Studies Conference OR the 2023 Colorado Council for the Social Studies Conference
  • Nomination for the NCSS Teacher of the Year Award (National award winners receive $2500 complimentary one year membership in NCSS, and present a session on their work at the NCSS Annual Conference and up to $500 in transportation/lodging reimbursement to attend the Annual Conference)


  • Anyone may nominate.  Self nominations are accepted.
  • Colorado Council for the Social Studies membership is required
  • Social Studies Teachers for grades K-6 and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and systematically in elementary school settings, and at least half time in middle/junior high and high school settings
  • The award is presented to one elementary and one secondary classroom social studies teacher who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to excel in at least five of the seven areas listed below:
    1. Developing and/or use instructional materials creatively and effectively
    2. Incorporating innovative and/or verified effective instructional strategies and techniques
    3. Utilizing new scholarship from history, the social sciences, or other appropriate fields
    4. Utilizing the ten interrelated themes identified in NCSS curriculum standards: culture, time, continuity and change, people, places, and environment, individual development and identity, individuals, groups, and institutions, power, authority, and governance, production, distribution, and consumption, science, technology, and society, global connections, and civic ideals and practices
    5. Fostering a spirit of inquiry and the development of skills related to both domestic and international matters.
    6. Fostering the development of democratic beliefs and values, and the skills needed for citizenship participation appropriate to students in classroom, school, and community settings.
    7. Showing evidence of professional involvement through activities such as workshops, curriculum development, committees, and other associated activities.

Required Documentation: 
It is the responsibility of the nominator to provide all nomination materials, which include:

  1. Letter of nomination (needed only if someone is nominating you for the award)
  2. Letter(s) of support  Letters supporting your application from colleagues, supervisors, parents and/or students
  3. Vita or professional resume prepared by the nominee (listing degrees conferred by U. S. accredited institutions only)
  4. Evidence of teaching assignment A description of nominee’s current teaching assignment to verify eligibility
  5. Applicant narrative describing how he/she meets at least five criteria areas listed above (not to exceed four(4) one-sided double spaced 8 ½ X 11 paper
  6. Portfolio may include up to ten one-sided pages of documentation. Evidence might include clear reproductions of newspaper articles, teaching evaluations, a lesson or unit plan that was conceived, planned, implemented and measured through learner outcomes that highlight how the applicant had met the award’s teaching criteria and possesses outstanding classroom practices.

Nomination Deadline is January 15, 2023

Nominations should be e-mailed to:

Scott Finholm

President - Colorado Council for the Social Studies


Colorado Council for the Social Studies an affiliate of 

Email us at :cosocialstudies@gmail.com
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