The VFW will recognize and honor the top Elementary (K-5), Junior High (6-8), and High School

(9-12) teacher of the year, who teaches citizenship and education topics, and promotes America’s history, traditions, and institutions.  Attributes considered will be the scope of the teaching on both the students and the community.

Who can submit

Fellow teachers, supervisors, or any other interested individual may submit nominations.  Self-submitted nominations are allowed.  

The individual making the nomination must submit the nominated teacher’s name on the completed VFW Teacher Nomination Form.  Included with the form is a 350 word or less description of why the nominee should be selected.  Describe the teacher’s innovative teaching and resource development methods, as well as his/her dedication to teaching.  Submit these to the local VFW Post no later than October 31, 2023.


Post Commander/Chairman will complete the application by ensuring that the following items are included. This is a necessary list (without all six items, the application will be considered incomplete, and will not be judged).

  • Original VFW Teacher Nomination Form
  • Description of teacher’s methods (350 words or less)
  • National Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Advancement Form
  • One-page listing the teacher's innovations and accomplishments (may use both sides)
  • Do Not Exceed five 8 ½ x 11 pages of documentation.   
  • A quality head and shoulder photograph. Wallet size.
  • Note: It is encouraged to put the above in sheet protectors in a 3-ring binder to ensure that all documentation is kept together.

NOTE to Post Commanders/Chairmen: The above items must be included exactly as stated or your entry may be returned or even disqualified at the District level.  Only one nominee will be selected from each of the three categories.  Selected applications must be forwarded to District to arrive no later than November 16, 2023.


District will then judge and select only one nominee in each of the three categories. 

District Commander/Chairman will complete the District portion of the "National Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Advancement" Form.

Selected Post Teacher Entry Forms will be forwarded directly to the Department Director. Deadline for receipt of District entries to the Department Director is December 16, 2023.  Applications must include all the above items.  Only entries from the District Commander or District Chairman will be accepted at the Department level. District must include National Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Advancement Form. This is to assure that all participating Posts receive credit.

NOTE to District Chairman: It is your responsibility to ensure that Posts have included all six items described above and that they are as specified.  If you do not receive the proper documents from Posts, send them back to the Post for correction. DO NOT pass them on to Department.

It is also your responsibility to ensure the District Teacher of the Year Award Report Form is filled out properly and submitted to Department. If the above requirements are not met it could result in the disqualification of your District's entry.

It is the responsibility of the Post, District and Department adjutants to input the Teacher of the Year entries into the All-American Dashboard. This is to include all monetary values spent on this event. Failure to do so can cause the Post, District and Department to show a Not Met in this category.


Post - Received no later than October 31, 2023

District - Received no later than November 16, 2023

State - Received no later than December 16, 2023


One winner in each category (elementary, junior high, high school) will be awarded the following at our 2024 Mid-Winter Conference. 

  • Glass Apple
  • Plaque
  • $500.00 Award Check.  

Michael Martin, Director

199 East 34th St, Apt 1

Holland MI 49423



Denise Arnold, Auxiliary Chair

9525 E River Rd

Mt Pleasant MI 48858




Entry Form

District Reporting Packet

Score Sheet

Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Advancement Form