Partners & Recognition Programs Overview

Educators and schools are at the cornerstone of the future of education in Maryland. A variety of programs have emerged to shine a spotlight on the dedicated individuals and school communities that make education a transformative force— each with a distinct mission.

From awards that acknowledge exceptional teachers to initiatives that champion innovative teaching methods, these programs serve as inspiration and highlight the profound impact of educators and schools in our communities. Join us on a journey to explore the diverse and meaningful ways in which these programs recognize and celebrate the heroes of education.

Teacher of the Year

The Maryland Teacher of the Year Program, an affiliate of the National Teacher of the Year program, serves all 24 Maryland school districts. Three Maryland State Teachers were selected and named National Teachers of the Year and 3 additional candidates were named National Finalists. The Maryland Teacher of the Year participates in numerous national events ​and ​speaks to audiences throughout Maryland and beyond.

Blue Ribbon Schools

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a national and state program that recognizes and honors elementary, middle, and high schools that exhibit high performance and/ or significant improvement in student achievement. Up to six Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools are identified each year by MSDE.

Milken Educator Award Program

Founded in 1985 as an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation, the Milken Educator Awards program rewards and inspires excellence in the world of education by honoring top educators around the country with $25,000 unrestricted awards.

Teachers of Promise

The Teachers of Promise Program and Institute, winner of the Daily Records Innovators of the Year Award, began as an outgrowth of the Maryland Teacher of the Year program and capitalized on the expertise of Teachers of the Year and other award-winning teachers by matching them with the most promising pre-service graduating seniors from Maryland Colleges and Universities. Mentor and protégé work together online during the spring and summer transition period until the new teachers are placed in their schools.

Meet our Sponsors

Maryland’s schools, students, and communities benefit from a variety of productive and supportive partnerships that are maintained by the Maryland State Department of Education with the private sector and community organizations. Through advocacy and generous underwriting, our partners enable the implementation of a variety of education initiatives. These include recognition programs honoring outstanding educators, administrators, and schools.


Kelly Manley

Coordinator, Special Projects
Office of Communications and Community Engagement
Office: (410) 767-0370

Regina Simpson
Management Associate, Partners & Recognition,  Office of Communications and Community Engagement
Office: (410) 767-0638
Fax: (410) 333-2226