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Kansas Horizon Award Program

Award Recipients

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To recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.

Nomination Form

The 2025 Kansas Horizon Award nomination form will be available in August 2024.

The Kansas Horizon Award Program, sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education, identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.


  • 2025 Horizon Award Program Nomination Form - Available August 2024

Each school district may nominate one elementary classroom teacher and/or one secondary classroom teacher for the Kansas Horizon Award Program.

  • All teachers should have an equal opportunity to be nominated for and selected as the district nominee. The local nomination and selection process should not be biased nor give the appearance of bias. You may consider getting input from parents, veteran teachers, etc. in making your selection. School principals and superintendents are encouraged to plan recognition ceremonies honoring the exemplary teachers.
  • Nominations should be made without regard to age, sex, race or religion.

General Qualifications

The Horizon Award nomination is available to any novice teacher meeting all other requirements on any license type with the exceptions of emergency substitute and standard substitute licenses, which do not qualify. Teachers who are completing an alternative route and teaching under a pre-standard license (still in the process of completing the professional education or preservice program) are eligible to be nominated. Applications should be postmarked by October 8 of their second year of teaching, and recognition will occur in February of their second year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominee will have successfully completed his or her first year of teaching in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Kansas school accredited by the Kansas State Board of Education.
  • Nominee will be a full-time classroom teacher.
  • Nominee will be responsible for the assessment of students, assignment of grades, preparation of lesson plans, parent-teacher conferences, discipline, attendance, and other daily educational tasks.
  • Nominee will have performed in a way that distinguishes him or her from other novice teachers.
  • Nominee will be selected by the school district superintendent and building principal.

Selection Process

The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts.

The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting up to four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a possible total of 32 teachers.


The possible 32 teachers, four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers from each region, will be individually recognized during a luncheon at the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) conference in February. Also, they will be invited to participate as special guests in the two-day KEEN conference. 

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