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Frequently Asked Questions

Are teachers required to have eight years of full time teaching experience or are part-time teachers eligible?  Are the eight years required to be within California?

Nominees are required to be a fully credentialed classroom teacher for at least 8 years in any state. The eight years begins when they were first in the classroom as a fully credentialed teacher.

Can the eight years of teaching include substitute teaching if the teacher was fully credentialed?


When is the applicant required to have completed the minimum eight year teaching requirement?

Prior to the county level application being submitted to the Orange County Department of Education, which is typically in March each year.

Does a nominee need to be currently teaching? What if they are currently teaching, but will be retired during their TOTY duties?

The nominees must be assigned to teach students in the current academic year and must be assigned to teach students for the following year in which they are nominated to be a Teacher of the Year.

If a teacher is fully credentialed, but is currently working as a speech and language pathologist, librarian, or Resource Specialist Program (RSP) teacher, do they qualify if they have the minimum years teaching experience?

Yes, as long as they meet all minimum requirements: fully credentialed, in the classroom for at least 8 years, and they are employed 1.0 FTE.

Are Pre-K teacher’s eligible?

Teachers who teach any grade PreK-12 are eligible if they are fully credentialed and meet all eligibility requirements.

Are credentialed teachers who only teach on-line courses eligible for Teachers of the Year?

Yes, as long as they meet the minimum requirements: fully credentialed, in the classroom for at least 8 years, and they are employed 1.0 FTE.​