New Jersey Department of Education

Exemplary Educator Recognition Program

The Program

Each year, the New Jersey Department of Education invites public school districts (including charter schools) to participate in the Exemplary Educator Recognition Program.  The goal of this program is to identify outstanding educators for special recognition, alternating between elementary (Pre-K to 5) and secondary (6–12) every year. For the current 2024 competition round, we are seeking elementary educators (grades PreK to 5). A state certificate of recognition is given out to each candidate that is selected as an Exemplary Educator.


Exemplary Educators exhibit strong knowledge and skills, an inspiring presence, and a positive impact on students, colleagues and the school community. The nominee must also have a rating of Effective or Highly Effective on his or her most recent final summative evaluation.

Recommendation Process

Annually, in February, teachers, parents, and community members are encouraged to reach out to school and district officials to recommend deserving educators. Recommendations should identify educators who are valued by their school and community and who may ultimately receive prestigious national recognition. An online application, found under Exemplary Educator on the Homeroom website, must be submitted by 4 p.m. EST on April 12, 2024 , by either a supervisor or administrator, as only district administration have access to this website. 

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