STEM teachers shape the future of our nation - introducing students to exciting new concepts and offering a glimpse into what's possible. The very best educators transform learning into a boundless adventure and prepare their classes to explore new frontiers of technology for the good of us all. Along with grants and scholarships, the Air Force Association believes that recognizing those who educate America's youth is an important aspect of what AFA is all about. Every year, AFA proudly honors the commitment and achievements of these extraordinary teachers.

AFA's 2018 National Teacher of the Year is Beth Leavitt. Since 1999, she's worked as a physical science, chemistry, astronomy, engineering and physics teacher at Wade Hampton High School in South Carolina. She is the first Robotics Team 283, The Generals, director coordinating community engagement as well as developing and implementing summer engineering camps at Greenville Tech and Seiver Middle School. "The reason I engage in many after-school robotics programs is that these "extended learning" environments is where students define a problem and then set about locating, selecting, organizing, presenting and finally solving a problem...Teaching students how to learn should be the gift that educators aim to impart."  Beth is one of many exceptional teachers AFA recognizes annually.


The National Teacher of the Year award is presented to a dedicated K-12 educator and AFA State Teacher of the Year winner. This honor recognizes STEM educators for their outstanding classroom performance, collaborative initiatives, educational outreach, leadership, and significant impact in the school and community.

Guidelines Criteria

To be eligible the candidate must be submitted by their respective AFA State leaders. The candidate must be a former AFA State Teacher of the Year selected during the most recent past two years. Applications must be submitted by the deadline of May 31.            

National Teacher of the Year Full Guidelines

Suggestions for National Teacher of the Year Nomination Packages


The State Teacher of the Year award honors exemplary K-12 educators and Chapter Teacher of the Year winners at the AFA State level who make a profound difference in the lives of their students and in their community.

Guidelines and Criteria

To be eligible the AFA State candidate must be a current AFA Chapter Teacher of Year, either in the K-8 or 9-12 grade level category. The deadline for nomination submissions is April 30.

State Teacher of the Year Full Guidelines


Local AFA chapters select one Teacher of the Year for this award, which salutes those classroom educators who steer their students toward greatness in STEM fields. 

Guidelines and Criteria

Chapters may select one ToY from any grade level (K-12) for submission to AFA National to receive award components.  If the chapter wishes to recognize more than one Chapter ToYs, they may do so, but would need to contact AFA National to purchase additional Chapter ToY award components .. The deadline for nomination submission is April 30.

Chapter Teacher of the Year Full Guidelines