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The 2021 Big Apple Awards, New York City’s ninth annual recognition program for outstanding educators, is in full swing!

From now until January 10, 2021, City students, families, community members, and other school staff members can recognize exemplary City educators with online nominations for the 2021 Big Apple Awards.

Nominating a teacher for the Big Apple Awards is a great way for students, families, teachers, administrators, school employees, and community members to show their appreciation for the City educators who have gone above and beyond for their students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please help us recognize and celebrate some of our City’s best teachers by nominating your favorite teachers online by Sunday, January 10, 2021.

To qualify, nominees must be current, full-time public school teachers in City district schools, charter programs, or early childhood education centers who inspire their students, exemplify great teaching, and improve their school communities.

In addition, for the second year, we will be honoring college and career counselors with the Big Apple College and Career Counselor Ambassador Awards. This award will recognize counselors who:

  • have made an impact on student college and career learning;
  • provided exemplary college and career counseling supports and practices at their school; and
  • make key contributions to their school and postsecondary communities.

Once this year’s cohort of Big Apple Award recipients are selected and identified in spring 2021, they will each be given the opportunity to participate in the Big Apple Fellowship and represent educators citywide during monthly meetings as members of the Chancellor’s Teacher Advisory Group during the 2021–22 school year.

To learn more the awards, visit the Big Apple Awards webpage. If you have questions, please email us at

Remember: this year’s nominations must be submitted by Sunday, January 10, 2021. So if you have a teacher or counselor in mind that you would like considered for a Big Apple Award, please take a moment during the holidays to submit your nomination!

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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