Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award 


The VFW launched the Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award in 1999 to recognize classroom teachers for promoting citizenship education. Three teachers from each level (grades K-5, 6-8 & 9-12) are selected as national winners.  Each national award teacher winner receives the Past Commander-in-Chief John Smart Award and $1,000.

Their respective schools also receive a $1,000 award. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Anyone may nominate a teacher except for the teacher himself or herself (or the teacher’s relative.)  While a school official may nominate a teacher, permission from a school or district is not required.   


 Citizenship Teacher of the Year Awards


VFW wants to identify and recognize America’s best educators who instill a sense of national pride in students. The VFW offers cash awards, commemorative plaques, and all expenses-paid trips to the nation’s capital for these worthy teachers. The trip will provide an opportunity for winners to exchange ideas. Teachers care deeply about America and its children. They are concerned about the perpetuation of America’s noblest traditions and highest ideals. Teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism are prime candidates for this award. For example, do you know a teacher who plans field trips to city hall or organizes community volunteer projects? Maybe you know an instructor who invites veterans into the classroom to discuss their military experiences. Perhaps you are familiar with a teacher who fosters the development of democratic values and beliefs through special projects. If you know of such a teacher, honor him or her today with the VFW’s National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.


Please review the new rules and eligibility requirements

Teacher of the Year Entry Form

Teacher of the Year District Report Form

Teacher of the Year Score Sheet