Big Apple Awards FAQ

Find answers to common questions below.

Who can nominate a teacher for the Big Apple Awards?

YOU! All members of the school community (including families, students, and community-based organizations) are invited to nominate a teacher!

The nomination window is currently closed. When it reopens (in Spring 2024), you can nominate a teacher by doing any of the following during the nomination window:

  • Submit the teacher’s name and school to the DOE All Stars website (note: sign in as a Guest - you do not need a DOE login to nominate a teacher through this portal)
    • Learn more about how to nominate a teacher through the DOE All Stars website here.
  • Email with the teacher’s name and school information
  • Tell your school office or your Family Engagement Coordinator at your Superintendent’s office

What type of teachers are usually nominated?

Nominees can be any current teacher in a:

  • NYC public school
  • charter school
  • NYCEEC, district school, or Pre-K center (early childhood teacher who teaches infants, toddlers, 3s, or 4s)

When choosing someone to nominate, think of who has gone above and beyond to serve their students and school community. The Big Apple Awards recognize and celebrate New York City teachers who make positive differences for all the students they teach. Has a teacher changed your student's life for the better? We want to hear from you!

How do I nominate a teacher?

Learn more about nominating a teacher on the DOE All Stars website by clicking here

Can I nominate myself?

Absolutely! We encourage you to nominate yourself and/or any public school teacher.

Can I nominate more than one teacher?

Yes, you may nominate as many teachers as you like for this award. You will need to submit a separate nomination for each person you would like to be considered.

Who will see my nomination information?

The Big Apple Awards team and review committee will have access to nomination information. Nominations can be accepted anonymously through the DOE All Stars portal. It is possible that statements from nominations will be used anonymously on social media for the promotion of the awards program.

What happens after someone is nominated?

Recipient selection is a multi-step process that takes many months—and it all starts with you! Students, families, administrators, and community members can all nominate any public school teacher. Nominated teachers will receive an email from with a request to complete a nomination application. We then initiate a rigorous selection process that includes multiple stakeholders across the system.

What does it mean to be a Big Apple Award winner?

Recipients receive surprise appearances from the chancellor, deputy chancellors, and other members of the NYC education community, notifying them of their award. This allows us to honor and celebrate these exceptional teachers in their teaching environment, sometimes even with their students and colleagues!

Big Apple Award recipients have the opportunity to serve as Big Apple Fellows, in addition to continuing their amazing work in the classroom. Fellows meet to develop their leadership skills and expertise in education.

Who is funding the Big Apple Awards?

The Big Apple Awards are made possible through generous funding from The Fund for Public Schools, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York Road Runners, the Jody and John Arnhold Foundation, the Arthur Miller Foundation, and Studio in a School.