National Citizen 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. They also receive a paid trip to a VFW national conference to receive their award. Visit this link for more information and for a nomination form:


November 1 – Deadline for teacher nominations at the Post. Post judging should be completed by November15 and winners sent to District. District judging shouldbe completed by December 15 and winners forwarded to the Department. Department judging should be completed January 10 and winners submitted to VFW National Headquarters by January 15 .

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. Post chairmen must be sure to send the original
nomination form, essay and official Post teacher entry form of the winner from each grade’s category level —along with one-page resume, up to five pages of documentation and a good quality head and shoulders photograph from the winning teachers. Previous state  and national VFW winners are not eligible.


Select competent and unbiased judges. A panel of at least three to five judges is recommended. The VFW chairman should be present at the judging to provide
assistance but should not be one of the judges. Prior to the judging, the chairman should review all nomination forms to ensure they adhere to the rules. Make sure entry is not a self nomination. The nominator should keep to the 350 word limit and sign the nomination.
Judges should grant points based on four criteria with the potential of 100 points as follows 1-25 points – Does the teacher teach and/or model good citizenship and community involvement?
1-25 points- An innovative approach to teaching citizenship.
1-25 points – Development of resources to teach citizenship education.
1-25 points – Passion for teaching citizenship education.


Running the Program


Winning Entry Checklist

Here’s what your Post needs to have to your District by
November 15th.

?Winning Post teacher’s entry form, original nomination
form and essay by individual making the nomination.
(Up to 350 words.)

? Teacher’s one page resume (no more than two sides).

? Up to five pages (both sides) of documentation such
as news articles or supervisor’s recommendations.

? Good quality head and shoulders photo of the teacher.
Above requirements are the same for Districts to send to
the Department by December 15 .
If you have any questions, please contact Tammy
Beauchamp in VFW Programs, ph: (816) 756-3390 ext
287, E-Mail:

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