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National CAP AE Teacher of the Year Award

CAP's National Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award

K-12 teachers, we want YOU to nominate yourself or a peer for the CAP National AE Teacher of the Year award!  You can teach any grade level and any subject at any public or private school! It is hoped that if you do not teach aerospace education, you do integrate aerospace/STEM topics in your curriculum, or, teach it as an after-school or enrichment program!  You do not have to be a member of a CAP squadron; you can be an AEM and we want YOU to apply so we can reward the excellent work being done in classrooms across the nation!!!


The 2023 National AE Teacher of the Year is Julie Sicks-Panus, K-8 STEM Specialist at Plymouth Elementary School in Plymouth, NH.  Julie is a dedicated educator within her school, a committed community educator, and a national level education organizational leader and award winner.  Additionally, Julie is the CAP NH Wing Director of AE, as well as AEO in the Hawk Composite Squadron.  Julie gives tirelessly and professionally in all she does to ensure young people are given enriching and relevant opportunities to find success in their academic and personal lives.  A true all-around treasure, read more about Julie HERE.   

Instructions for Nomination:

Individual teachers can nominate themselves or a teacher can be nominated by a peer or anyone else.  Electronic nomination packages should be submitted by January 15 of each year to the educator's state (Wing) Director of AE (see DAE contact info HERE)---or, if uncertain, send, to, and the package will be forwarded to the appropriate Wing DAE for you.

DESCRIPTION:  The Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award is a national-level award established to recognize and reward any Civil Air Patrol member who is a certified K-12 classroom teacher for outstanding accomplishments in aerospace/STEM education and for possessing those honorable attributes we expect from American teachers who are inspiring the next generation of aerospace-related STEM citizenry.  Those teachers who go "above and beyond" to ensure exciting and engaging programs are provided their students are especially desiring of recognition!

QUALIFICATIONS:  The nominees for this award must meet the criteria below in order to qualify for this award.

  1. Be a Civil Air Patrol Member- either an AE member or a Senior (uniformed) member who is a K-12 classroom teacher. (If not a member, the quick online membership link for a one-time $35 fee for Aerospace Education Membership is found HERE.)  If more information is desired about benefits of becoming an AE Member of CAP, click HERE.

  2. Be a certified classroom teacher from any grade(s), K-12, in any public, private, charter, or parochial school.

  3. Teach aerospace education as a subject or use aerospace education to enrich the teaching of traditional subjects.

  4. Set high standards for teaching by integrating exceptional aerospace-related STEM activities and/or programs.

  5. Strive to improve personal academic/professional competence and teaching ability.

  6. Demonstrate creativity in developing and utilizing materials to enhance the teaching of aerospace-related STEM subjects.

  7. Share expertise with other educators on a local, state, and/or national level.

  8. Maximize student involvement and classroom activities to improve student learning OR develop a one-time project or program of such significance that it has a major impact on the teaching of aerospace-related STEM education.

AWARD ELEMENTS:  The recipient will receive a $1000 cash award, a commemorative plaque, and free room/ attendance to the Civil Air Patrol’s Summer National Conference for presentation at the conference awards banquet.  

PROCEDURES:  Download the Aerospace Educator Teacher of the Year nomination form.  Complete all sections of the award nomination form and the additional pages on the instructions.  Compile all pages in one pdf document and submit, as noted above, by January 15.   For any assistance, please contact Aerospace Education at

*2018 National CAP Aerospace Educator of the Year attends Dayton Air Camp with National AFA Aerospace Educator of the Year.  (2019-2022 Teachers of the Year have been unable to attend due to COVID restrictions and/or prior attendance.)

Past CAP TOYs:

2022 National AE Teacher of the Year: Dennis J. Borgerding, Old Donation School, Virginia Beach, VA.Read more about him, HERE.

CAP's National K-6 ACE Program Awards

CAP's unique K-6th grade Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) program also recognizes a National ACE Teacher of the Year, as well as an ACE School of the Year and ACE Student of the Year awards.  ACE accepts national award nominations during April each year from ACE teachers.  National ACE awards are recognized by the end of May of each year.  Award grants are provided for ACE Awards by the Air & Space Forces Association. The most recent national awards extended into several additional "special awards" are found HERE. Award nomination forms are found in right column of related links, HERE.


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