OEST Process and Procedures Manual

For a teacher to be named an OEST winner (state/province or Section) in a particular year, they must be nominated by March 1st of that year or the previous three (3) years. All submissions must be entered using the section nomination form. The Section OEST coordinator should inform the NAGT Executive Office and the National OEST Committee Chair, Meghan Cook, by May 1st*, of all recipient names and email addresses.

* Note that all winners provided by May 1st are winners for that calendar year.


National OEST Committee Chair: Meghan Cook

NAGT Executive Office Contact: Rebeccah Bradley


November 1

  • Section leadership to notify the NAGT Executive Office and the National OEST Committee Chair of any changes to their Section OEST coordinator position.
  • The Section OEST coordinator** can sign up to receive nomination queue notifications for new submissions, otherwise the NAGT Executive Office will email the chair with Section submissions as we get closer to the deadline. Contact the NAGT Executive Office for instructions for queue notifications.
    • ** The Section OEST coordinator is a designated person who is the contact for OEST communication and manages that process in their respective Section. This person could be the Section President or an Awards coordinator or some other designated leader in the Section.
  • November 1 - March 1 - Sections should advertise OEST awards in their communications to the membership (nomination deadline is March 1 for all Sections)
  • National OEST Committee Chair and Executive Office will continue to remind Section representatives of the approaching deadline and encourage/advertise nominations.

March 1

March 1 - April 15

  • National OEST Committee Chair reminds Section OEST Coordinators about the review process, requirements, and deadlines. Nominations should be reviewed using this rubric and set of criteria.
  • Section OEST Coordinators communicate with state/province representatives and set up a committee for their Section award nomination review, if needed.
  • Sections should determine their own deadlines for State/Province and Section winners for Section-level review, but all awardees' names and information should be submitted to the NAGT Executive Office by April 15.
    • Timeline recommended for Sections:
      • By March 5: Section OEST Coordinator provides nomination packages and review materials to state/province representatives to review nominations for their state/province.
      • By March 20: Nominations have been reviewed and recipients selected for state/province level awards.
      • By March 25: Section OEST Coordinator provides nomination materials to the Section award committee to review.
      • By April 10: Section winner is determined from state/province winners.

April 15

  • All awardees must be notified by the Section OEST Coordinator by this date. Section winners need to be notified first before the remaining state awardees are notified. Each Section is responsible for notifying nominees that they won and asking them to complete the OEST Recipient Information Form by May 1 (see below May 1st date for more information). The Section also notifies the nominator of the nominee's award receipt.
  • Inform the nominees who did not win this year that their nomination is good for three (3) years. Give formative feedback on why they did not win this year and encourage renomination for next year to further enhance their nomination packet.

May 1

  • The Section OEST Coordinator contacts the NAGT Executive Office and National OEST Committee Chair with award recipient(s) names and email addresses.
    • Please direct your award winners to the OEST Recipient Information form (to be completed by May 1st). The online form for OEST winners requires the award recipient to include a brief narrative (300 words), a digital picture (300 pixels/inch or 480 x 600 pixels) and contact information for the winner's home and school. These are required for publication in the fall edition of In the Trenches. The material may also appear in publications of the award sponsors and used on social media in the awardee's respective Section. 
    • Each Section should designate a representative (such as the Section OEST coordinator, State Representative, or Section President) to request the OEST plaque for their Section winner and OEST certificates for their state/province winners. This request (one submission per awardee) should be made via the OEST Plaque/Certificate Order form page. Awards will be dated in the current year. Complete the form by May 1st.


  • Follow-up, including publicity, is extremely important and is the area where there is the most opportunity to enhance the OEST process. Basically, it means taking care of chores after all the awardees have been selected. The following items are critically important: 
    • Virtual or in-person delivery of certificate/plaque. A fall school meeting or local/regional conference is a common venue for this to happen.
    • A letter of congratulations to the school and system administrators.
    • Promotion of award winners via In The Trenches and on social media.
    • Recognition at both online and in-person events, which can include NAGT-sponsored activities as well as others at the school and/or in the region.
    • Recognition at the Earth Educators' Rendezvous conference in mid-July every two years (in even years).
  • The Executive Office begins preparations for the fall issue of In the Trenches and the GSA awards luncheon. 

These things having been done, the state/province, or Section, is set to begin the cycle again.


  • The Executive Office coordinates the inclusion of recipient information printed in the fall edition of In the Trenches.
  • The Executive Office coordinates recognition at GSA Awards Luncheon - actual date varies.
  • Virtual event for the K-12 community that will include professional development opportunities and a celebration of OEST winners.


These forms are used to collect information about nominations and awardees.

  • Nomination Forms - links out to a list of the nomination forms for each section. All nominations are due by March 1.
  • Plaque/Certificate Order Form - the designated Section representative should fill out this form by May 1.
  • Recipient Information Form - awardees are asked to fill out this form by Section chairs by May 1. This information is used to populate awardee bios on the website and in In the Trenches.

Award Details (What Awardees Receive)