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DTE Energy Foundation
Educator of the Year

DTE Energy Foundation Teacher of the Year Recipients

Past DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year Recipients (Left to Right, Top to Bottom): Lynne Settles, Yael Rothfeld, Caroline Fitzgerald, Rachel Bomphray, Denise Allen, and Jill Ross

Honoring Educators Who Support A Culture of the Arts in Their Schools

Each season, UMS asks the southeastern Michigan community to help us choose the UMS DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. The award honors educators who value the importance of arts education, who create a culture for the arts to flourish in their school communities, or use the arts to inspire, energize, and challenge the limits of their classrooms. It’s not only arts educators who qualify, but any educator who encourages and supports an appreciation for the arts in their school.

Nomination Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2022

View Assessment Rubric (PDF)

Award Information

Award Benefits

  • Awardees receive complimentary tickets to one UMS School-Day Performance in the following season for the winning educator’s classroom and reimbursement for transportation (up to 35 students).
  • A visiting artist on the UMS season will visit the winning educator’s classroom or meet with them after the performance. The type of artist interaction will depend on artist and availability; examples include a student assembly, workshop, or meet-and-greet after the performance.
  • Public recognition of awardee in local media outlets, social media platforms, their school community, to their school board and district administration.
  • Awardees receive up to 4 complimentary tickets to a UMS performance selected from the 2022-2023 season, some restrictions may apply.
  • Awardees receive a $250 award honorarium.


  • An “Educator” nominated for the Educator of the year (EOY) award may be any individual who works full-time in K-12 education with or on behalf of students or young learners.
  • Nominations must address the following criteria:
    • How the educator actively creates a culture of the arts at their school.
    • How the educator facilitates arts experiences within their school community.
    • How the educator creates opportunities for students to engage with the arts experiences in the community beyond school.
    • The ability of the educator to overcome obstacles and be successful.
    • How the educator’s work impacts students and/or the school community.
  • Previous participation in UMS programs is NOT a requirement for this award.
  • Educators are only eligible to receive the award once.

Nomination and Selection Procedure:

Nomination Process (Phase One):

  • The Educator of the Year (EOY) must be nominated for the award.
  • Anyone in the community can nominate an educator for the award, including administration, teachers, school staff, parents, or students (13 yrs. or older).
  • Each nominator must complete an online application; incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Each application must include one (1) brief reference from members of the (school) community.
  • The deadline for nomination is Friday, March 18, 2022

Selection Process (Phase Two):

  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of UMS staff and community members affiliated with the education and/or arts communities.
  • The award committee will choose three (3) finalists.
  • Each finalist will be interviewed by select members of the committee (via zoom).
  • Finalists may be asked to submit a short biography that outlines some of their career highlights.
  • Finalists can submit any additional documents to support their nomination.
  • All finalists, nominators, and school administration will be notified of the final outcome by email.

Apply Now

Nomination Deadline

Friday, March 18, 2022

Applications are accepted through Google Forms