Talent Pool Recommendation


Periodically, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is asked to recommend educators, who meet specific qualifications, for various award programs. In order to respond to requests in a timely manner, the department has established a Talent Pool of distinguished elementary and secondary teachers and principals who serve as potential candidates for recognition programs. These educational leaders are identified through your recommendations.

We invite you to recommend distinguished elementary and secondary building-based teachers, principals, and assistant principals who are early to mid-career and meet all of the criteria listed below.

Educators with exceptional talent as evidenced by effective instructional practices and student learning results in the classroom and school.

  • Educators who demonstrate exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that provide models of excellence for the profession.
  • Educators whose contributions to education are largely unheralded, yet worthy of the spotlight.
  • Educators who offer strong long-range potential for professional and policy leadership.
  • Educators who possess an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues, and the community.

This year, our focus is on middle and high school educators in grades 6 – 12. For teachers, early to mid-career is defined as having 5 to 18 years of experience. For principals, early to mid-career is defined as no more than 10 years as an administrator with no more than 20 total years in education. 

Please provide confidential, descriptive, and specific information about your candidates on the recommendation form. This must remain a confidential process, but you may employ creative ways in which to obtain the requested information about candidates. You must submit the following items for each recommended candidate:

  • Missouri Talent Pool Recommendation Form
  • Candidate's resume that includes at least the individual's education, work experience, professional contributions, and professional memberships
  • Letter of recommendation explaining how the candidate meets the required qualifications.

Completed information must be emailed or mailed to:

Office of Educator Quality
Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO  65102
Attn: Curtis Terry
Email: Curtis.Terry@dese.mo.gov 

Talent Pool recommendations will be accepted anytime during the year; however, for awards programs next fall, recommendations must be submitted no later than March 15th, 2021.

We urge you to take the time to recommend an unsung hero in your school or district. Your candidate may be chosen for prestigious recognition that will benefit the individual, the school, and/or your community.