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Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award

In the fall, President Morton Schapiro invites graduating Northwestern undergraduate seniors to nominate high school teachers who have had a transforming impact on the lives of students. This program, sponsored by the Office of the President with the cooperation of the School of Education and Social Policy, and supported by the Associated Student Government, recognizes the transforming power of high school teachers in our lives and our communities. This academic year (2021-22) marks eleven years of the DSTA program at Northwestern University.

A selection committee made up of Northwestern faculty, staff, and students; chaired by Eugene Lowe, Assistant to the President and Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, reviews the nominations and requests teaching portfolios from nominated teachers for finalist consideration. 

A small group of finalists are interviewed, and the committee recommends five outstanding teachers to President Schapiro for this recognition.

Winners of the award are invited to participate in Commencement exercises in June. Each teacher honored receives an award of $5,000. The winning teacher's high school also receives an award of $5,000.

We look forward to accepting nominations for the 2022 DSTA in the Fall term.

If you have any questions about the award, please e-mail

Reflections from Former Winners

Each year, Northwestern University recognizes five outstanding high school teachers with the DST Award at its June Commencement exercises.

2020: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the DSTA Program

2020: Students' Tribute to DSTA Winners

2019: Students' Tribute to DSTA Winners

2018: Students' Tribute to DSTA Winners


2017: Students' Tribute to DSTA Winners


Message from the President

President Morton Schapiro shares his thoughts on the Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award.