VMSA  Master in the Middle Awards   and Teacher Grants


VMSA celebrates the success of its member schools and educators by annually recognizing teachers in grades 6-8 and other educators such as principals and counselors who work with young adolescents with the Master in the Middle Awards. Nominations for Teacher of the Year and Educator of the Year are received through February 15 of each year based on the following criteria:​


  • Enthusiastic about working with middle level students                                                                              2019 Teacher of the Year

  • Currently working in a VMSA-member school                                                                                                Erin Merrill

  • Serves as an educational leader / role model

  • Actively supports a developmentally responsive school climate

  • Seeks social equity; access to quality programs for all students

  • Models effective middle level practices, such as:

    • Using data to meet individual needs of young adolescents                                                               

    • Facilitating academic excellence for all students                                                                                 

    • Providing a safe and healthy environment

    • Promoting authentic, interdisciplinary learning experiences

    • Building relationships with students and families

Recipients of  the Master in the Middle Awards are recognized at the VMSA Annual Conference, receive a complimentary conference registration, complimentary hotel accommodations, and a one-year free membership.

Help us celebrate excellence in the middle grades. Nominate someone today using the online nomination forms:

VMSA Teacher of the Year Nomination                                   VMSA Educator of the Year Nomination

Deadlines for TOY and EOY nominations have been extended to March 15, 2020

Congratulations to Master in the Middle Award recipients from previous years.


Teachers currently working in VMSA member schools are eligible to apply for a VMSA Teacher Grant to help fund innovative classroom projects that promote promising practices in the middle grades. Grant awards are usually in the amount of $500.  Grant recipients must use the awarded funds for a project during the school year in which it is awarded and present their project at the VMSA Annual Conference the following year. A complimentary conference registration is provided.  Application deadline is October 1.

Click here to download a Teacher Grant application.                                  Click here to see a list of previous grant winners. 

VMSA is an affiliate of the international Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE)