Press Releases

Educators Don’t Get the Praise They Deserve, Especially Those Teaching Valuable Life Skills to Kids—and One Organization Wants to Change That

The first-of-its-kind Second Step® Educator of the Year awards honor teachers and counselors who are strengthening children’s social-emotional skills in effective and innovative ways

SEATTLE — March 15, 2023
Despite countless disruptions to K–12 education in recent years, our nation’s devoted educators have continued to teach children valuable life skills. According to a national survey, only 12 percent of teachers say they’re “very satisfied” with their jobs, and less than half of surveyed teachers feel respected. It’s time we recognized the unsung heroes helping our kids thrive in school and throughout their lives.

Committee for Children, the global leader in research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, announced the launch of its Second Step® Educator of the Year awards today. The new awards honor influential educators who are making meaningful differences in their classrooms and school communities with Second Step programs.

Second Step Educator of the Year awards

“We’re so excited to publicly celebrate the excellence of our educators, who work tirelessly to support the social-emotional development of their students and colleagues every day,” said Andrea Lovanhill, CEO of Committee for Children. “By recognizing the achievements of our outstanding educator community and sharing their stories, we hope to showcase the real-world impact that high-quality social-emotional learning and development in classrooms can have on children, schools, and families.”

Nearly three-quarters of a million educators across 43,000 schools in the US use Second Step programs and are eligible to apply. Committee for Children invites educators to nominate up to three people (including themselves) who use Second Step programs to create and implement effective and innovative social-emotional learning opportunities in schools. Nominations must be submitted by May 12, 2023.

Ten winners will be chosen and will each receive a $500 honorarium, special recognition during the Second Step Educator Showcase event, an invitation to join an exclusive Second Step Champion community, and a LinkedIn digital badge to recognize their achievements publicly.

To learn more about the Second Step Educator of the Year awards and nominate an educator, visit


Media Contact:
Jordana Ehling,, 206-438-6378

About Committee for Children
Committee for Children is a global nonprofit on a mission to ensure that children everywhere can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. The organization has been working in partnership with educators and families for more than 40 years. Visit to learn more.

About Second Step® Programs
The research-based Second Step family of programs, developed by Committee for Children, includes social-emotional learning curricula for Early Learning through Grade 8, with additional offerings for out-of-school time and SEL for adults. Second Step programs are used in 43,000 schools across all 50 states and reach 24.4 million children worldwide annually. Visit to learn more.