Nomination & Selection Process
Teachers must be nominated for a Kohl Fellowship to be eligible to compete for the award. Nominations are only accepted using the online nomination form on this website.
Teachers can be nominated by students, parents, other teachers, community members, or administrators. Self-nomination is not allowed. Because the program's purpose is to recognize the contributions of Wisconsin classroom teachers, staff members whose assignments are administrative or supervisory are not eligible. All PK-12 classroom teachers who plan to continue teaching in their current or similar capacity for a minimum of 50% full-time equivalency for at least the upcoming school year are eligible to be nominated and apply. Pre-school 4K teachers in community-based centers must teach in a 4K program that is affiliated with an elementary school or school district and must be a currently licensed teacher in Wisconsin.
Special services teachers are also eligible. Special services teachers are those who serve in a PK-12 capacity other than that of a classroom teacher. Like classroom teachers, they must have daily face-to-face contact with students. Teachers employed as virtual school teachers associated with a school district are also eligible for nomination. Special services roles can include but are not limited to special education, gifted and talented (or other exceptional needs), instructional resource or interventionist, speech language pathologist, school counseling, school psychologist, school nurse, school social worker, or instructional media personnel.
Once nominated, a teacher receives email notification of their nomination, and a link to begin the application process.
Previous Fellowship recipients are ineligible to receive a second Fellowship, however teachers who received a Kohl student scholarship when in high school are eligible to receive a Fellowship if they are now teachers. Teachers who have been nominated and applied in the past, but were not selected as a Fellowship recipient, may re-apply, if nominated in the current award cycle.
Once verified as complete, applications are reviewed regionally at either the teacher’s Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA), or for teachers in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), through the MPS District Office. CESA agencies create Regional Selection Committees, to include students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, civic and business leaders, and local newspaper people. Teachers are notified by email whether or not they have progressed to the Statewide Selection Committee.
Successful applicants' materials are forwarded to a State Selection Committee in January each year. Representatives of the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, CESAs and MPS, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, the Wisconsin Homeschool Parents Association, state education-related associations, and community leaders serve on the State Selection Committee. Applicants who have reached the Statewide Selection Committee are contacted in March with the results.