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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
April 3, 2018

County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Elementary School Principals:

Exceptional Education Leaders

The California Department of Education maintains a file of exceptional educators that consists of distinguished teachers and principals. These education leaders may be candidates for special recognition as well as being considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces. We are requesting recommendations to identify educators who will be of great value to your community and the state and who may ultimately receive prestigious recognition.

We are fortunate to have a rich base of veteran educators in our current talent pool. We are currently seeking representation from elementary school educators who are somewhat new to the profession and demonstrate unique instructional and leadership ability. Such people inspire students, colleagues, and the community and exhibit strong potential for professional leadership.

Do you know a relatively new educator who is illustrative of the nation’s best? Someone whose lessons provide models for others and who has distinguished him or herself above and beyond established top-quality professionals in many of our schools? Candidates are typically classroom teachers, as opposed to specialists, and are recognized by peers and supervisors as unique in their leadership and results with students. However, principals and specialists are considered as well. Of special interest are educators who are outstanding but have not yet received other recognition and who have been in the profession from five to 20 years.

Please provide CONFIDENTIAL, succinct, and specific information regarding one or more candidates via the survey at by May 7, 2018. You will need to attach a one-page narrative that addresses how the candidate meets the criteria mentioned in this letter. We ask that you keep this recommendation confidential and do not share it with the individual. We know you are busy. If necessary, please assign the request to an associate.

If you have any questions, please contact Katina Oliphant, Staff Services Analyst, Communications Division, by phone at 916-319-0144 or by e-mail at

I highly encourage you to recommend candidates. Your cooperation and assistance are greatly appreciated.


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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