Image detail © Joe Johnson

Excellence in Teaching Award

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
– Albert Einstein

The Excellence in Teaching Award honors a high school, college or postgraduate teacher’s dedication and commitment to their students and their field. Educators in all areas of photographic teaching are eligible, including fine art, documentary, history and criticism. The Award Winner receives a $4,000 grant in honor of his or her exemplary teaching skills and techniques. Each educator is nominated by his or her student(s).

We established the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998 to recognize great teaching and its exceptional contribution to photographers’ artistic and personal development. The award recognizes teachers who demonstrate a genuine passion for teaching, an ability to excite students to learn, a respect for students as individuals, and an enduring artistic curiosity.


// Educators need to have a genuine passion for teaching
// An ability to excite students to learn
// A respect for students as individuals
// An enduring artistic curiosity

Nominations and Selections

Students are invited to nominate educators by submitting an email to limited to three paragraphs describing why their teacher deserves this award and the teacher’s current educational institution. A selection committee chooses the recipient based on the founding criteria.



Joe Johnson
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Art, University of Missouri at Columbia


Sara Silks
Olathe East High School, Olathe, Kansas
Sheilah Wilson
Denison University, Granville, Ohio

Nominate your favorite Photo Teacher