During such a pivotal time for education, it is more important than ever that excellence in teaching is recognized, celebrated, and lifted up for all to see.

“At the heart of a democracy is its educational system, and in the heart of America is The National Teachers Hall of Fame.”

Bill Clinton

Who We Are

The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF), located in Emporia, Kansas, was founded in 1989 as a tribute to our nation’s most important profession: Teaching.

The NTHF is committed to drawing the public’s attention to exceptional career teachers through a recognition program which annually honors five of the nation’s most outstanding PreK-12 educators with at least 20 years of teaching experience by inducting them as Members of the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

The NTHF includes a museum whose collection is focused on the history of education, the Members, and the Hall of Fame to preserve and promote education to inspire others to enter the teaching profession. The NTHF has been endorsed by education organizations across the nation.



Our Vision to Unlock the Future

Purpose and Objectives

Our world is in an age of rapid change. During such a pivotal time for education, it is more important than ever that excellence in teaching is recognized, celebrated, and lifted up for all to see. Like a beacon guiding others, it can illuminate a path for educators, school communities, and people considering a career in teaching. As we seek to broaden NTHF’s impact, we envision a future where the extensive expertise of our inductees reverberates nationwide and inspires educators and policymakers everywhere.

Redesigning our website and enhancing our online presence

Our website will undergo a comprehensive revamp to upgrade navigation, better honor inductees, and actively promote awareness and financial support for NTHF. It will also provide integrated digital capabilities for subscribing to our mailing list and applying to become an inductee. We will feature engaging content with photos and videos about the teaching profession, NTHF’s history, the Emporia induction week, the National Memorial to Fallen Educators, and more. As the website is revamped and content developed, we will also expand our social media presence to enhance virtual engagement with our growing network and to elevate national awareness of NTHF.

Reimagining our museum and illuminating the history of teaching

Our museum will be reimagined to not only redesign its physical space for self-directed exploration, but also to expand it into a virtual space, showcasing NTHF to online visitors. The focus of the physical space will be our inductees, with displays of artifacts around them representative of the history of teaching in America. Our inductees will be centered in the context of this profound narrative — featuring them as ambassadors who both honor the heritage of the profession and also usher it into the future. The virtual component of the museum will feature more information about inductees, highlights from history, and virtual tours of the one-room schoolhouse and National Memorial to Fallen Educators.

Strengthening our financial management and sustainability

Our museum will be reimagined to not only redesign its physical space for self-directed exploration, but also to expand it into a virtual space, showcasing NTHF to online visitors. The focus of the physical space will be our inductees, with displays of artifacts around them representative of the history of teaching in America. Our inductees will be centered in the context of this profound narrative — featuring them as ambassadors who both honor the heritage of the profession and also usher it into the future. The virtual component of the museum will feature more information about inductees, highlights from history, and virtual tours of the one-room schoolhouse and National Memorial to Fallen Educators.

Expanding our outreach and welcoming new friends

Through our updated online presence, newsletter outreach, and digital content, we are looking forward to sharing our mission on a broader scale and bringing more national attention to NTHF, the Emporia induction week ceremonies, and of course our outstanding inductees. One initiative we are excited to implement is making the “Friend of Education” award an annual event to recognize an individual whose efforts have benefited education.

Harnessing the remarkable talents of our inductees

Most importantly perhaps, we are looking forward to exploring new ways of showcasing the remarkable talents and experience of our inductees. By harnessing their expertise, and then by providing opportunities and platforms for them to share it, we can lift up the teaching profession and positively impact education in America. We are exploring more opportunities for our inductees to be involved in such things as panel discussions, podcasts, presentations, and content creation. At such a pivotal time, the wisdom and commitment of our inductees can truly be a beacon to teaching and learning across our entire nation.


As we embark on this exciting and transformative journey, we are guided by a simple yet powerful belief: the wealth of knowledge and expertise within the National Teachers Hall of Fame deserves a broader audience. Emporia, Kansas, the birthplace and home of NTHF since 1989, has continually provided heart and inspiration for all of us — and will continue to guide us throughout this journey. Emporia, like education itself, is in the very heart of our nation and provides the nurturing environment that fosters continuous growth. For the inductees and all of us at NTHF, Emporia is the heart and soul that nourishes us not only with feelings of dedication and commitment — but also of community, of family, and of home. In Emporia and beyond, it is so important for all educators everywhere to share such feelings and to be embraced by a supportive community. Our aim is to share this spirit across the nation. 

For over three decades, our inductees have amassed centuries of collective experience, serving as beacons of leadership in education. Our journey is now one of evolution and expansion, fueled by a deep-seated passion for honoring educators and advancing education. We are looking forward to having conversations with our inductees and stakeholders, and we will be setting up virtual meetings to listen to everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Together, we can make this vision a reality.


​Located on the Emporia State University campus, the NTHF Museum includes a gallery of honored teachers, a Wall of Fame, and a display of classroom miniatures through the centuries. 

The NTHF Museum honors our inductees and is free for visitors and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm (we are closed on weekends, federal holidays and some ESU holidays). We suggest you call ahead to make sure we are open at 620-341-5660.

Our museum will be undergoing renovations beginning in the late summer/fall of 2024. Our museum will be reimagined to not only redesign its physical space for self-directed exploration, but also to expand it into a virtual space, showcasing NTHF to online visitors. The focus of the physical space will be our inductees, with displays of artifacts around them representative of the history of teaching in America. Our inductees will be centered in the context of this profound narrative—featuring them as ambassadors who both honor the heritage of the profession and also usher it into the future. The virtual component of the museum will feature more information about inductees, highlights from history, and virtual tours of the one-room schoolhouse and National Memorial of Fallen Educators.

Preserving a Heritage… Building a Legacy