November 4, 1990 – The American Teacher Awards Begin Airing on The Disney Channel
“[Teachers] are probably the best-educated people in our country, who make the most sacrifices, do the most interesting things and should receive the same kind of adulation others in our society get.” – Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner
On November 4, 1990, the American Teacher Awards were kicked off and began airing on The Disney Channel. The idea originally started from a Disney Channel series The Disney Channel Salutes the American Teacher that aired in 1989. Up to 12 awards are given to deserving teachers across the country, with cash awards totaling $250,000. The nominees are chosen by the Educational Steering Committee, an independent group of representatives from several educational organizations. After the awards are given, the honorees vote together for the Outstanding Teacher; the first Outstanding Teacher was Sylvia Anne Washburn from Toledo, Ohio.