"Research shows that teachers are by far the most important factor in students’ success."


2023 Year in Review

Education has been called the key to success, the passport to the future, and the most powerful weapon to change the world. Research shows that teachers are by far the most important factor in students’ success. The ways they impact students’ lives are innumerable, and each student’s story provides a small glimpse into the profound role teachers play.

At Honored, we document and amplify students’ stories to remind teachers how important their work is, celebrate their service in big and small ways, inspire future educators to explore this meaningful profession, and model the respect and appreciation we hope to see for educators throughout our society. 

2023 has been an exciting, inspiring, and memorable year for Honored!

Through our national teacher recognition program, Honored National, students and families across the country have provided direct, meaningful recognition of their teachers. This year, we received Honor Stories from across 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Armed Forces Europe. We also recognized nine of the teachers nominated by their students with the prestigious Honored National Teaching Award, which includes $5,000 in unrestricted cash as well as a profile by a world-class writer.

Our in-school teacher recognition program, Honored Schools, also continues to thrive. In the spring, we recognized eight Life-Changing Teacher Award recipients across four cities: Washington, DC; Indianapolis, IN; New Haven, CT; and Inglewood, CA. Our school and district partners in each of these cities has sustained the program for the 2023-2024 school year, expanding the total number of participating schools to 49. We are also looking forward to expanding to Houston, TX this spring with 46 new partner schools in the Spring Independent School District. We are grateful to our partners at the College Football Playoff Foundation for their continued support of this program.

"It's been so gratifying to watch Honored Schools' tremendous growth in 2023! We're excited to expand to the Houston region this spring."


Kim Barrett, Executive Director of Honored

During the 2022-2023 school year, we received over 4,200 Honor Stories from students and families across both programs, and we have already received over 1,700 Honor Stories this school year. We know that these stories meaningfully impact educators; the results of our teacher surveys consistently offer compelling evidence of program efficacy.

Our team has also experienced a few key changes this year. In July, we welcomed a new Executive Director, Kim Barrett, a proven education and nonprofit leader whose tremendous experience makes her the ideal person to lead Honored as we embark upon our next phase of growth. Co-Founders Karen Sonneborn and Katherine Boone continue to partner closely with Kim as Co-Chairs of Honored’s Board of Directors. Additionally, given her success revolutionizing our internal systems and structures, Mary Dean was promoted to the Director of Operations, Programs, and Strategy position, and she is masterfully leading our Honored Schools program.

Thank you for being part of our incredible community. All this is possible because of the incredible students who use our platform to share their stories, the phenomenal school and district staff who help spread the word about our programs, our generous philanthropic partners, and the broader community who contribute to our work in so many meaningful ways. Thank you for being an integral part of our success in 2023!

We have had an incredible impact this year, and we look forward to many more opportunities to engage, inspire, and celebrate outstanding educators across the country!  

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