PDK's Distinguished Educator

Recognizing the achievements of our exceptional members
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What is the Distinguished Educator Designation?

When first founded in 1906, induction into Phi Delta Kappa was a demanding process. Potential members had to be tapped to join and meet rigorous criteria to become a member. To be a part of PDK was an exclusive honor for the most established and distinguished educators in the field. The tenets of Research, Leadership, and Service were promoted by these leaders to advance the field of education.

In 2002, in the interest of expanding its mission, the PDK Association opened its ranks to any educator interested in advancing the field under these tenets. Today, we have established the PDK Distinguished Educator designation, an honorific reserved to highlight our most prestigious members and recognize them for their achievements and contributions to our profession and their commitment to the Phi Delta Kappa Association core values of research, service, and leadership.

The cost of the Distinguished Educator designation is $25, annually.  

How do I qualify to be a Distinguished Educator?

PDK members who joined prior to 2002 already meet the criteria to join, as long as they have a current, active PDK membership.  To become a Distinguished Educator, simply fill out the application form below and pay the $25 fee.

PDK members who joined January 1, 2002 and on must:

  1. Be a current member of Phi Delta Kappa in good standing.
  2. Be nominated by a Phi Delta Kappa member in good standing.
  3. Have 5 years of employment at a school district or university or employment in service to an education organization.
  4. Attest to having no convictions for violent crimes and/or crimes against children.
  5. Demonstrate advancement of education in at least two of the three Phi Delta Kappa Association core values of Research, Service, and Leadership*.

*If a candidate does not have evidence of the activities listed below but believes they can still demonstrate commitment to the core values, they have the opportunity to detail that commitment and make a case for why it should count towards Distinguished Educator eligibility criteria in the form of an essay.

For a complete list of the activities that qualify towards credit in each of the core value areas, and a list of required documentation,  please view the “After 2002” PDF application.

How do I apply?

If you joined PDK prior to 2002 . . . 

Great news, you already qualify. Login using your PDK account information to register.

If you joined PDK January 1, 2002 and on . . . 

Login using your PDK account information to submit your application today!

What does it mean to be a Distinguished Educator?

Members who meet the eligibility criteria will be issued a certificate of recognition. In addition, Distinguished Educators will get first access to new PDK resources such as the PDK primers, public recognition on the PDK website, the chance to be highlighted in upcoming Heritage Newsletters and access to exclusive Distinguished Educator merchandise.

Distinguished Educator Listing

Click here for Educator Profiles as well as a complete listing of all Distinguished Educators.

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