Laine Belovas, Talvi Märja and Aleksei Turovski receive life's work awards ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Teacher of the Year 2020 gala. Source: Ministry of Education and Research

The 2020 Teacher of the Year Gala "Estonia Learns and Thanks" saw awards handed out in 12 categories, including three life's work awards in the field of education.

We all learned a lot this spring – we learned to study and teach differently. Dear teachers, you created wonderful solutions to keep teaching in unexpected circumstances. I am deeply grateful," Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps said, adding that "today, we recognize those to whom Estonian education owes a great deal and who have pursued their work with great dedication."


  • Kindergarten Teacher of the Year: Moonika Suurmaa, Rakvere Rohuaia Kindergarten
  • Class Teacher of the Year. Heidi Öövel, Tartu Kroonuaia School
  • Homeroom Teacher of the Year: Ilona Võik, Lähte Coeducational High School
  • Basic School Subject Teacher of the Year: Cathlen Haugas, Urvaste School, Lüllemäe Basic School
  • High School Teacher of the Year: Ljudmilla Roždestvenskaja, Tallinn City Center Russian High School
  • Vocational Teacher of the Year: Eduard Brindfeldt, Tallinn Industrial Education Center
  • Hobby Teacher of the Year: Riivo Jõgi, Põlva Music School, Viljandi Music School, Nõmme Music School
  • Support specialist of the Year: Iris Degtjov, Kärdla Rajaleidja Center
  • Professor of the Year: Maria Murumaa-Mengel, University of Tartu
  • Headmaster of the Year: Haana Zuba-Reinsalu, Luua Forestry School
  • Friend of Education of the Year: State Forest Manager RMK
  • Educational Act of the Year: Cleveron Academy – launch of professional higher education training program, Cleveron AS, Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences
  • National Educator's Life's Work Award: Laine Belovas, Talvi Märja, Aleksei Turovski

Winners of ten categories received prizes of €10,000 and life's work laureates €65,000. For the first time, nominees of the ten main categories also won prizes of €3,000.

Minor prizes were handed to nominees and winners of the education friend and educational act of the year categories.

The Teacher of the Year competition began in spring when everyone had the chance to nominate people. A total of 2,051 candidates were nominated. Next, regional committees and the higher education committee got to work picking 235 finalists. A national committee then picked three nominees from each category, the winners declared during a ceremony on Saturday.

The Teacher of the Year contest is organized by the Ministry of Education and Research and the Estonian Education Personnel Union.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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