Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the fourth annual Big Apple Awards: Recognizing Teacher Excellence in New York City, overseen by the Department of Education in partnership with the Fund for Public Schools. The Big Apple Awards celebrate educators across the City and honor teachers who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.
The nomination period is starting a month earlier this year, giving students and families more time to nominate exceptional educators. An open, citywide call for nominations begins today and will continue through January 18, 2016. Students, families, educators, and community members can nominate a standout teacher by visiting the Big Apple Awards website. Nominees must be current, full-time public school teachers who demonstrate exceptional success in impacting student learning, in their instructional practices, and in their professional contributions to their school community. This year, the DOE is especially interested in recognizing teachers in critical grades and subjects including grades 2, 7 and 10, as well as teachers of special education and English Language Learners.
“The Big Apple Awards recognize the hard-working and passionate teachers that inspire students and strengthen communities. I encourage all of our students, families, and educators to nominate teachers who are making an impact in their schools and celebrate them with this well-deserved recognition,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Following the open nomination period, a select group of up to 1,000 nominees will be invited to complete a comprehensive application for the Big Apple Awards. The DOE will identify up to 250 educators for district-level selection, including an interview and a classroom visit. The process will culminate with a celebration in June honoring up to 15 outstanding educators selected for a Big Apple Award. The recipients will represent teachers citywide during the 2016-17school year as Big Apple Fellows and members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Group, while continuing to educate and inspire students in the classroom.
“The Big Apple Awards have changed my life. As a Big Apple Award winner, I am being taught how to be a leader, how to build consensus through a common lens, how to speak publicly with impact, and how to work with colleagues to effect greater change with our students,” said Denise Clark, a 2015-16 Big Apple Fellow from Mott Hall Science and Technology Academy. Ms. Clark is a founding teacher at Mott Hall Science and Technology Academy who, in addition to teaching math, serves as an 8th-grade team leader and organizes Saturday tutoring for students.
Last year, there were more than 4,700 nominations for the Big Apple Awards, more than double the number of nominations in the first year of the Awards. Sixty-five percent of nominations came from students and families. Last year’s Award recipients come from across the City and represent a diversity of subject areas, experience, and backgrounds. You can learn more about last year’s winners here
The Big Apple Awards are made possible through generous funding from Leonard and Louise Riggio and The Fund for Public Schools, as well as Lincoln Center Education, which sponsors the Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award.
This year’s Big Apple Awards represent another opportunity to celebrate our diverse range of great teachers who are setting the foundation for the next generation of New York City, and engage in a citywide dialogue about what excellent teaching looks like.