Nominate an outstanding teacher for the Award of Excellence and they will be eligible to receive impressive cash awards from the AWARE Foundation. Anyone in the community is invited to submit nominations by Jan. 10 for educators that are doing exceptional work in the classroom.
Students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators, or friends and neighbors are encouraged to participate in recommending a teacher for the award. Self nomination or nomination by a family member will not be accepted. All nominees will be introduced at AWARE’s spring awards banquet on May 9.
AWARE Vice President Beth Hellier leads a selection committee comprised of community volunteers that observes each nominee in the classroom and conducts individual interviews before choosing winners in various grade level categories.
“What better gift for the holidays than to honor your favorite AISD educator with a nomination,” said Hellier.
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Nomination information was recently delivered to each campus and posted at www.AWAREFoundation.com, Hellier said, and nominations are already beginning to come in well in advance of the Jan 10 deadline.
AWARE stands for “Arlington Will Award and Recognize (Educational) Excellence.” The all-volunteer nonprofit is serious about rewarding good teachers, and they prove it by giving $3,000 to the winning teachers and $1,500 to the runners-up at the annual celebratory event. The cash awards are not restricted in any way.
AWARE President Gena Williams said the awards and the banquet are all about supporting public education and encouraging good teaching. More than 300 teachers have received over $400,000 in awards since the program began in 1989.
“As the Nominations VP, I have the opportunity to review each submission,” Hellier said. “I remain in awe of what educators in the AISD community are accomplishing. My committee looks forward to classroom observations because they know they will find excellence in action with every visit.”
For details on the eligibility requirements and to download the nomination form, visit www.awarefoundation.org or call Williams at 817-320-2397 or Hellier at 817-572-3912 with questions.
Let’s hear a big round of applause
- Wally Hardin, owner of The Mans Shop in Arlington, along with the Arlington Police Department, recently received the Michael Shanahan Award for Excellence in Public/Private Cooperation at a conference in San Diego. The award was in recognition of the MAY program (Mentoring Arlington Youth). The award was presented to several team members that oversee the MAY program during the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference.
- Mark Joeckel launched his own radio show recently. The Mark Joeckel Show airs on BizTalk Arlington Monday-Friday from 3-5 p.m. on KFJZ 870 AM. Joeckel is a longtime resident and leader in the business and nonprofit community. The show’s hyper-local content features segments on local arts, live music, unique restaurants, commercial developments, neighborhoods and trending political topics, locally and nationally. Inquiries: Lisa McKibben at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-274-1609, ext. 700.
- Students from Dance Theatre Arlington had the honor of performing at Disney Springs in Florida last month. Director of DTA is Persis Ann Forster who submitted an audition video of her students’ Elf Show to Disney Productions. They were accepted and performed the Elf Show before an audience of 600 people at the Disney facility. The experience included a private workshop with a Disney performer and a performance by Goofy who stayed to visit and pose for photos. Learn about the organization at www.DanceTheatreArlington.org
- Operation Pathways, an Arlington non-profit that serves families in the Stone Ridge Apartments, received a $4,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support their Reading Matters program. The grant is part of $4.5 million in youth literacy grants awarded to approximately 1,000 organizations across the country. Operation Pathways’ Brighten Up after-school program provides a safe, supervised, and academically enriching learning environment for economically disadvantaged youth during critical out-of-school hours to support youth development. Learn more at www.operationpathways.org or contact Jon Pagtakhan, coordinator, at 682-235-8912.
- Manara STEM Academy at 6101 S. Collins St. recently hosted a visitor from King Arthur’s Flour Co. to teach 4th, 5th and 6th-graders the life skill of bread baking. After the demonstration, each student received their very own baking kit to take home. Their assignment: work independently and bake two loaves of bread, one for the family and one to bring to school for donating to the Arlington Life Shelter. In charge of the project was ELAR teacher Roxanne Mathis.
- The Raven A. Fecunda’s Sunflowers of Destiny Foundation recently donated 200 children’s books to the Read to Me program at Methodist Mansfield hospital. The program revolves around newborn babies and involves the whole family in an effort to encourage parents to read to their children to get a head-start on boosting literacy. To donate books to the program, contact Angel Biasatti at 681-242-6400.
- Replenish is conducting its annual Give Thanks campaign. The Arlington nonprofit works to provide safe and clean drinking water to people in developing countries. The charity focuses on increasing awareness of the worldwide need for clean water. During November, for example, it raised funds for 26 schools in the western region of Kenya. Replenish has provided more than 100,000 people with clean water since the organization formed in 2012. Learn more at www.Replenishwater.org or contact Brian Lamb at email@example.com.
- The Arlington Arts League is conducting their annual membership drive. The all volunteer organization promotes the arts and art education in the community. The club’s outreach programs include ArtReach (making the arts more accessible for those with special needs including children, the elderly and the handicapped), the Art Docent program (teaching art education in Arlington schools), and the scholarship program (last year $16,000 in awards were given to students enrolled in fine art programs at UTA, TCC-SE Campus and graduating seniors from AISD). Visit www.ArlingtonArtsLeague.com.