Nominations now are being accepted for the third annual Teachers of Distinction award. The awards recognize teachers and assistant teachers in the Tupelo Public School District who go above and beyond the call of duty in helping their students achieve.
Sponsored by CREATE, the awards are funded by four sources – the Innovations in Education Endowment Fund, the Jack and Francis Reed Family Endowment Fund, the Bob and Marilyn Monroe Endowment Fund and the Booth Family Endowment Fund. Teachers receive a $1,000 award, while assistant teachers receive $500.
Mike Clayborne, president of CREATE, said nominations may be made by anybody in the community. Even though it is a relatively new recognition, Clayborne said more people are beginning to nominate deserving educators.
“We saw a pretty significant increase in nominations from the first year,” he said. “I think we would expect there to be even more nominations this year as people begin to understand the program and really how simple it is to nominate a teacher.
“Really, all that is required is a very brief nomination form and actually just a few sentences why you think this person is deserving of this award. The important thing is to make the nomination.”
This year, up to 10 teachers and three assistant teachers will be honored. The number of honorees has grown steadily since the program’s beginning due to more people donating to the cause.
“… We’re seeking additional funding because, obviously, we’ve got a lot more Teachers of Distinction than we can fund every year,” Clayborne said. “We’d like to give more awards each year. It’s still not too late.
“People have the option of either endowing an award – which would be a gift that would fund it in their company’s or individual’s or family’s name forever – or they can provide $1,000 and fund one for a year.”
A gift of $20,000 will set up a permanent endowment for one award, Clayborne said.
Nomination forms are available at all schools in the Tupelo Public School District, as well as the central office and the CREATE office. Nomination forms also will be printed in the Daily Journal on May 7, 14 and 21. The deadline for returning them to the CREATE office is May 31.
A panel of educators outside of Lee County will select the winners. The awards will be presented at a joint meeting of the Tupelo Kiwanis and Rotary clubs this fall.