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Voices of Inspiration Award Guidelines

Presented by: Freedom Credit Union and The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit


Purpose:

The Voices of Inspiration Award for Teaching Excellence was established by Freedom Credit Union and the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to recognize those teachers who exceed expectations in meeting their students' needs.


Criteria:

Twenty-three teachers will be selected as finalists for Freedom's "Voices of Inspiration" Award for Teaching Excellence. This will include one teacher from each public school district in Montgomery County, one teacher from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, and one teacher from a Montgomery County non-public school.


Furthermore, one elementary school teacher, one middle school teacher, and one high school teacher will be honored as grand-prize winners from among the twenty-three finalists and be presented with Freedom's "Voices of Inspiration" Award for Teaching Excellence.


All twenty-three finalists will be recognized as winners in their respective districts and receive a commemorative award plaque (23 award winners). Three finalists (elementary, middle, and high school) will win Freedom's "Voices of Inspiration" Awards for Teaching Excellence, and will be presented an additional $500 each.


Eligibility:

All nominees must be active Pennsylvania certified teachers or teachers who have obtained a private academic school certification in a Montgomery County public school or non-public school. School districts located within Montgomery County include: Abington, Cheltenham, Colonial, Hatboro-Horsham, Jenkintown, Lower Merion, Lower Moreland, Methacton, Norristown Area, North Penn, Upper Perkiomen, Pottsgrove, Pottstown, Souderton, Springfield Township, Spring-Ford, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion, Upper Moreland, Perkiomen Valley, and Wissahickon.


For the purpose of the award program, a public school shall be defined as a school under the jurisdiction of one of the school districts listed above and which is publicly funded; employs staff that are required to be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education; and meets the policies, rules, and regulations of the Pennsylvania School Code.


All nominees must provide direct services to students in a classroom setting. This includes classroom teachers, subject teachers, and certified teaching professionals who provide direct instruction to students up to grade 12, in a classroom setting. This also includes classroom instructors such as a reading specialist, speech therapist, subject specialist, learning support teacher, librarian, etc.


Qualified Nominations:

Nominations may be submitted based on an individual's contributions or performance during that school year, or for cumulative efforts over many years.


Nomination forms will be distributed each year through a mailing to all Montgomery County public school principals, through monthly publications such as Montco IU publications, and student magazines. A Nomination Form is also available here, at voicesofinspiration.org, and at mciu.org.


All nominations must be submitted on the basis of one or more of the following:


  • The excellent performance of daily responsibilities and consistent devotion of time and energy beyond the requirements of a nominee's teaching position.
  • The successful completion of an assigned activity, project or program outside the normal responsibilities of a nominee's teaching position.
  • Initiating, implementing, or administering a new or innovative idea that substantially benefits the students and/or schools of nominee's school district or Montgomery County at large.
  • Providing exceptional assistance and/or support to school and/or student-related activities, projects or programs.
  • Exemplary efforts that inspire a spirit of cooperation among those employed by a public school, which foster commitment to provide the highest quality of service to others, and that clearly demonstrate an extraordinary dedication to the education of children.

The three schools (one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school) in Montgomery County, with the most nominations will win a cash prize for their school to use for any educational purpose; the school with the most nominations will receive $500, and the two runners-up will receive $250 each.


Selection:

All nominations received by the deadline, March 24, 2014, will be reviewed and verified by a committee comprised of representatives from Freedom Credit Union.


This committee will review all nominations and select twenty-three finalists, one from each of the following school districts: Abington, Cheltenham, Colonial, Hatboro-Horsham, Jenkintown, Lower Merion, Lower Moreland, Methacton, Norristown Area, North Penn, Upper Perkiomen, Pottsgrove, Pottstown, Souderton, Springfield Township, Spring-Ford, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion, Upper Moreland, Perkiomen Valley, and Wissahickon. In addition, one winner will be chosen from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and one winner from a Montgomery County non-public school. In the event no nomination in a given category is determined to meet the award criteria, then no finalist will be chosen in that category.


Upon review and approval by the selection committee, three of the finalists (one elementary school teacher, one middle school teacher and one high school teacher) will be selected as the recipient of Freedom's "Voices of Inspiration" Award for Teaching Excellence.


All selections by the committee are final.


Application Details:

  • Please type all information using 10- or 12-point type or print neatly.
  • Provide all information as requested on the application form.
  • Complete the narrative section and attach to the application.
  • All information requested on the application must be completed at the time the application is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Assistance:

For all inquiries, please e-mail us or call Dana Feeney, Marketing Project Specialist, at 215-612-5968.


Applicant Information:

The information on this application is considered property of Freedom Credit Union and may be used to advertise and promote the awards. All nominations may be revealed to nominees.