The FLAG Awards for Teaching Excellence launched on Oct. 23 and will recognize and celebrate one extraordinary Manhattan public school teacher with a $100,000 prize–and $20,000 for his or her school. Four finalists will also receive $10,000 each and their schools $2,000 each to be used for arts-based initiatives and programming. Nominations are now open and will close Jan. 13, 2020. You can nominate your child’s teacher on the FLAG website.
These inaugural awards are open to Manhattan teachers for now, but the program will be expanded to include nominees from all five boroughs and even other parts of the country in the future. The FLAG Award aims to draw national attention to the positive and creative ways teachers are enriching the lives of their students and acknowledge and express appreciation for the dedication teachers have to individuals and society.
“I attended public school and received a fantastic education, and my mother and aunt, and my wife’s mother, worked as public school teachers, and we know how hard teachers work and how dramatically they can impact their students’ lives. The vast majority of Americans rely on public school education. In New York City, teachers face tremendous challenges, including low budgets and large class sizes, and we wanted to reward the fabulous teachers who are initiating positive action and serving as inspirational role models,” said FLAG Award founder Glenn Fuhrman.
Beyond teaching in a Manhattan public school, nominees must teach grades K-12 and have at least five years of experience in the classroom. Teachers can be nominated by parents, students, principals, or colleagues. Approximately 25 candidates will be selected as semifinalists. The finalists and grand prize winner will be chosen based on the candidates’ “dedication and focus on challenging and inspiring students of all abilities, and utilizing innovative teaching techniques and approaches to curricula and activities with a strong emphasis placed on the student experience and community.”