Chancellor Fariña Announces Fifth Annual Big Apple Awards to Recognize Teacher Excellence

  • Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018

Students, Families, School Staff, and Community Members Invited to Nominate Outstanding NYC Teachers

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced today the fifth annual Big Apple Awards: Recognizing Teacher Excellence in New York City, which are 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 demonstrate strong teaching practices, enrich their school communities, and embody the DOE’s mission of Equity & Excellence for All. 

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 December 9, 2016. Students, families, educators, and community members can nominate an excellent teacher by visiting the Big Apple Awards website. Nominees must be current, full-time public school teachers in a district school, charter school, or early childhood education center who demonstrate exceptional success in impacting student learning, in their instructional practices, and in their professional contributions to their school community. 

“The Big Apple Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognize and thank our city’s passionate educators who work tirelessly to inspire their students and strengthen their school communities,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I encourage all of our students, families, and educators to nominate teachers who are making an impact in their schools and celebrate their incredible work with this well-deserved recognition.” 

“The Big Apple Awards are a way of honoring our city’s amazing public school teachers and the work they do on behalf of their students and families,” said Sarah Geisenheimer, ‎Executive Director of ‎The Fund for Public Schools. “We’re grateful to our partners across the City who help make these awards possible, and look forward to celebrating yet another incredible group of nominees and recipients.”  

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 200 educators for district-level selection, including an interview and/or a classroom visit and an invitation to join the DOE’s Teacher Excellence Network. The process will culminate in June with the Chancellor honoring up to 15 outstanding educators selected for a Big Apple Award. The recipients will represent teachers citywide during the 2017-18 school year as Big Apple Fellows and members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Group, while continuing to educate and inspire students in the classroom. 

During all stages of the process, candidates are reviewed based on their ability to demonstrate exceptional success in three key competencies aligned with the Framework for Great Schools: impacting student learning, demonstrating strong instructional practice, and contributing to their school community. 

“I am so honored to be recognized by the Big Apple Awards. My passion has and always will be the students. Teaching is about being there for our students and making a difference in their lives by pushing and motivating them to reach their full potential,” said Dominique Nute, a 2016-17 Big Apple Fellow from One World Middle School at Edenwald in the Bronx. Ms. Nute is a sixth grade math teacher and serves as a Peer Collaborative Teacher, working with colleagues to implement best practices and maximize instructional time. 

Last year, there were more than 4,600 nominations for the Big Apple Awards, more than double the number of nominations received in the first year of the Awards. Sixty 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, including one arts educator who was selected through the Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award. Lincoln Center Education has partnered with the Department of Education to select the arts award recipient since the program’s inception. Of last year’s 4,600 nominees, a total of 17 Big Apple Award recipients were selected, and for the first time, Chancellor Fariña and Deputy Chancellors surprised the teachers in their classrooms to present them with the award as a way to engage students and school staff in celebrating their outstanding work. 

You can learn more about last year’s award recipients here. 

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. The Big Apple Awards are made possible, in part, through generous support from private funders, including Lincoln Center Education, which sponsors the Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award.  

For more information, visit the Big Apple Awards website, speak to your school’s parent coordinator, email, or call HR Connect at (718) 935-4000 with additional questions. 
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