Chancellor Fariña Announces Sixth Annual Big Apple Awards Honoring Outstanding Teachers

  • Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 Updated: Wed Apr 18, 2018

Students, Families, School Staff, and Community Members Invited to Nominate Outstanding Teachers from Across New York City

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced today that nominations for the sixth annual Big Apple Awards – a citywide recognition program that celebrates and honors teachers who demonstrate strong teaching practices, enrich their school communities, and embody the DOE’s mission of Equity & Excellence for All – are now open. 

Students, families, educators, school staff, 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 in New York City who demonstrate exceptional success in impacting student learning, instructional practices, and professional contributions to their school community. 

“The Big Apple Awards have become one of my favorite DOE traditions,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “These awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognize and thank our city’s dedicated educators who work tirelessly to inspire their students and strengthen their school communities. I encourage all of our students, families, and educators to nominate teachers who are making a difference in their schools and lives.” 

“The Big Apple awards are an opportunity for all of us to say  ‘thank you’ to the educators who are making a difference in our children’s lives. So everyone who knows an amazing teacher, tell us about them,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Last year, over 7,800 nominations were submitted for the Big Apple Awards, more than triple the number of nominations received in the first year of the Awards. More than 60 percent of the nominations were submitted by students and families.

The Big Apple Awards are made possible, in part, by support from the Fund for Public Schools. For the sixth year, the Fund will partner with Lincoln Center Education – which works in collaboration with the DOE on several arts education programs – to sponsor the Arts Education Award. Additionally, The Physical Education Award – a new category that was added last year – will once again be funded by the New York Road Runners, a longtime DOE partner that provides fitness and wellness programs to over 800 of schools across the city.

“The Fund for Public Schools is pleased to again join with the DOE to support the Big Apple Awards,” said Sarah Geisenheimer, executive director of the Fund for Public Schools. “We are also grateful to our partners for their renewed commitment to celebrate the educators that are making Equity & Excellence for All possible in NYC’s public schools.” 

Following the 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 finalists, who will have the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments for their district superintendent through an interview and/or a classroom visit. The process will culminate in June 2018 with the Chancellor honoring up to 15 outstanding educators selected for a Big Apple Award. The recipients will represent teachers citywide during the 2018-19 school year as Big Apple Fellows and members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Group, while continuing to educate and inspire students in the classroom. 

Throughout the process, nominees will be reviewed 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. 

Last year, a board of judges – comprised of DOE officials and representatives from the United Federation of Teachers and Fund for Public Schools – selected 19 award winners, with Lincoln Center representatives supporting the selection of the arts winner and New York Road Runners supporting the selection of the Physical Education teacher. This year, the 19 current recipients are serving as Big Apple Fellows, and meet monthly with one another, becoming leaders and ambassadors for their profession. These recipients are also serving on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group, which meets bi-monthly to further impact policy across the DOE.

Since the award’s inception in 2013, The Big Apple Awards has recognized 71 outstanding New York City educators. Award recipients come from schools and neighborhoods across the City, and represent a variety of subject areas, experience and backgrounds. In May 2018, Chancellor Fariña and several Deputy Chancellors will surprise recipients in their classrooms. These classroom award presentations engage students and school staff in celebrating the outstanding work of these educators. You can learn more about past Big Apple Recipients