Vermont-NEA believes that all students deserve the highest quality education and that the single most essential ingredient is a caring, competent, and qualified teacher who is supported by skilled and committed school support staff. Expert teachers who understand both the subjects they teach and the children they teach make the most important difference in student achievement.

Therefore, Vermont-NEA will select and honor one of its active members each year in order to celebrate teaching excellence, public education, and our dedicated school workforce. The Angelo J. Dorta Award for Teaching Excellence will be presented annually.

The Award, which carries with it a $1,000 cash prize, will recognize, reward, and promote excellence in public school teaching and underscore high standards of service to students and to the teaching profession. The winner will represent Vermont in the national competition for the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, which pays the winner $25,000.

The Award: 
A $1,000 cash award, recognition at the annual Vermont-NEA Awards Dinner during the Association’s Representative Assembly, and submission of the awardee’s nomination materials to the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education for national consideration as Vermont’s nominee that year for the annual NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence.

Eligibility: 
All active teacher and Education Support Professional (ESP) members of Vermont-NEA. [Vermont-NEA statewide officers and Board Directors are ineligible for this award during their years of service on the Board.]

Who May Submit Nominations: 
Any active Vermont-NEA teacher or ESP member.

Deadline for Nominations: 
All nomination materials must be submitted in hard copy or electronically by or before February 15. Nomination materials must be received at the Vermont-NEA office by 5:00 p.m. and may not be submitted by facsimile.

Selection Process: 
Selection of the award recipient will be made at the state level by the Angelo J. Dorta Teaching Excellence Award Selection Panel. The Panel will be comprised of two statewide officers, two  Board Directors, and two local affiliate teacher leaders/members. Finalists also may be asked to provide additional information and materials. The Panel will inform the Vermont-NEA Board of Directors of its recommendation no later than the Board’s March meeting, and the Vermont-NEA Board will take official action on the Panel’s recommendation.

Criteria: 
Nominations are judged according to the criteria listed below.

1. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: 
The nominee demonstrates instructional expertise, creativity, and innovation. The nominee uses a variety of pedagogical techniques and effectively addresses students' different learning styles and needs. The nominee is an instructional leader at the local, state, and/or national level.

2. ADVOCACY FOR THE PROFESSION: 
The nominee is a current, active member of the local, state, and/or national education association, and has assumed leadership roles at one or more of these levels. The nominee is an active member of other professional organizations and engages in activities that advance the profession and public education. The nominee speaks out on behalf of public education, educators, and students.

3. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: 
The nominee frequently interacts with parents and other community members on substantive education issues. The nominee brings community resources to the classroom and conducts service learning projects with his or her students in the community.

4. LEADERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 
The nominee continually engages in experiences to improve his or her practice and to gain new skills and knowledge. The nominee shares this new learning with colleagues in a variety of venues. The nominee's participation in and commitment to professional development has a visible impact on his or her institution, students, and community.

5. ATTENTION TO DIVERSITY: 
The nominee works to provide a learning environment that meets the needs of all students, regardless of differences. The nominee recognizes and explicitly addresses the full array of values, cultures, and experiences represented in our diverse modern society, both through curriculum and instruction and in other interactions with students.

A. DATA SHEET 
1 page maximum, 12-pt. or larger type. The data sheet requests contact information for the state, federal, or direct affiliate and the nominee. The data sheet can be downloaded by clicking here.

B. NOMINATION LETTER 
3 pages maximum, double spaced, 12-pt. or larger type.  The nomination letter from the state or local affiliate president explains why the awardee deserves the award, citing as many specific examples as possible.

C. RÉSUMÉ 
2 page maximum.  The résumé provides a brief, factual overview of the nominee's career, including positions held, degrees attained, honors received, etc. The résumé may also describe personal achievements or activities that are not noted elsewhere.

D. NOMINEE'S STATEMENT 
3400 words  maximum.  The nominee's statement must be written by the nominee, as a first-person narrative. The statement includes specific examples to illustrate all five of the award criteria. The questions below do not need to be copied verbatim in the text; however, nominees are strongly encouraged to include headings or keywords to aid the panelists in their reading. The nominee's statement addresses the following topics:

  1. What are the most successful innovations that you have introduced in your classroom or school? What strategies or methods do you use to ensure that all students achieve at a high level? How do you act as an instructional leader?
  2. How has your involvement in the National Education Association or NEA affiliate(s) contributed to your success as an educator? How would you persuade a new colleague to join or become more active in the association? In what other ways do you serve as an advocate for the profession and for public education?
  3. What community resources do you bring to the classroom to enhance your lessons and student achievement?  What service learning projects have you conducted with your students to benefit the community?
  4. What experiences or activities have been most beneficial to your professional knowledge, skills, and practice? How have you contributed to the professional development of your colleagues? How has your professional growth made a difference for your school or university, your students, and your community? Include examples.
  5. How do you address issues of diversity in your curriculum and instruction and in other interactions with students?  What is the result of such efforts? How does your approach to diversity affect your work?
  6. If you have not already done so, tell a story about how your approach to teaching made a difference for a student or a group of students.
  7. What advice would you give to someone entering the profession on how to attain teaching excellence?

E. LETTERS OF ENDORSEMENT 
Up to 3 letters, maximum 2 pages each, double spacing preferred. Letters of endorsement are written by the nominee's local affiliate president, colleagues, current or former students, parents, or community members. Letters should be signed, if possible, and the salutation should address the state affiliate selection committee or the national selection panel for The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Mail or email one original, complete nomination package for receipt at Vermont-NEA by 5:00 p.m. EST,  February 15. Submissions by fax are not permitted. Send your nomination package to: Vermont-NEA, 10 Wheelock Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 or  e-mail [email protected].

Questions? Call 1-800-649-6375 or e-mail [email protected]
 

Recent Winners

2013  Richard Wise – South Burlington E.A.2012 – Thomas Young – Washington West E.A.

2011  Jay Di Giulio – Essex North E.A.

2010  Terri Vest – Twinfield E.A.

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