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The Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership Award celebrates outstanding anti-racist teacher leaders who are pursuing systems-change to expand opportunities for students.  

The application portal launches May 1, 2021! See below for the application guide to help you prepare.

About the Sue Lehmann Award

Imagine the impact we have when all of us work together to change policies and practices that have historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities from receiving an equitable education. Imagine yourself not only achieving exceptional outcomes with your students but also working in coalitions to ensure these changes endure beyond the classroom. 

This annual award recognizes leaders like you who are working inside and outside of the classroom in pursuit of systems change. We implore applicants to reflect on how they’ve demonstrated impact as a teacher leader or a team of teacher leaders. How have you moved the needle in the fight to end educational inequity? How can your learnings and commitment to transform systems help Teach For America shape its future development of our corps members and alumni? How can your best practices and initiatives increase our collective impact over time?

Award recipients will receive national recognition and an invitation to celebrate and share your stories with members of the Teach For America network. Additionally, award winners will receive a total of $5,000 (for individual applications) and $10,000 (for group applications) to further your systems change effort and/or professional development. Those who apply as a group will split the award among all group members.

We believe systemic change is necessary to reach educational equity. This requires both individual and collective leadership. To that end:

  • We are celebrating both individuals and teams of teacher leaders who are working together to change established policies or practices to expand opportunities for students.
  • The application is open to both corps members and alumni, or any combination (as a team).

Apply Now

Honoring Sue Lehmann

The Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership award was created to honor our longtime Teach For America board member and lifetime director by recognizing outstanding teacher leaders who pursue and achieve systemic change for students. For more than 25 years, Sue has advocated for change in the educational ecosystem locally in New York City and across the country and has helped build a network of over 60,000 leaders who are committed to this work. Sue has mentored countless corps members, alumni, and staff as they navigate careers working toward educational equity and excellence. She remains focused on students and their potential. With her support, our corps members and alumni are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, influence, and lead. Sue currently serves as CEO and Co-Founder of the Student Success Network

Eligibility

To be considered for the award, all applicants must:

  • Be a Teach For America alum or corps member who is currently teaching at least part-time 
  • Demonstrate that they have made a profound impact with their students, including exceptional academic achievement
  • Have achieved systemic change in established policy or practice that is leading to a more equitable education for students

Application Information

The initial application will open on May 1, 2021, and will close on July 1, 2021. 

Given the rigor of the application, we recommend that you begin compiling your application materials as early as possible during the application window. Some pieces of the application may take several weeks to create.

Application Process

ROUND 1

Candidates must complete the online application to be considered for the award. If you are applying as a group of teachers, you will note that in the application. Each teacher will complete some elements of their own initial application individually and the teams can upload the same responses for specific questions. 

Initial application components include:

  • Reflections about your leadership in the classroom including your vision and/or goals for students and impact
  • Excerpts from your classroom community which could include a sample teaching video with student learning, planning documents, your assessment on the lesson’s impact, reflections, student work samples, etc.
  • Responses about a change you have led in an established policy, practice, way of being, way or operating, etc., including its impact on students. What was the change? How did you approach the change? What impact have you seen so far? Will it endure?

Please review the full Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership Application Guide to help you prepare for the online application. You will be notified if you are moving to Round 2 by July 15, 2021.

ROUND 2

For candidates moving forward in the process, you will complete the Round 2 application questions within the applicant portal. We will also ask you to confirm your final student achievement data for the year. 

Round 2 application components include:

  • Reflections on your growth and impact as a leader
  • Video interview with two students about your classroom
  • Student achievement data
  • Any additional classroom artifacts you wish to submit demonstrating student learning and impact

You will be notified if you are moving to Round 3 by August 15, 2021.

ROUND 3

Each applicant or team of applicants moving forward in the process will be invited to a virtual interview. Before your interview, you will have Round 3 application questions and a few short tasks (such as selecting your virtual interview time) to complete.

Round 3 application components include:

  • Reflections on Teach For America’s core values and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
  • Reflections on relationships with students and families
  • Your final opportunity to submit your final student achievement data

After completing Round 3, you will be notified by email if you are a finalist by September 10, 2021. Winners will be announced and celebrated in late Fall.

Application Resources

Questions?

If you have any additional questions about the application process, please check out our FAQ resource or reach out to a member of your TFA regional team. All other questions can be sent to sue.lehmann@teachforamerica.org

Application Dates:

APPLICATION ROUND

NOTIFICATION WINDOW

Round 1

DEADLINE: 

Thurs, July 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm HST 

You will find out if you are moving to Round 2 by Thursday, July 15, 2021. 

  • If you are moving on, you will have additional reflection questions and opportunities to submit more information about your student outcomes for the year by Sunday, August 1, 2021. Please see the application guide for details on Round 2 tasks and make note of the turnaround time.

Round 2

DEADLINE: 

Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm HST 

You will find out if you are moving to Round 3 no later than Sunday, August 15, 2021.

  • If you are moving on, you will have a few short tasks and a final opportunity to submit your final student achievement data for the year (if you have not already) by Friday, August 27, 2021. Please see the application guide for details on Round 3 tasks and make note of the turnaround time.
  • You will select your virtual interview time slot between August 16, 2021 and August 27, 2021.

Round 3

DEADLINE: 

Friday, August 27, 2021 at 11:59 pm HST 

After you complete your final tasks in the application and your virtual interview, you will find out if you are a finalist for this year’s award by Friday, September 10, 2021. Winners will be announced in late Fall.

Celebrating Leaders in Education

The Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership Award that highlights systems-change leadership and teachers who are championing educational excellence both in and outside of the classroom.