Bonnie Schwartz Excellence in Teaching Award Guidelines

The 2015 nomination cycle has closed.

Bonnie Schwartz considered teaching a privilege and an honor. She could think of no better way to leave an imprint on the world than to help young students discover and develop their own special talents.

A teacher of gifted and talented students at Thunder Hill Elementary School, Bonnie discovered her own niche and truly flourished once she became a teacher in 1993, according to her family and coworkers.

By no means an “easy” teacher, Bonnie believed students needed a challenge as well as encouragement to find that subject that would, in turn, make them flourish. With this in mind, the Schwartz family has established the $500 Bonnie Schwartz Excellence in Teaching Award to recognize other teachers who spend each day trying to answer the question, “How do I get each child to do his or her very best?”



Full-time or part-time teachers with at least five years of experience teaching in a public elementary school (grades 1-5) are eligible.


Nomination Criteria

Nominees must be teachers who:

  • instill in students a desire to learn and to achieve
  • understand the individual needs of students, encouraging their talents and fostering their self esteem
  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students
  • foster cooperative relationships with their colleagues and their community, including parents of students
  • demonstrate outstanding leadership


Nomination Process

Only principals or vice principals of Howard County elementary schools may make a nomination, but only one teacher from each school will be considered.

Nomination materials must include:

  1. an application form completed by the principal or assistant principal including all nominee data
  2. a completed checklist
  3. two letters of support from fellow teachers and/or a principal or assistant principal
  4. a photograph of the nominee
  5. two additional copies of the complete application


Nomination Process

The Community Foundation of Howard County board of trustees has established a Scholarship and Awards Committee of trustees, educators and other community leaders to conduct the evaluation process. Once they have selected an awardee, they will notify the principal of each nominating school and the awardee by letter.