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Awards & Grants

TSTA offers several opportunities to recognize outstanding educators, education support personnel, regional and local associations, media representatives, businesses, and other individuals or organizations that support public education. Recognize your peers and community partners in education through TSTA’s annual awards program. Winners are presented awards at the TSTA House of Delegates.


Organizing Center For Public Affairs

Nominations for the following awards must be submitted to the Organizing Center for Public Affairs by the deadline indicated in order to be eligible for an award in the current year. For details or nomination forms, call 877-ASK-TSTA, ext. 1316 toll free or email clairem@tsta.org.

School Bell Awards (Deadline: January 31)

Multiple award categories recognize outstanding media coverage of education issues and events. Categories of awards include: (1) Newspapers and Magazines, (2) Radio, (3) Television, and (4) Electronic Media. Nominations are accepted from any TSTA local or regional affiliate or by media self-nomination. Nominations should cover broadcast or publications over the calendar year (January 1 – December 31). Download our School Bell Awards instruction booklet and the nomination form, both in PDF format. Nominations should be returned to: TSTA Organizing Center for Public Affairs, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759.

Pride in Communications Awards (Deadline: March 1)

Pride in Communications awards recognize outstanding local/regional association newsletters and web sites. Entries are judged on the extent to which the local and/or regional association programs are identified and explained. If you have someone you'd like to nominate, download the entry form (PDF format). Entries should be returned to: TSTA Communications, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759.


Organizing Center for Executive and Governance

Nominations for the following awards must be submitted to the Organizing Center for Executive and Governance (CEG) by the deadline indicated in order to be eligible for an award in the current year. For details or nomination forms call 877-ASK-TSTA, ext. 1338 or email CrystalC@tsta.org.

All-Star Association Representative (All-Star AR) Awards 
(Deadline: second Monday in February)

This award recognizes exemplary leadership at the building or worksite level. Every TSTA Region shall recognize all of the nominees for this award and select one nominee as the Regional winner to be recognized at the TSTA House of Delegates. Each region is responsible for region nomination forms and the region selection process. Information regarding the Regional winner shall be submitted to TSTA, along with supporting documentation for the nominee, to TSTA, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759 no later than 5 p.m. on the second Monday in February. For more details, call 877-ASK-TSTA, ext. 1338 or email CrystalC@tsta.org.

Click here for an All-Star AR sample nomination form writable PDF which can be customized for each region.

Leaders for Tomorrow Awards
(Deadline: second Monday in February)

This award recognizes members who demonstrate characteristics of future leaders. Every TSTA Region shall recognize all of the nominees for this award and select one nominee as the Regional winner to be recognized at the TSTA House of Delegates. Each region is responsible for region nomination forms and the region selection process.  Information regarding the Regional winner shall be submitted to TSTA, along with supporting documentation for the nominee, to TSTA, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759 no later than 5 p.m. on the second Monday in February. For more details, call 877-ASK-TSTA, ext. 1338 or email CrystalC@tsta.org.

Click here for a Leaders for Tomorrow sample nomination form writable PDF which can be customized for each region.

Ronnie Ray ESP Advocate of the Year Award
(Deadline: second Monday in February)

Each year one Education Support Professional (ESP) receives the Ronnie Ray ESP of the Year Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their schools, communities, and profession. The ESP of the Year serves as an ambassador for Education Support Professionals around the state, promoting the value of ESP members. Nominations are accepted and encouraged from each local affiliate and each region is required to select one nominee to submit to the state ESP Committee. As of January 15, nominees must be a TSTA Educational Support Professional member (for three years) whose activities reflect contributions to public education and show outstanding accomplishments. The region’s nominee should follow the ESP Award Guidelines. Please return the required ESP Award Data Sheet and nomination information to your region president. Please contact the Center for Executive and Governance at CrystalC@tsta.org  for questions re: guidelines and forms.

Please return the required ESP Award Data Sheet and nomination information to your region president.

Friend of Education Award (Deadline: December 1)

This award recognizes either (1) an individual who is not a professional educator who has made a significant contribution to the cause of public education or (2) an organization/company outside the field of education that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of education. Nominations are accepted from any TSTA member, local association, region, or other recognized TSTA group. The nomination form and supporting documentation should be returned to: Friend of Education Award Committee, c/o TSTA CEG, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759.

Social Justice Patriot Award (Deadline: second Monday in February)

This award recognizes Texas educators, TSTA local and regional associations, and other individuals or associations who are friends of education for distinguished service and contributions in promoting and/or encouraging professional and human rights activities. There are three sub-categories of the Social Justice Patriot Award: the Mickey Leland Memorial Award for Social Justice, the Willie Velasquez Memorial Award for Political Engagement, and the Frank J. Tejeda Award for Public Service. Return the nomination form to: Social Justice Patriot Award Committee, c/o TSTA CEG, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759.

Mickey Leland Memorial Award for Social Justice (Deadline: second Monday in February)

George Thomas "Mickey" Leland (1944 –1989) was an anti-poverty activist who later became a congressman from the Texas 18th District and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. While attending college in the late ‘60s, he became a vocal leader of the Houston-area civil rights movement and connected it with the national movement. Within the year after he graduated, he set up a door-to-door outreach program in low-income neighborhoods to inform people about their medical care options and performing preliminary screenings. During his time as a congressman, he was an effective advocate on hunger and public health issues, not only in the US but in Africa and Cuba, as well. He worked to address famine crises and provide humanitarian relief to distressed and disadvantaged communities.

This award is available for presentation to individuals or organizations that have initiated or engaged in projects or activities that have established an ongoing program or institution that have had a positive widespread social, educational, economic or political impact, especially those projects and activities that help the economically disadvantaged children in ways that exemplify the achievement and work of Mickey Leland.

Willie Velasquez Memorial Award for Political Engagement (Deadline: second Monday in February)

William C. "Willie" Velasquez Jr. (1944 –1988) was a Hispanic-American social activist and vote organizer. He founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project which worked to expand Latino and Hispanic American's interest and participation in the voting process by empowering and educating citizens and leaders with the resources necessary to make a difference in America. His group popularized the motto Su Voto Es Su Voz (Your Vote is your Voice).

This award is available for presentation to individuals or organizations that have initiated or engaged in projects or activities that have worked to eradicate inequities based on race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity especially those projects and activities that assist the politically disenfranchised in becoming more involved in the political process in ways that exemplify the achievement and work of Willie Velasquez.

Frank J. Tejeda Award for Public Service (Deadline: second Monday in February)

Frank Tejeda was a decorated United States Marine and an American Democratic politician from Texas. He served in the Texas House of Representatives for 11 years, the Texas Senate for 6 years, and the United States House of Representatives for 4 years. During his time as a US Congressman, much of his work focused on veterans’ issues; he served on the Armed Services Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. His humble beginnings led to this desire to improve conditions in his majority-Hispanic district. Among many other efforts, Frank worked to boost state aid for women- and minority-owned businesses, provide housing for veterans, and backed increased government protection of voting rights for minority groups.

The purpose of the Award is for TSTA to recognize elected individuals for service at the local, state or national level on behalf of public school children or educational employees of Texas.

NEA Human and Civil Rights Award (Postmark Deadline: December 10)

TSTA encourages its members and local or regional affiliates or to nominate an individual, organization and/or a region or local affiliate for an NEA Human and Civil Rights Award. For further information on the individual award categories and forms, please view NEA’s website at http://www.nea.org/grants/HCRAwards.html/ or write NEA Human and Civil Rights, 1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-3290 (202-822-7709).

Ermalee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award
(Deadline: February 1 by 5:00 pm)

This award recognizes and promotes teaching excellence based on the following criteria: professional practice, advocacy for the profession, community engagement, leadership in professional development, and attention to diversity. The recipient of this award will be submitted as TSTA’s nominee for the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, so nominees for the Ermalee Boice award should comply with the guidelines provided for the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence (www.neafoundation.org). All TSTA members are eligible for nomination provided they are also members of their local and the NEA. The nomination packet should be returned to: Ermalee Boice Award Committee, c/o TSTA CEG, 8716 N Mopac Expy, Austin, Texas 78759.


NEA Foundation Grants

Global Learning Fellowship (Deadline:  February 28)

The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship offers educators 12 months of professional development opportunities to support educators as they cultivate global competence skills and build global lesson plans that are shared with educators around the world.  By participating in the Global Learning Fellowship program, educators have an opportunity to lead the profession by acquiring the necessary skills to integrate global competence into their daily classroom instruction, advance pedagogy in their school/district, prepare students to thrive in the flattened global age, and thus contribute to the closing of the global achievement gap. http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/global-learning-fellowship/

Learning & Leadership Grants (Deadline: Feb. 1, June 1 or Oct. 1)

These grants allow individuals to participate in high-quality professional development experiences and groups to participate in collegial study. http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/educators/grant-programs/learning-and-leadership

Student Achievement Grants (Deadline: Feb. 1, June 1 or Oct. 1)

These grants improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/educators/grant-programs/student-achievement-grants

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