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The Timothy R. Stephenson Founder’s Award

Since 2004, the EAST Initiative has recognized exemplary EAST programs through the Timothy R. Stephenson Founder’s Award. Participation is voluntary and culminates at the EAST Conference Gala by recognizing the sub-category winning schools and the Overall Founder’s Award school for the year.

This competition has always focused on student-submitted evidence to back up their nomination as a program worthy of the Founder's Award. The guidelines allow for greater participation by allowing EAST programs to compete in one category or for the title of the Overall Founder's Award Winner. We hope this will encourage more outstanding EAST programs to apply based on their individual strengths as well as their overall EAST success.

Category titles include Community Impact and Collaboration, Project Sophistication and Innovation and Student Growth, along with an Overall Founder’s Award Winner who encompasses strength in every area. This is NOT a video competition and is designed to showcase evidence that highlights the core components of EAST. This year, that evidence will be used to demonstrate the success of the local programs and show why EAST students and our Founder’s schools are the best in education today.

See the guidelines and submission instructions below. All EAST programs may submit applications except Buffalo Island Central High School, the 2017 Overall Founder’s Award Winner.

2017 Founder’s Award Winners:

Overall Founder’s Award: Buffalo Island Central High School

Award of Excellence, Student Growth: Helen Tyson Middle School

Award of Excellence, Project Sophistication & Innovation: Armorel High School

Award of Excellence, Community & Collaboration: Nettleton High School 11-12

Previous Award Winners of the Overall Founder’s Award

2016 - Harrison Junior High School

2015 - Harrisburg Middle School

2014 – Sonora Elementary School

2013 – Har-Ber High School

2012 – Batesville Junior High School

2011 – Dardanelle High School

2010 – Har-Ber High School

2009 – Centerpoint High School

2008 – Brookland High School

2007 – Star City High School

2006 – Horace Mann Magnet Middle School

2005 – Fountain Lake High School

2004 – Eureka Springs High School

How to Apply

Each EAST program is unique with strengths, opportunities and personalities that set it apart. In nominating your program to participate in the 2018 Founder’s Award Competitions, you are setting a plan into motion that will provide an opportunity to showcase some of the unique moments and successes you have had over the past year. Applying for the Founder’s Award is a two-step process.

The Founder’s Award competition focuses on three categories (Student Growth, Community & Collaboration, Project Sophistication & Innovation) giving programs a chance to apply for one or more categories in which they are strongest. Programs that are strong in all categories are encouraged to go for the Overall Founder’s Award, which requires entering all three categories plus an additional Client Selfie Video. A winner will be named for each of the three categories, along with an Overall Founder's Award winner who encompasses strength in every area.

Please seriously consider entering the Founder's Award Competition. Whether for a single category, multiple categories, or for the Overall Founder's Award. Best practice has shown that the schools that go through the process of entering for the Founder's Award tend to build stronger programs and have more engaged students and stronger community ties. This is a great reflection tool! Good luck and have fun!

Step 1 - Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent Deadline - 3 p.m., CST, December 15, 2017

Complete the form and select the categories (Student Growth, Community & Collaboration, Project Sophistication & Innovation) in which your program will be competing. To enter for the Overall Founder’s Award, you must also enter for ALL 3 individual categories. Letters will not be accepted after the deadline, and programs without a letter of intent cannot compete for the Founder's Award. A program may choose to withdraw from the competition after submitting a letter of intent.

Letter of Intent

Step 2 - Applications

All Applications Deadline - 3 p.m., CST, January 30, 2017

Click on the categories below to review the complete application requirements, judging criteria, and submission instructions for each category in which you choose to compete.

Submission components for the individual categories

  • 5-8 minute video will be the primary application component for each individual category
  • (NEW THIS YEAR) On one document, provide a bulleted list of the most significant projects (20 max) and a bulleted list of clients (20 max)
  • Photographs (8-10) of project work

Submission components for the Overall Founder’s Award application:

  • Submit the applications for all three individual categories
  • (NEW THIS YEAR) Client Selfie Video - video of the client describing their work with your EAST Program

With the primary application component including video, start collecting footage and resources now. Priority should be given to content. This is not a video competition. If you really want to impress the judges, plan and tell an impressive story - fancy video editing and flashy effects are not necessary.

Student Growth

Community & Collaboration

Project Sophistication & Innovation

Overall Founder’s Award

Finalist & Winner Selection

Finalists will be announced for the Overall Founder’s Award, and students from these programs will give a presentation to a panel of judges at the Conference. Winners of each category and the Overall Founder’s Winner will be announced at Gala. The Overall Founder’s Winner will also share their presentation with the 3,000+ attendees at the Gala.