Teaching Chairs and Awards
Highly skilled, experienced teachers are the cornerstone of a good education, and one of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Foundation's top priorities is helping the district attract and retain the best teachers. One of the ways PSF works to achieve that goal is by awarding Endowed Teaching Chairs and other annual recognition awards. These chairs and awards acknowledge the contribution of outstanding educators in the school system and reward their efforts on the behalf of students.
Chair honorees receive monetary awards of $1,000 annually, and hold the chair for two to three years, depending on their specific chair. Recipients are selected by committees consisting of parents, students, administrators, Foundation Board members, teachers, and donor representatives. Each year, the PSF will provide the community with an opportunity to nominate teachers for that year's chair awards, kicking off a rigorous application and evaluation process. For more information on the detailed chair award process, please click PSF Chair Award Process.
Endowed chairs are created and supported by private contributions from individual donors or groups of donors. They have served as a wonderful way to honor both the recipients of the chairs and the people in whose names they have been established. An endowed chair that is presented over time and presumably into perpetuity requires a significant principal amount of support to generate an annual gift. An award can be funded annually or for a specific number of years. To establish either a chair or an award, contact the Foundation Staff.
Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching Primary Grades
The chair was the first elementary level teaching chair established by the Foundation. It honors former school board chair Phyllis Sockwell and her aunt who were teachers. The chair, set up as an endowment fund, is awarded to teachers of grades K-2 in a two-year cycle.
Upper Elementary Chair for Excellence in Teaching Innovation
The second elementary teaching chair was established as an endowment to honor outstanding, innovative teachers of grades 3-5 districtwide. The award is presented in a two-year cycle.
GlaxoSmithKline Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Science or Math
The Glaxo Chair was the first middle school teaching chair established by the Foundation. It is awarded in a three-year cycle to honor outstanding middle school science teachers and was first awarded in 1988-89.
Zora Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Language Arts
An endowment fund was created to honor Mrs. Rashkis, who retired from teaching at Phillips and Culbreth Middle Schools. The chair is awarded to outstanding middle school language arts teachers in a two-year cycle
Burton Stuart Chair for Promising New Teachers in Math or Science
The endowed fund, created by his son, honors Bud Stuart, a long-time math teacher at Chapel Hill High School and the first recipient of the first teaching chair awarded in the district. The Stuart Chair is presented in a three-year cycle to a non-tenured teacher who shows great promise in teaching math or science. The chair rotates among the high schools.
Elmo's Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School Math or Science
The chair began with an initial endowment from Kaiser Permanente and continued in 2006 with a supplemental gift from Elmo's Diner and the Upper Elementary Chair Fund. It has a three-year term.
CHHS PTSA Chair for Excellence in Teaching the Humanities
Created by the Chapel Hill High School PTSA, the endowed chair honors outstanding teachers in social studies, languages and art history. The chair is awarded on a three-year cycle; the first was awarded in 1993-94.
Bernadine Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School English
The endowment was created by the family of English teacher Bernadine Sullivan at Chapel Hill High School. The award is presented in a two-year cycle.
Elmo's Award for Excellence in Teaching World Languages/ELL
The award is presented to an outstanding teacher of world language or a teacher of English Language Learners at any grade level, K-12. It has a one-year term.
Neil Pedersen Teachers First Chair
The endowed fund was created by the Foundation to honor the superintendent and as a part of the Teachers First campaign. The chair is awarded to a teacher who incorporates technology into the classroom in a two-year cycle. Every third cycle the chair is awarded to a technology specialist.
Mary Scroggs Award for Excellence in Support Services
The newest endowed award targets school staff members in supporting roles, as teacher assistants, clerical and office jobs, custodial personnel, maintenance, transportation, and food services who provide outstanding services to students and their colleagues. It is an annual award supported by an endowed fund in memory of Mary Scroggs, a long-term member and former chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education.
Public School Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching Exceptional Children
The annual award is presented to an outstanding faculty member who teaches exceptional children.
Public School Foundation Award for Promising New Teachers
The Foundation recognizes and honors an outstanding first-year teacher who is selected by nominations from schools and on-site observations by representatives of the selection committee.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Exceptional Education and Student Services
The annual award targets school staff members who educate exceptional children or work in student services.
Jeanette Blackwell Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Established in memory of excellent teacher and districtwide elementary mentor Jeanette Blackwell, the award honors a teacher each year who mentors other teachers.
Teacher of the Year Awards
The Foundation, in conjunction with Harrington Bank, honors the districtwide Teacher of the Year and two Honor Teachers. The award carries a $1,000 cash gift to the districtwide Teacher of the Year and $500 gifts to each of the two honor teachers. In addition, the Foundation provides each school’s Teacher of the Year with a $100 cash gift.