The award is given to a Cleveland or Bradley County School system teacher who is nominated by supervisors, peers, students, friends or family. This honor, valued both for its prestige and the $3,000 cash award, recognizes teaching excellence in the classroom.
Dr. and Mrs. Rodney Fitzgerald endow the award annually in honor of his mother, Lillie Frank Fitzgerald, who taught English and speech at Bradley Central High School for 37 years. Supervisors and colleagues recognized her as a dedicated and passionate teacher instilling a love of learning in her students.
She is remembered for prizing academic performance, recognizing students and establishing clubs and programs which further prepared them for college careers and the teaching profession. She was inducted into the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame in 1995, having been nominated by several of her former students.
Nominations will be accepted through April 15. The winner will be announced at each school system’s opening session in August.
Requirements for nomination include that the nominee:
- Is employed as a full-time, certified, K-12 teacher in Cleveland City or Bradley County Schools having a minimum of five years experience;
- Demonstrates a passion for teaching and inspires students with a love of learning;
- Communicates effectively across all racial, cultural and economic backgrounds;
- Utilizes creative, current and relevant teaching strategies;
- Is admired and respected by students, parents and colleagues;
- Is involved personally in the community;
- Embodies the spirit of teaching demonstrate by Lillie Frank Fitzgerald — professional, articulate and passionate about education.
All submissions are reviewed by a panel of evaluators unrelated to either school system. Complete application guidelines and additional information about this award can be found on the Foundation’s website: www.bcpef.org.