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Chancellor Carranza Announces Seventh Annual Big Apple Awards Honoring Outstanding Teachers

  • Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 Updated: Tue Oct 23, 2018

Students, Families, School Staff, and Community Members Invited to Nominate Outstanding Teachers from Across New York City

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced today that nominations for the seventh annual Big Apple Awards are now open. The Big Apple Awards celebrate and honor teachers who demonstrate strong teaching practices, enrich their school communities, and embody the DOE’s mission of Equity & Excellence for All. For the first time this year, there will be a special Big Apple Award College and Career Counselor award honoring counselors who have made significant strides in advancing their students’ postsecondary readiness and success.

Students, families, educators, school staff, and community members can nominate teachers and counselors by visiting the Big Apple Awards website. Nominees must be current, full-time public school teachers or college counselors in a district school, charter school or early childhood education center in New York City who demonstrate exceptional success in the classroom.

“To students, families, and staff across the City – help your teachers get the recognition they deserve by nominating them for a Big Apple Award! We can never thank our amazing teachers enough, and I encourage our communities to take every opportunity to recognize those who are going above and beyond in the classroom,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

“The Big Apple Awards are a way to recognize teachers who inspire, guide, and make a difference in our children’s lives. What better way to say ‘thank you’ than to introduce these amazing people to the rest of New York City,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Last year, over 6,500 nominations were submitted for the Big Apple Awards, more than triple the number of nominations received in the first year of the Awards. More than 70 percent of the nominations were submitted by students and families.

The Big Apple Awards are made possible, in part, by support from the Fund for Public Schools. For the seventh year, the Fund will partner with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – which works in collaboration with the DOE on several arts education programs – to sponsor the Arts Education Award. Additionally, the Physical Education Award will be funded for a third consecutive year by New York Road Runners, a longtime DOE partner that provides fitness and wellness programs to more than 750 schools across the city.


Following the nomination period, a select group of up to 1,000 nominees will be invited to complete a comprehensive application for the Big Apple Awards. The DOE will identify up to 250 finalists, who will have the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments for their district superintendent through an interview and/or a classroom visit. The process will culminate in June 2019 with the Chancellor honoring up to 15 outstanding educators selected for a Big Apple Award. The recipients will represent teachers citywide during the 2019-20 school year as Big Apple Fellows and members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Group, while continuing to educate and inspire students in the classroom. 

Throughout the process, nominees will be reviewed on their ability to demonstrate exceptional success in three key competencies aligned with the Framework for Great Schools: impacting student learning, demonstrating strong instructional practice, and contributing to their school community. 

Last year, a board of judges – composed of DOE officials as well as representatives from the United Federation of Teachers and Fund for Public Schools – selected award recipients, with Lincoln Center representatives supporting the selection of the arts recipient and New York Road Runners supporting the selection of the Physical Education teacher. This year, the current recipients are serving as Big Apple Fellows, and meet monthly with one another, becoming leaders and ambassadors for their profession. These recipients are also serving on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group, which meets bi-monthly to further impact policy across the DOE.

Since the award’s inception in 2013, The Big Apple Awards has recognized 88 outstanding New York City educators. Award recipients come from schools and neighborhoods across the City, and represent a variety of subject areas, experience and backgrounds. In May 2019, Chancellor Carranza and several Deputy Chancellors will surprise recipients with the award in their classrooms. These classroom award presentations engage students and school staff in celebrating the outstanding work of these educators. You can learn more about past award recipients here

For more information, visit the Big Apple Awards website, speak to your school’s parent coordinator, email, or call HR Connect at (718) 935-4000.