Excellence in Teaching Award Criteria

Catholic School Children

The award seeks to recognize teachers who exemplify what it means to be a Catholic educator.  Although the criteria are flexible, the committee has placed an emphasis on teachers who consistently display one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Modeling and promoting the Catholic faith and values through their teaching
  • Making learning relevant in the lives of their students
  • Creating an environment where all students can achieve success
  • Contributing to the school community outside of their classroom
  • Supporting students and learning during the COVID-19 closure

To submit a nomination:

Online:  Excellence in Teaching, online nomination form

Mail:  Catholic Diocese of Saginaw
             Office of Catholic Schools
             5800 Weiss St.  
             Saginaw, MI, 486030

The deadline for nominations is 11:59 PM, May 20, 2020.

Members of the community are encouraged to nominate the Catholic school teachers in their school that exemplify the traits of an excellent Catholic educator.
Nominations can be submitted online or mailed to the Office of Catholic Schools at 5800 Weiss St. Saginaw, MI, 48603.  A committee will select up to four (4) finalist from the initial pool of nominees.  The committee will then select one (1) winner from the finalists.  The recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award will be recognized and receive a one-thousand-dollar check in appreciation for the difference he/she is making in Catholic education in the Diocese of Saginaw.  The remaining finalist will receive a five-hundred-dollar check.


  1. Full time teacher
  2. At least 66% of job responsibility must consist of contact time / classroom time with students 

Nomination Criteria: (The deadline for nominations is 11:59 PM, May 20, 2020.)       

  1. Faith Centered 
    Nominees represent and demonstrate Catholic values both professionally and personally.  The role of our Catholic Faith is clearly evident in their teaching / presence in the school community.
  2. Classroom Instruction, Student Engagement, and Professional Performance
    Nominees inspire and enable all students to learn.  They hold high expectations for all students.  They create a classroom environment that promotes respect and collaboration among all member of the learning community.  They do not rely solely on the textbook or traditional methods of teaching. They find creative ways to make the material accessible and relevant to their students.  They stay up-to-date with best practices and utilize various resources to help enhance student growth and engagement.  Nominees have positive relationships with colleagues. They regularly collaborate with other teachers and school staff.  Candidates take on positions of leadership within a school, such as leading professional development sessions, heading committees or serving as a department chair. 
  3. Positive Impact in the School Community
    Nominees have worked to make the community a better place for their students. They teach their students to have a positive impact on the community. Nominees may engage in various school activities outside of the classroom (coaching, advising,) that promote important school goals and provide students with a context in which to demonstrate spiritual, academic, character, and/or athletic growth.  They are involved in school and/or parish events and regularly interact with stakeholders in the community.
  4. For the 2019-20 academic year, the committee will also strongly consider efforts made by teachers during the extended school closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.   The committee welcomes nominations that highlight efforts to provide qualify instruction, maintaining meaningful student to student as well as student to teacher collaboration and engagement during the closure.  

Nomination Process:

  1. Nominations may be submitted by anyone in the school community (Teachers cannot nominate themselves).
  2. Nominations can be submitted by completing a fillable form posted online and submitting it the to the Office of Catholic Schools (or by sending a form via US mail). 

Selection Process:

  1. Committee of five (5) people shall select up to four (4) finalists and one (1) winner from the group of finalists.
  2. The committee shall consist of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools and four (4) other individuals appointed by the superintendent.  The superintendent shall make every effort to avoid conflicts of interests in the selection of committee members.  School staff, parents, and board members are not eligible to serve on the committee.
  3. A common rubric will be used to evaluate each application.  Building leaders may be consulted.
  4. Applications may be grouped in pools and evaluated by a subset of the committee as part of the initial review process to determine the finalists.
  5. The finalists will be reviewed by the entire committee.  The committee will select a single recipient of the excellence in teaching award.    

Recognition Process:

  1. The recipient will be acknowledged in person (building leader, superintendent).
  2. Finalist may be recognized in person or in writing.
  3. All teachers that are nominated will be informed of that recognition.