The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the four teachers who have been selected as recipients of the 2018 Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards.
The 2018 recipients are: Catherine Albers of Oregon, Wisconsin; Askia Egashira of Brooklyn, New York; Dennis McDavid of Oak Park, Michigan; and Caryn Obert of Staten Island, New York.
Now in their eighth year, the awards recognize inspiring teachers in any field of education across the U.S.
Each year, nominations are solicited from the general public, who are invited to submit their personal stories about educators—from kindergarten through college—who made a significant impact on their lives.
The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards are presented each year on Sondheim’s birthday, March 22. Recipients each receive a $10,000 prize. Their stories, as told by the nominating students, are featured on a website dedicated to inspirational teachers.
Myrna and Freddie Gershon, who fund the annual awards, established the honor in celebration of Sondheim’s 80th birthday. Since its creation in 2010, a total of 75 teachers have been recognized for their influence on students in a wide variety of disciplines—not just the arts. To date, $750,000 has been bestowed since the awards’ inception.