Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards Presented March 22; Recipients Announced

By Michael Gioia
22 Mar 2013

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the 2013 winners of The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards — a series of annual grants that publicly recognize American teachers by spotlighting their impact on the lives of students. Awards are presented on Sondheim's birthday, March 22.



Seven teachers were selected in 2013 from a pool of hundreds of nominations received through the Kennedy Center's website.

Award recipients each receive $10,000, and are showcased, along with the people they inspired, on a website dedicated to inspirational teachers. The awards were created in honor of Sondheim's 80th birthday in 2010 and were initiated and funded through Myrna and Freddie Gershon.

"Teachers define us," said Sondheim in a statement. "In our early years, when we are still being formed, they often see in us more than we see in ourselves, more even than our families see and, as a result, help us to evolve into what we ultimately become. Good teachers are touchstones to paths of achieving more than we might have otherwise accomplished, in directions we might not have gone."

2013 Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award recipients follow:

Nancy Barile, English at Revere High School in Massachusetts. Nominated by Merzudin Ibric.
Denney Daetz, Social Studies at Saratoga High School in California. Nominated by Jonathan Matas.
Amy Dunaway-Haney, Spanish at Kettering-Fairmont High School in Ohio. Nominated by Kathleen Acosta.
Langston Fizgerald, Music at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Nominated by Andrew Wilson.
Cheryl Foster, Philosophy at University of Rhode Island in Rhode Island. Nominated by Rachel Walshe.
Mike Sinclair, Physics at Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center in Michigan. Nominated by Adrienne Erickcek.
William Ward, Biology at Strawberry Crest High School in Florida. Nominated by Sara Abdelrahim.

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The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards are presented each year on Sondheim's birthday, March 22, to a select group of teachers, kindergarten through college. Nominators must be at least 18 years of age and have been a student of the nominee. Teacher nominees must teach or have taught in a K-12 school, college or university in the United States. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible. A panel of judges reviewed a pool of nominations and selected the recipients based on the power and quality of the nomination from their former students.

For more information, visit Kennedy-Center.org/SondheimTeacherAwards.