Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards Now Accepting 2015 Nominations | Playbill

News Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards Now Accepting 2015 Nominations Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, recognizing the work of inspiring teachers, living or deceased, from across the U.S. for the fifth year.

First presented in 2011, the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards are presented annually on Sondheim's birthday, March 22, to a select group of teachers, kindergarten through college, whose work impacts students in a meaningful way.

To date, 32 teachers have been presented with Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards.

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 and were initiated and funded through Myrna and Freddie Gershon. The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher homepage features leaders and celebrities – including J. J. Abrams, Bill Bradley amongst others – describing their favorite teachers and the impact those teachers have made on them and their larger communities.

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 all fields of study are eligible. 

Nominators for posthumous recognition of a teacher must designate a non-profit organization or fund within a K-12 school, school system, college or university in the United States to receive the $10,000 award in the deceased teacher's name. "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."

The nomination deadline is Dec. 14.

For more information and to nominate a teacher for the award, people should visit

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