Awards and Scholarships
Awards for Excellence
The following list of award programs are administered by the New York State Education Department.
We seek your assistance in promoting these programs on an ongoing basis to assure awareness on the part of eligible candidates. We will be adding additional programs as they become available, so please visit often.
Open awards include the New York State Teacher of the Year, Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching, National Youth Science Camp, and Appalachia Regional Commission.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Program was established in 1983 by The White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Each year the President of the United States recognizes outstanding teachers in mathematics and science (including computer science) from across the Nation at the Kindergarten through 6th grade level or 7th through 12th grade level and bestows upon them the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
The 2018-2019 PAEMST program is now accepting nominations for eligible exemplary mathematics and science (including computer science) 7-12 grade teachers for this award. New York State is looking for nominations of outstanding mathematics and science teachers that spark students’ imaginations in STEM education through innovative teaching and learning.
The PAEMST is the highest honor in the Nation that teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science) may receive for outstanding teaching and leadership in their respective fields. These teachers serve as models for colleagues and are leaders in the improvement of science and mathematics education.
Annually, New York State can recognize up to three Mathematics finalists and three Science finalists. The New York State PAEMST finalists’ applications are forwarded to a PAEMST Review and Selection Committee at the National level. Of the State finalists in Mathematics and Science, up to two finalists in mathematics or science from each state will be recognized at the National level.
The nomination period is open from November 1, 2018 - April 1, 2019. The deadline to submit an application is May 1, 2019. For more information pertaining to the PAEMST (2018-2019) nomination and application process visit the PAEMST website or e-mail:
- New York State Math Coordinator Sue Brockley
- New York State Science Coordinator Amanda Zullo
Nominate an outstanding mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher today!
Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards
The Board of Regents invites nominations for the Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards. These awards provide recognition of a teacher and a citizen who have made outstanding contributions to New York State education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights. The awards were established by the Regents and funded by the late Regent Emeritus Louis E. Yavner. State Education Department staff are not eligible for these awards.
Southern Cayuga Central School District teacher William Zimpfer, NYSED's 2018 Louis E. Yavner Teacher Award recipient
The Louis E. Yavner Teaching Award recognizes an elementary or secondary, public and nonpublic school teacher in New York State who has made an outstanding contribution to education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights.
Teaching Award Criteria: The nominee’s work related to the Holocaust and other violations of human rights will be judged according to the following criteria:
- Activities in public and/or nonpublic schools, including courses taught, extracurricular activities for students, school-wide programming, etc. within the last 5 years.
- Activities outside of school, such as workshops, presentations, exhibits, etc. which have benefited professional associations, higher education institutions, cultural institutions, civic groups, and/or service organizations within the last 5 years.
- Total number of students, teachers, and others reached through both in school and out of school activities.Impact of work on students, the local community, professionals and others.
Teaching Award documentation must be provided that supports the criteria listed above. Documentation should include:
- Application form submitted by nominator
- A letter of recommendation from the nominator, summarizing the nominee’s contributions
- At least 2 other letters of recommendation
- A short biography or resume, including a chronological listing of activities (e.g., classes, workshops, presentations, exhibits), awards and/or honors received, and publications
- Description of in-school activity including number of teacher/students reached
- Description of activity outside of school including the number of people reached
- Example of materials developed and/or published
- Media reports of activities, if any
- Letters received from students, parents or colleagues regarding activities
The Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award was established to honor Holocaust survivors, scholars of the Holocaust and human rights issues, and self-taught experts who help to educate students about these difficult topics.
The general criteria for the Citizen Award are:
- Contributions on a local, regional and/or statewide basis,to education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights
- Total number of students, teachers, and others reached through the candidate’s work
- Impact of candidate’s contributions on others.
Documentation for Citizen Award Documentation must be provided that supports the criteria listed above. Documentation should include:
- Application form submitted by nominator.
- A letter of recommendation from the nominator, summarizing the nominee’s contributions
- At least two other letters of recommendations
- Documentation including a short biography of resume that includes a chronological listing or activities, awards and/or honors received. The activities should be described and include the number of people impacted by the activity. Letters received from others regarding the impact of the candidate should be included, as well as any media reports of activities. If the candidate has developed materials or published, reference to this work should be included in the documentation.
The deadline for submission of nominations is December 15 of each year. Award winners will be notified the following spring. Their names will remain confidential until the award ceremony at a Board of Regents meeting.
All documentation may be submitted electronically to EMSCURRIC@nysed.gov. Please Use YAVNER AWARD as the subject. Printed documentation may be mailed to Office of Curriculum & Instruction, Louis E. Yavner Award, New York State Education Department, Room 860 EBA, Albany, NY 12234.
Any questions please contact the Office of Curriculum & Instruction via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 518-474-5922
United States Senate Youth Award-Scholarship
William Randolph Hearst Foundation United States Senate Youth Program
Each year, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, in cooperation with the United States Senate and the education departments of all the states, sponsors the United States Senate Youth Program. Two student leaders from each state and the District of Columbia are selected to participate in a week-long government leadership program in Washington, DC (all expenses paid). The students engage in a series of seminars and briefings with Senators and members of the House of Representatives, and meet with officials of the executive and judicial branches of government. Each student delegate will also receive a one-time $10,000 college scholarship, provided that two full courses in United States, government, history, and/or political science are taken by the student at an accredited institution during the student’s future college or university career.
The Washington, DC segment of the 2019-20 program will take place from March 7 - 14, 2020.
The principal of a New York State high school may select only one candidate for this statewide competition. Any high school junior or senior is eligible. Districts with more than one high school can nominate a candidate from each high school. The nominee must be serving, in the current school year at the time of application, in an elected capacity in any one of the following student government offices:
- Student body president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer
- Class president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer
- Student council representative
A student who is a representative to a district, regional or state-level civic or education organization may also be nominated. Please see the national program brochure for more details: https://ussenateyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2020-Official-USSYP-Brochure.pdf
Application Submission Requirements:
- A completed application form signed by the building principal (Fillable Application Form).
- Student transcript or standardized test data
- A student essay on a significant currently debated issue or problem before the United States Congress
- The student must: 1) identify and describe the controversy surrounding the issue or problem, 2) state major points of view on the matter expressed by members of Congress and others, and 3) take a position on the issue or problem. The position should be supported by specific evidence and reasoning.
- References must be cited.
- Students applying for a second time may not use a previously submitted essay.
Essay Formatting Requirements:
- Must not exceed 4 pages, double spaced in Arial 12 font, between 1000 and 1200 words
- the word count must appear at the bottom of the page
- Essay Topic, Student Name and page number must appear on each page
- A student statement of leadership activities, on a separate sheet of paper, that describes activities and interests that demonstrate the student’s leadership qualities and activities at school and/or in the community. Activities that demonstrate the student’s interest in the political process of governance should be emphasized.
NOTE: The essay must not exceed 1 page, double spaced in Arial 12 font; it may not exceed 300 words.
- Resume (Extra Curricular Activities)
- A letter of recommendation from the high school principal. The recommendation letter may also be from a teacher or guidance counselor familiar with the student but MUST BE SIGNED BY THE PRINCIPAL as well.
The student application form must be postmarked on or before
Friday, October 18, 2019.
- If any of the above is missing from the final application packet, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
- If a school district has more than one high school, each high school may submit a nomination to the United States Senate Youth Program.
- If a high school submits more than one nomination, neither nomination will be considered.
- Applications must have adequate postage.
- In the event that an applicant becomes a semifinalist, the student must be able to travel to Albany for a personal interview. Partial reimbursement for travel expenses may be available.
For additional questions please contact:
State Selection Administrator, NYS US Senate Youth Program
Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award
The award, which is sponsored by the Board of Regents, celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, a local NYS educator who passed away in 1988. Mrs. Moss touched the lives of many people, and her career was distinguished by a genuine respect for and love of children. She was ever caring toward students and their parents and acted as a worthy role model in all of her endeavors. Her family and friends petitioned the Board of Regents to establish a memorial fund and provided an endowment to award an annual cash stipend of $1,000 to an elementary teacher. This award competition recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term educational success. The spirit of the award, which celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, is that better beginnings make for stronger completions. It strives to recognize elementary teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships among pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators. For more information on this, please visit Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award.
New York State Teacher of the Year
The purpose of the New York State Teacher of the Year award is to recognize and celebrate outstanding teachers throughout New York State. It is run in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year program. Any exceptionally skilled and dedicated teacher, appropriately credentialed within his or her current teaching area, who works directly with children in a State-approved public or private school in any grade from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve who has a minimum of five years teaching experience is eligible. For more information on this, please visit Teacher of the Year Program.
National Youth Science Camp
The National Youth Science Camp is a residential science education program for young STEM enthusiasts the summer after they graduate from high school. Two graduating high school students will be selected to represent New York at the all-expenses paid honors program which will be held from June 27 through July 21,2018.
The online application to attend the 2018 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is now available at http://apply.nysc.org/.
For questions about the application process, please contact Ms. Amanda Zullo at 518-474-5922 or by e-mail at Amanda.Zullo@nysed.gov. All applications and all supporting documents/forms must be submitted online no later than 6:00 PM EST February 28, 2018.
New York State Archives - Student Research Awards
The New York State Archives sponsors an annual Student Research Awards program to promote and recognize excellence in student research. The main purpose of the awards program is to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State. A secondary purpose is to increase cooperation among schools and organizations that administer historical records useful for education. The Student Research Awards program is a statewide competition open to all New York State students in grades 4-12. A total of three awards are given, one each for students in grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each award consists of a certificate and a cash prize. Certificates of Merit are awarded to students, other than the winners whose, works show a heavy reliance on historical records to support research. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 1. Recipients are selected by September 15, and winners are announced during Archives Week in October. A copy of the award guidelines, an entry form, and a PDF of this year’s poster is available at New York State Archives.
New York State Science Olympiad
The State Education Department, in cooperation with the National Science Olympiad and the New York State Science Olympiad, invites your students to participate in a Statewide Science Olympiad competition. Teams of students from public and nonpublic middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools are eligible for participation in this event. This New York State Science Olympiad will consist of academic, interscholastic competitions between teams. Registered teams would prepare during the year for scheduled regional, state and possible national competitions. Some events will follow the formats of popular board games, Olympic Games, and TV shows. These challenging and motivational events are well balanced among the various science disciplines of biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, and technology. There is also a balance between events requiring knowledge of science content, concepts, processes, skills and applications. Competitive teams will be made up of students from grades 6-9 and from grades 9-12.
The tournaments are overseen by the National Science Olympiad, a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education to students and teachers. The National Science Olympiad accomplishes their goals through classroom activities, research, training workshops and these intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.
The Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3), The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Science Educators Leadership Association (NSELA) endorse this competition. It should not be confused with other competitions, which bear similar titles.
More information is available at New York State Science Olympiad. All questions regarding the Science Olympiad registration should be directed to: Jamie Cucinotta. General questions on participation should be directed to Amanda Zullo, Associate in Science Education, New York State Education Department.