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2017 Pinnacle Awards
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Pinnacle Awards

Do you know an educator or district that stands out as a special education visionary? TCASE is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Pinnacle Awards for excellence, innovation, and achievement in special education leadership in Texas. Submit your online nomination by May 26, 2017.

Winners will be recognized at the TCASE Interactive Convention in July, and through a variety of acknowledgements throughout the year. The awards program will honor seven individual or district recipients in the following categories:

Distinguished Director

Honoring Leadership in Special Education

The Distinguished Director Award is a reflection of outstanding leadership and achievement in special education program management. Distinguished Directors serve TCASE, contribute to other voluntary membership organizations and participate in civic and community affairs. They exemplify the best in special education management by continually bringing credit to the special education community. (Prior recipients are not eligible.) Eligibility • Assistant Superintendent or Director of Special Education with primary responsibility of oversight of special education for a public school district in Texas • Active member of TCASE for at least five years.

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Professional Excellence

Honoring Special Education Support Staff

The Professional Excellence Award recognizes individuals who are not the director of special education, and have made exceptional contributions to their district and demonstrate abilities for continued high levels of achievement in the field of special education. (Prior recipients are not eligible.) Eligibility • Must have been an active member of TCASE for at least three (3) years. • Must not be a director or assistant superintendent. • Must primarily serve students with disabilities.

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District or Campus Administrator of the Year

Honoring General Education Leaders

This District or Campus Administrator of the Year award is presented to a district or campus administrator who supports the special education program, the students served in the program and the professionals who provide special education and related services. This administrator actively promotes a climate of inclusion in both academic and extracurricular activities on the campus or throughout the district. Eligibility • Open to all public school administrators with the exclusion of special education administrators • Primary responsibility of the applicant must be acting as a principal, assistant principal, superintendent or district administrator • Nominees must be nominated by members of TCASE. (Non-members may submit membership and dues at the time of entry.)

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District Achievement Award

Honoring an Exception School District

For the District Achievement Award 2017 districts submit data on how its innovative programming/strategies have moved student achievement/results forward. For example, a district could submit its data showing a consistent reduction over time of reducing the number of discipline placements, and then explain their action steps to get the results. Eligibility • Open to all Texas schools whose director/top special education administrator is a member of TCASE • Nominees must be nominated by members of TCASE. (Non-members may submit membership and dues at the time of entry.)

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Teacher of the Year Award

Honoring Exceptional Classroom Teachers

The Teacher of the Year Award 2017 is to honor a general or special education teacher who is using research-based practices and exhibits a commitment to students with disabilities. Eligibility • Open to all Texas schools whose director/top special education administrator is a member of TCASE • Nominees must be nominated by members of TCASE. (Non-members may submit membership and dues at the time of entry.)

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District / Parent Partner Award

Honoring Districts with Great Parent Partnerships

The District / Parent Partner Award 2017 is to honor a school district that has implemented innovative strategies to increase parent partnership within the community. Eligibility • Open to all Texas schools whose director/top special education administrator is a member of TCASE • Nominees must be nominated by members of TCASE. (Non-members may submit membership and dues at the time of entry.) • Nominations should be accompanied by letters of recommendation from parents within the community.

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Volunteer of the Year

Honoring Service to TCASE and Its Members

The Volunteer of the Year Award is a reflection of outstanding leadership to TCASE. Recipients of this award should have served as a TCASE Board Member, House of Delegates Member, or as a Committee Chair, and would likely have served in numerous positions. Volunteers of the Year have served this organization with passion and commitment, and have been visionaries for special education in Texas. This award is a reflection of their commitment to the members of TCASE. This award has strict criteria, and should not be awarded if the nominations do not meet the criteria. (Prior recipients are not eligible.) Eligibility • Assistant Superintendent or Director of Special Education with primary responsibility of oversight of special education for a public school district in Texas • Current or Past Active member of TCASE for at least five years.

NOMINATE

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can an SSA be nominated for a district award?
No, only individual districts can be nominated. Multiple districts within an SSA can be nominated separately, however.

Can an individual or district self-nominate?
Yes, you can self-nominate or you can be nominated by others.

Can I nominate someone in another region?
Yes, any TCASE administrator or associate member can nominate a member or district either in or outside of their region.

Can I submit a nomination by mail?
No, all nominations should be submitted electronically. Any endorsement letters or data to be attached to the nomination should be submitted separately by e-mail to info@tcase.org, with "awards nomination” in the subject line and the name of the individual or district being nominated in the body of the e-mail. This is to ensure the nomination packets are complete.

Can a region decide on a nominee for each category before nominations are submitted?

Yes, however other nominations will still be accepted by TCASE and the region will still receive all nominations to review and affirm which from each award category are that region’s submissions.

Can non-members submit nominations?

No, nominations will only be accepted by administrator or associate members. The person completing the form must provide a name and contact information, and that will be checked against membership records.

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