Mission Statement

To encourage innovation and excellence in Arlington Independent School District classroom instruction.

The AWARE Story 

Founded in 1989 by private citizens, the AWARE Foundation recognizes and rewards exceptional classroom teachers in Arlington ISD for their innovation and lasting  influence in the development of their students.  The name AWARE stands for “Arlington Will Award and Recognize (Educational) Excellence.”

AWARE is a volunteer organization and  coordinates a formal, structured process whereby students, parents, fellow educators, and community members are able to nominate teachers for the Award of Excellence.

Teachers from pre-kindergarten through high school are nominated in five grade-level categories.  An AWARE Award for Excellence winner and runner-up are selected from each category by an AWARE committee and honored at an Awards Banquet each spring. Each winner of the Award of Excellence receives an unrestricted cash award.

As of 2014, AWARE has honored more than 330 AISD teachers with cash awards exceeding $377,500.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for the AWARE Foundation Awards of Excellence are as follows: 
  1. Nominees must have completed a minimum of three years teaching experience in AISD.
  2. Teachers who create, develop, utilize, adapt, and/or implement exceptional and/or creative approaches that enhance learning in AISD classroms on a regular basis.
  3. Teachers who foster a love of learning in their students. 
  4. Teachers who model excellence and motivate students to do their best within the classroom. 
  5. Teachers whose positive influence on students extends beyond their classroom experience.

Selection Process

AWARE winners are selected through an extensive process of classroom observations and interviews conducted by the AWARE Selection Committee.  Committee members consist of a cross section of business, community and educational leaders. AWARE screens all committee members to protect against conflicts of interest in the selection process.

The AWARE Selection Committee will review all the nomination packets that have the required information. Classroom observations will be made followed by a narrowing down phase. Interviews will be conducted at the end of the process after finalists have been determined. Although a teacher may win only once, there is no limit to the number of times a teacher may be nominated prior to winning.

The winners are recommended by the Selection Committee to the AWARE Foundation Board of Directors, which reserves the right of final approval of any nomination or selection.

THE NOMINATION PACKET BECOMES THE PROPERTY OF THE AWARE FOUNDATION. A copy of the packet may be made available to the nominee after the banquet.