OHE

Office of Higher Education

Better Beginnings Award

Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award

The award, which is sponsored by the Board of Regents, honors the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, a young New York State educator who passed away in 1988. Mrs. Moss touched the lives of many people; her career was distinguished by a genuine respect and love for 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 that would go annually to other elementary teachers exhibiting these qualities and provide an endowment to award a cash stipend of $1,000 to an elementary teacher. This award recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term educational success.

The simple nomination process for the Better Beginnings Award involves the preparation of statements of support from students, parents, other educators, and the local community. Nominees should be current teachers who are skilled at engaging young minds and developing nurturing relationships with elementary school students.


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Honors the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, a young New York State educator who passed away in 1988. ________________________________________________________________________

GENERAL GUIDELINES
Purpose
The purpose of the award, which celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, is 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.

Eligibility
To be eligible, the nominee must be currently teaching at the elementary level (PreK-6) at a public or private school, and be appropriately credentialed in New York State.

Selection Criteria
Nominees will be assessed and must demonstrate the following criteria:

  • The individual's ability to find and nurture the strengths and individual talents of each student by documenting innovative techniques used and citing instances of accomplishment and achievement in the lives of students;
  • The individual's exceptional character by referencing a specific circumstance which provides students opportunities to experience success; and
  • The individual's ability to foster mutually respectful relationships among pupils, parents, other teachers, and administrators.

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The spirit of the award is that better beginnings make stronger completions. ________________________________________________________________________

Nominating Procedure
The application for the award is anecdotal in nature and has two parts:

First is the completion of the attached “Basic Data Sheet,” which must include the signatures of both the teacher being nominated and the president of the local board of education.

Second is the inclusion of at least one, and no more than two, statement(s) of nomination from each of the following categories:

  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Community members (persons active in the school community, such as volunteers, business persons, social services workers, etc.)

The Statements of Nomination from pupils may take the form of letters, drawings, or a combination of the two. Other statements should take the form of letters, and each statement should be limited to two pages. Materials that exceed these limits will not be considered.

Selection Process

Nominations are read by a selection committee of five persons representing different facets of the educational spectrum. The winner and two finalists are selected based upon the nominations and a personal interview. The winner is honored at a school-based ceremony, with Dr. Michael Moss, the fund's principal benefactor, and representatives from the State Education Department are also there to present the award.

*Apply now! Better Beginnings Application Packet

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This award recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term success. ________________________________________________________________________

Time Line
Applications will be accepted until the close of business on March 28, 2014 in the

New York State Education Department,

Office of Higher Education ,
89 Washington Avenue
Room 977 EBA,
Albany, New York 12234

 

Applications will be reviewed by a Screening Committee comprised of State Education Department staff members. The Screening Committee will narrow the field and will identify three finalists. The finalists will be interviewed in April. The recipient of the 2014 Better Beginnings Award will be announced at the Board of Regents Meeting in September. The winner will receive an award of $1,000. This individual will be honored at an award ceremony held at the discretion of the local school community. In addition, each of the two finalists in the award competition will receive an award of $250.

 

Questions related to this process may be directed to the Office of Higher Education, at (518) 408- 1754 or lcarnaha@mail.nysed.gov

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Recognizes teachers who are skilled at engaging young minds and developing nurturing relationships with elementary school students.
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Past Recipients

 

For further contact information, contact:

The NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

Office of Higher Education

89 Washington Ave. 977 EBA

Albany, NY 12234

Phone: (518) 408- 1754

Email: lcarnaha@mail.nysed.gov

Last Updated: June 24, 2014