Equity Champions Awards

Each year, NAPE and the NAPE Education Foundation accept nominations for Equity Leaders in several categories and honors the awardees during a special ceremony at the National Summit for Educational Equity.

NAPE and the NAPE Education Foundation have a shared vision that every student is able to fulfill their potential through equal access to and equity in educational options that lead to the entire spectrum of career choices. Our mission is to build the capacity of those in education to implement effective solutions to increase student access, educational equity, and ultimately workforce diversity. The annual NAPE Equity Champions Awards are given to individuals in education and work who embody a commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Equity is a principle that ensures that every student has what they need to succeed in education. This is in contrast to equality as a principle, where everyone gets the same thing. A commitment to equity is a commitment to addressing individual, institutional and systems level barriers to access and success for students from different social groups and contexts.

Inclusion is the commitment in education and work that every individual has unique assets, skills, and perspectives that should be valued. Inclusion recognizes the need for differentiation in order to maximize the learning of individuals in education and work. It also recognizes that environments ought not expect individuals to conform only to certain ways of being, and sees the value of fostering environments in which individuals can be their whole and best selves.

Diversity is a principle that values the richness of our community to solve the education and work challenges of today and tomorrow. A commitment to diversity is a recognition that having a wide array of perspectives, identities, cultural lenses, and lived experiences brings great value to any given situation.

See below for each of the Award categories for this year. All recipients will be recognized at the Annual National Summit for Educational Equity at the upcoming Summit.

Innovation through Challenge

Awarded by NAPE and NAPE Education Foundation

Purpose:  To recognize creative, innovative, and/or collaborative leadership in developing systems, structures, programs, and supports to ensure equitable access to high-quality education through a period of challenge (e.g., in the context of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 and/or the 2020-2021 academic year).

Eligibility: Any organization at the local, state or federal level who works in education, business, commercial enterprise or nonprofit. They do not need to be affiliated with a NAPE member organization.

Number Given:  1*

Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate provides leadership and exceptional results in ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion in career and technical education (CTE) or STEM. Their innovations provide inspiration to others in overcoming challenges to equitable education through challenge.

Selection Criteria: Candidates will be considered based on their embodiment of the NAPE values within their profession and/or community:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership:

  • Demonstrates commitment to providing access to members of underrepresented and underserved groups;
  • Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organization, business, or industry.


Innovation:

  • Is a trailblazer who has demonstrated an ability to create and implement a vision for their area of influence or community;
  • Mentors colleagues and/or staff, and contributes to industry, government, or the larger community; and

Outcome Driven:

  • Utilizes data, where appropriate, to inform, validate and promote efforts; and
  • Encourages effective group problem solving, critical thinking, planning, and decision making.

The award committee reserves the right to award more than one award.

Innovation through Challenge award winners
LeAnn Wilson,  Gustavo Perez, and Sundaram Thirukkurungudi 

National Winner - LeAnn Wilson
Regional Winner - Gustavo Perez
Local Winner - Sundaram Thirukkurungudi

NAPE Diversity in Technology Leadership Award

Awarded by NAPE and NAPE Education Foundation

Purpose: To recognize a leader in an organization who is a role model to the national community of excellence in technology and/or STEM. This person demonstrates:

  • the commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education and in their community;
  • the ability to strengthen and broaden business solutions, and the vision to expand knowledge about diversity, equity, and inclusion in their community;
  • the ability to build and sustain innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • the motivation to build meaningful partnerships with community groups and organizations who have a significant impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities.

Eligibility: Any person who works in a business, commercial organization, or nonprofit organization focused on technology and/or STEM. They do not need to be affiliated with a NAPE member organization.

Number Given:  1*

Ideal Candidate:  Any person who provides leadership and exceptional results in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion, and in business and/or community-related work focused on technology and/or STEM.

Selection Criteria: Candidates will be considered based on their embodiment of the NAPE values within their profession and/or community:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership:

  • Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organization, business, or industry.
  • Collaborates, mentors, and advocates to inspire and develop future leaders from underrepresented groups

Innovation:

  • Is innovative, creative, and agile in moving their business or community forward to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in technology and/or STEM.

Outcome Driven:

  • Uses research- and evidence-based mechanisms to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Demonstrates measurable outcomes showing increased participation of underrepresented groups in technology and/or STEM.

The award committee reserves the right to award more than one award.

Past Years’ Awardees: 

NAPE Unsung Hero Award

Awarded by NAPE and NAPE Education Foundation

Purpose: To honor a person who has managed major projects or programs, works in the trenches daily, and has made a major impact by ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in education leading to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand careers and programs of study.

Number Given:  1*

Eligibility: Any person who works in government, education/academia, business, or a nonprofit who has received little to no recognition for the work done. They must be from a NAPE member organization that has served as a collaborative partner.

Ideal Candidate:  Any person who has advanced the career and technical education (CTE), STEM or workforce achievement of others through their job or community activities thereby transforming their workplace, community, business, industry, or field beyond typical performance expectations. The ideal candidate for this category should have been thoroughly involved in initiative(s) on a daily basis.

Selection Criteria: Candidates will be considered based on their embodiment of the NAPE values within their profession and/or community:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • An equity advocate who promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organization, business, or industry;
  • Mentors others from underrepresented groups within their organization; and
  • Develops future leaders in their profession and/or community.

Innovation:

  • Is a trailblazer who has demonstrated an ability to create and implement a vision for their area of influence or community;
  • Has a record of successfully motivating employees, colleagues, and/or community members;
  • Mentors colleagues and/or staff, and contributes to industry, government, or the larger community; and
  • Demonstrates “innovative efforts”.

Outcome Driven:

  • Demonstrates success of academic or workforce achievement that has been largely unnoticed but has had a powerful impact in the daily lives of people; and
  • Utilizes data, where appropriate, to validate and promote efforts.

The award committee reserves the right to award more than one award.

NAPE Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded by NAPE and NAPE Education Foundation

Purpose: To honor an individual who has shown exemplary dedication to the NAPE organization and its mission.

Number Given:  1*

Eligibility: A person who is now or has previously worked with NAPE and/or NAPE Education Foundation community.

Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate is a person who has been an active, committed member of NAPE for a sustained period of time and has been instrumental in the development or growth of the organization from a national or state perspective.

Selection Criteria: Candidates will be considered based on their embodiment of the NAPE values within their profession and/or community:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Demonstrated commitment to providing opportunities to members of underrepresented groups;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through leadership efforts at the local, state or national levels;
  • Demonstrated commitment to furthering the vision and mission of NAPE and the NAPE Education Foundation, through their own work, and/or through a collaborative effort.

Innovation:

  • Has contributed to NAPE’s ability to grow and sustain itself as an organization while maintaining values of diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Exhibits innovative methods of motivating and mentoring members; and
  • The individual’s leadership has impacted an issue or cause in the community or furthered the work of NAPE.

Outcome Driven:

  • Uses or generates data to help drive NAPE’s mission and values; and
  • Has ownership and accountability for the projects/roles taken on behalf of NAPE/NAPE Education Foundation’s mission and has demonstrated results.

The award committee reserves the right to award more than one award.

Past Years’ Awardees: 

NAPE Teamwork Award

Awarded by NAPE and NAPE Education Foundation

Purpose:  Education team that was successful in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in career and technical education (CTE) or STEM.

Number Given:  1*

Eligibility: Any team of educators and/or their partners that serve CTE or STEM students.   The team does not need to be affiliated with NAPE as a member organization.

Ideal Candidates: The ideal team has distinguished itself from peers by promoting access, equity, and diversity in CTE or STEM education and has demonstrated, through actions, that they embrace the NAPE belief that access to diverse human brain power will help to solve global challenges.

Selection Criteria: Candidates must provide clear metrics that demonstrate success in their program or student outcome and will be determined based on their embodiment of the NAPE values:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Develops and strengthens relationships within the profession and/or community by joining efforts to further common goals focused on broadening diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Works effectively as part of a team to successfully accomplish a task or goal in support of its vision and mission of broadening access and success for students/individuals from underrepresented groups; and
  • Builds effective collaborative relationships across the organization to define and solve problems or reach agreements on a course of action while considering multiple perspectives.

Innovation and Agility:

  • Demonstrates ability to create and implement a vision for the team;
  • Works toward implementing a solution in an innovative way; and
  • Displays initiative and persistence in working to overcome barriers by adapting activities or approaches, even in challenging situations.

Outcome Driven:

  • Utilizes data, where appropriate, to inform, validate and promote efforts; and
  • Encourages effective group problem solving, critical thinking, planning, and decision making.

The award committee reserves the right to award more than one award.

2021 Teamwork award winners
Delaware PIPEline to Career Success for Students with Disabilities Leadership Team and Stony Point Learning Community

Copy-of-DE-PIPEline-Leadership-Team-Feb-2021-2
Delaware Leadership Team
Copy-of-Round-Rock-photo
Stony Point Learning Community, Round Rock ISD

Past Winners: 

NAPE and the NAPE Education Foundation honor the award winners each year at the National Summit for Educational Equity.

If you have any feedback on the awards website or process, please contact Kathleen Fitzpatrick.