Frequently Asked Questions about the Dwyer Awards

Nomination Process

Application Process

Judging Process

Purchasing Tickets to the Event

Night of the Event

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Nomination Process

When are nominations open?

Nominations are currently open. All nominations must be submitted online by the designated Dwyer Awards Liaison by 5pm on Friday, December 16, 2016.

Who is eligible to be nominated? 

All full-time, certified teachers who are responsible for impacting student achievement by instructing children in either a traditional or non-traditional classroom setting are eligible to be nominated. Educators must be certified through the State of Florida. Candidates must have completed three (3) full years of teaching in Palm Beach County schools, exclusive of the current school year. The three years do not have to be three consecutive years.

Only one nominee per eligible category will be considered. Multiple nominees in the same category will be disqualified. If a teacher is nominated in more than one category, that teacher will be disqualified.

Who selects the nominees? 

Teachers, not administration, make nominations. Schools circulate ballots with the names of eligible teachers in each category and then the teaching staff votes.

Can a teacher who was nominated before, be nominated again? 

Yes.  The only teachers who were awarded a Dwyer Award in the past are ineligible for nomination again. View the entire list of Dwyer Awards Alumni.  

Can someone who was a recipient of a Dwyer Award in a provious year be nomiated in future years? 

No. Once you become a recipient of the award, you are not eligible to participate in future years. Even if you go from being a Middle School teacher to a High School teacher, once you receive the award, you cannot be nominated to participate in future years.

How many years of teaching is required to be eligible to be nominated? 

Each Dwyer Awards Liaison should prepare a list of teachers who have completed (3) three years of teaching in Palm Beach County. They does not have to be three consecutive years. These teachers must have been full-time educators since August 2013. (Please note, the original information distributed incorrectly indicated August 2012).

What are the categories for the 2017 Dwyer Awards? 

There are six categories for the 2017 Dwyer Awards. They are: STEM Education, Career Education, Special/Support Programs, Elementary School, Middle School, and Senior High School.  Read more about the Dwyer Awards Categories

Who can submit nominations online?  

We encourage each school to designate a Dwyer Awards Liaison and only the Dwyer Awards Liaison can submit nominations. Although not mandatory, we suggest this individual be a past Dwyer recipient or someone familiar with the program.  Assigning a school liaison will help keep your school on target to meet certain deadlines.  Please follow the guidelines for submitting your nominations.   Nominations are to be submitted through the 2017 Dwyer Awards Nomination Form.

What is the next step after nominations are submitted?  

After nominations have closed, the Education Foundaton will follow-up with each nominee and send them a link to begin the online applicaton process.  The online application must be submitted by Friday, January 20, 2017 12:00am (midnight).

Application Process

I have been nominated, when will I receive notification to complete the application?

We will notify each nominee (as well as the Dwyer Liaison) via email of the application process by Friday, December 23, 2016. 

What do I do after I register for an account?

You will receive a confirmation email to confirm the registration. Please click on the link in the email to confirm the registration and activate your account.  It is possible that the email could end up in your spam folder, so please check there just in case. If you do find an email in your spam folder, do not forget to mark it as safe to ensure that you receive future messages from the site.

Who can I reach out to if I am having a question? What about technical challenges?

For general questions, feel free to email If you are experiencing technical issues with the site, please email

Can I upload a collage of photos, notes from students, articles, etc.?

Yes. Depending on where it appropriately fits, you can make a collage and upload it in the Upload Photo/Photo Collage Section, the Upload Award Certificates Section or the Upload Articles Section. There is a 2 page max per collage.

Acceptable file types include Bitmap Image File (.bmp), Graphical Interchange Format File (.gif), JPEG Image (.jpg), Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet (.xls), Microsoft Excel Open XML Spreadsheet (.xlsx), Microsoft Word Document (.doc), Microsoft Word Open XML Document (.docx), OpenDocument Text Document (.odt), Plain Text File (.txt), Portable Document Format File (.pdf), Portable Network Graphic (.png), PowerPoint Open XML Presentation (.pptx), PowerPoint Presentation (.ppt), Rich Text Format File (.rtf)

How do I obtain a Principal Letter of Recommendation and an additional Letter of Recommendation (optional) and to whom is the letter of recommendation to be addressed?

The system will prompt you where the information can be uploaded by those who will submit a letter of recommendation. They will be able to log in and post on your behalf.  There is no designated way to address the letters of recommendation . Some examples you may find helpful are 'To Whom It May Concern' or to the 'Dwyer Awards Judging Committee'. 

Can I upload a Letter of Recommendation if my sources are having technical issues or have not received the link to upload on my behalf?

Yes. The last two sections within the application offer the ability for you to upload the Letter of Recommendations from your Principal and an Additional Letter of Recommendation (Optional). 

How many Letter of Recommendations are required for this application process? 

A Letter of Recommendation from your Principal is required. You are also able to submit another Letter of Recommendation, but this is optional. Therefore, a total of up to two letters may be submitted. 

Can I edit or change a file that  I uploaded?

Yes. You can edit or delete a file that has been uploaded before you 'submit full application'.  

Why am I not able to see the letter of recommendations uploaded by my Principal or other resource?

The letters of recommendation that are uploaded on your behalf by your Principal and other resource are for judges' view only. They will appear blurry on your screen. Once all the categories state 'complete', you can successfully submit your application.

What is the deadline for applications to be submitted?

The deadline to submit your full application is Friday, January 20, 2017 11:59pm. Please ensure all your documents and recommendations are complete before you 'submit full application'. We do not want you to miss sharing any important information with the judges.

Judging and Notification Process

How are the applications judged and who judges the nomination applications?

A panel of judges use a set criteria and mathematical formula to review and score applications. Judges come from the Economic Council membership, Education Foundation Board and other community groups.

Can judges attend the event?

Thank you for serving as a Judge for the Dwyer Awards. All judges received information with one complimentary ticket.

When will I receive notification if I am I finalist?

All finalists will be announced the week of March 13th. You can find a list of finalists and nominees at

Can one school have a Dwyer Award recipient two years in a row? 

Yes. Every year is a new cycle.

Can one school have multiple award recipients in any given year?  

Yes. We have six categories and a school can nominate in any of those categories for which their teachers are eligible.  Teachers are judged on their individual merit, not by the school where they teach.

Purchasing Tickets to the Event

I am a current finalist, do I need to purchase a ticket?

Congratulations on being recognized as a Dwyer Awards Finalist. All current finalists received an email notification of 2 complimentary tickets to the event. You must RSVP with your name and your guest name to no later than April 20. 

I am the principal or friend of a finalist, do I need to purchase a ticket?

Thank you for your interest in attending the Dwyer Awards in support of our outstanding teachers. Yes, please purchase your ticket online today. 

I am a current year nominee, do I need to purchase a ticket?

Congratulations on being recognized as a Dwyer Awards Nominee. All current year nominees received an email notification of 1 complimentary ticket to the event. You must RSVP with your name to no later than April 20.

I am a past recipient, do I need to purchase a ticket?

Congratulations on being past Dwyer Awards Recipient. If you did not receive a hard copy invitation in the mail or an invitation by email please contact us with your updated information and RSVP to

Will I receive a paper ticket in the mail?

No paper tickets are issued for the Dwyer Awards. We will have all guest names at the registration table the night of the event. Please ensure you have properly submitted your RSVP or purchased a ticket. 


Night of the Event

What is the schedule of events for the evening?

Doors open at 5:30 pm for registration, and a reception with a cash bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. The program begins promptly at 7:00 pm and should conclude by 9:30 pm.

How do I ensure I sit with a specific Finalist?

When you purchase your ticket please indicate the finalist you are attending in support of or email and let us know.