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 Wednesday, November 22, 2017.  DEADLINE has been extended to Friday, December 1, 2017.

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.  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 nominated in future years? 

No. Once you become a recipient of the award, you are not eligible to participate in future years. Even if you teach at a different school on a different level (for example, switching as a Middle School teacher to a High School teacher). Once you receive the award, you become a member of the Dwyer Awards Alumni and 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 2014. 

What are the categories for the 2018 Dwyer Awards? 

There are six categories for the 2018 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 important deadlines.  Please follow the guidelines for submitting your nominations.   Nominations are to be submitted through the 2018 Dwyer Awards Nomination Form.

What is the next step after nominations are submitted?  

After nominations have closed, the Dwyer Awards team will follow-up with each nominee and send them a link to begin the online applicaton process the beginning of December.  The online application must be submitted by Sunday, January 7, 2018 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 the beginning of December. 

What do I do after I register for an account?

You will receive a confirmation email to confirm your 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

Is there a particular font and spacing to be used?

No.  There is no specific font or spacing requirement for your application.  Please note, in some cases, there is a two page maximum to upload.

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 two page maximum 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)

What size video file can be uploaded?

Video files no more than 1GB will be accepted to upload. 

File Types Supported:

  • AVI (preferred)
  • Quicktime (.mov)
  • MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp4)
  • Windows Media (.wmv)
  • Flash Video (.flv, .f4v)

If you get an error while uploading, please try uploading a different file format.

What size documents can be uploaded for articles and collages?  For my resume?

Letter size ( 8 1/2" x 11") documents are recommended for uploading your articles, collages, etc. Remember, there is a two page maximum on your uploads, except for your resume, which does not have a page restriction.

What is Additional Attachments for on the right side of the application page? 

That section is for any other items you wish to add to your application. The items on the left are for judges to have essential information across the board for all applicants.

You are welcome to add what you feel is pertinent to your success.  Please be cognizant to the amount of info you wish to provide so it is not overload.  Just a friendly reminder.   

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 Sunday, January 8, 2018 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 are made up of community business leaders who volunteer their time to find the six award recipients of excellence in education.

Can judges attend the event?

Judges are a very important part of the process to determine the Dwyer Awards recpients. All judges are invited to join the celebration with one complimentary ticket.

When will I receive notification if I am I finalist?

All finalists will be announced the week of March 14th. 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 of judging and applications.

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 receive an email notification of 2 complimentary tickets to the event and instructions as to how to RSVP.  Names must be submitted no later than May 3, 2018. 

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, you can 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 receive an email notification of one complimentary ticket to the and instructions as to how to RSVP no later than May 3, 2018. 

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 instructions. 

Will I receive a paper ticket in the mail?

No paper tickets are issued for the Dwyer Awards. We ask you check-in 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.