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Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs represent just some of the questions we’ve been asked about the project. Click on a question to reveal the answer and be sure to check back often for updates!

About iEducate Delaware™

  1. What is the purpose of iEducate Delaware™?

    Leaders across the country have recognized Delaware as a leader in education reform and innovation. Yet when it comes to the individuals who are actually doing the tough work both inside and outside the classroom, there don’t seem to be enough opportunities to recognize their efforts. We want to tell their stories and honor and support these individuals, with the hope that the iEducate Delaware project will also inspire others to find their own ways to have an impact. For more on this project, check out a blog post by one of our staff members, and read more on our blog.
  2. Where does the name come from?

    iEducate Delaware is a community-owned initiative—after all, everyone plays a part in educating our youth. We wanted a name that gave credit to all the individuals – parents, community members, policymakers, teachers, and other leaders – that make a huge difference in our education system. So we held a contest and asked for ideas on what to name the project. The winning title was submitted by Sara Brosious, a wife, mom, and teacher. Read how she came up with the name in her own words.
  3. What if I don’t live in Delaware?

    iEducate Delaware is aimed at honoring and supporting education champions in Delaware, so only nominees who live or work in Delaware are eligible. That being said, if you don’t live or work in Delaware, you can still participate in other ways, whether it’s submitting nominations, voting on projects, or being part of the discussions. We want folks in other states to be inspired by what’s happening in Delaware – and we want to learn from them too.
  4. Is iEducate Delaware just a contest?

    We are very intentional when we call iEducate Delaware a “project.” The initial stage of the project is a nomination phase to honor individuals and their contributions to Delaware education, but the long-term goal is to inspire and encourage renewed and expanded innovation. We have several phases of the project ready to roll out once the initial stage is complete, so make sure to sign-up for updates, and check back often!
  5. What is the timeline?

    Nominations will be accepted through June 30. Then, there will be a period of showcasing finalists, which will be followed by public voting in September and finally the announcement of honorees at the October 17 Vision 2015 conference.
  6. What are your criteria? What are you looking for?

    We want nominations to include highlights of the accomplishments of the nominee related to contributing to great Delaware schools. Successful nominations might demonstrate how a nominee:

    • Has demonstrated courage and persistence in helping Delaware create world-class schools
    • Has been a visionary for significant educational improvements and new ideas, and inspired others
    • Directly or indirectly, made a significant academic impact on Delaware students, particularly in an area of significant need
    • Has leveraged the resources of Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge, and other programs to accelerate student achievement and success
    • Has demonstrated creativity, innovation, and collaboration
    • Is committed to sharing ideas and helping sustain awareness
    • Has not been recognized broadly for his/her efforts


  1. Can I nominate myself?

    Absolutely! Nominations will be anonymous and confidential, so if you don’t want folks to know you nominated yourself, fear not (although we feel there’s no shame in doing great work and sharing it with others).
  2. Are nominations only for classroom teachers?

    We believe that everyone plays a part in educating our children. We have nothing but the highest respect for teachers who have chosen this as their very profession, and we also want to honor the folks who support the teachers’ hard work by volunteering in the schools, starting a community-center based after school program, or organizing parents to be more involved in their schools. Anyone who supports our students and educates them is eligible for this award.
  3. Can groups be nominated?

    We recognize that often, a single person isn’t solely responsible for something great – nor would they want to take all the credit. We will certainly entertain nominations for pairs or groups of individuals that are working together toward something amazing.
  4. Can I nominate more than one person?

    We want to share the stories of education in Delaware, so the more stories the better. So nominate as many people as you want, and then get your friends to nominate some others!
  5. Are nominations anonymous?

    Nominations will be kept completely anonymous (but you can certainly share with the person you nominated—who doesn’t like to be recognized for their work!). As we move into the project’s interactive phase where stories are shared, we might ask you if you’d like to be known as the nominator; but we’ll leave it up to you.
  6. Can I still nominate someone past the deadline?

    No, unfortunately, we have stopped accepting nominations for the 2012 competition. But that doesn’t mean you can’t share a story! Check out our pinterest page to see stories we’ve collected across the state, and send us your own! Check back August 1st to see the finalists. And keep up the good work! We’re already planning iEducate Delaware 2013 so make sure to sign up for details.
  7. Can I send you additional information about my project/nomination?

    Yes you can! Do so quickly, though—we’re reading applications as you read these sentences.Update: We’ve chosen the finalists, and have reached out for more information as needed.


  1. Nominations are over. Now what?

    We will announce the finalists and share their stories in late July. In the meantime, check out our Pinterest page and spread the word about iEducate Delaware. Once finalists have been announced, come back and read their stories, pick your favorite, and tell your friends!
  2. How were finalists chosen?

    A panel reviewed the applications using a rubric based on the criteria we outlined (above). They then discussed the applicants and formed a consensus on which applicants and projects best represented the aims of the iEducate Delaware initiative. An effort was made to be as broadly representative as possible with the selected finalists. Luckily, there were great applications on a broad spectrum from all across the state.Additional information was requested from each applicant to fill in holes and answer questions, and after a final screen the finalists were selected.
  3. I’m not a finalist. Now what?

    First, you should be proud to be nominated. Virtually every application we received told a great story about an important educator positively impacting students. Keep up the great work, and we’ll be looking for other ways to share your stories .Second, participate! Education needs to be more collaborative and cooperative–that’s one of the very reasons for the iEducate Delaware initiative. Vote for your favorite finalists, spread the word, and come back in the fall as we open up new ways to interact with others across the state (and country) who are also committed to our students.And finally, come back next year and share all the new great things you’ve done. With luck iEducate Delaware will be something that’s done for years to come!


  1. When does voting start?

    Voting will start on August 15th. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the profiles, pick your favorites, and spread the word and tell your friends!
  2. When does voting end?

    Voting ends on September 14th.
  3. How does voting work? How many times can I vote?

    Visitors will be allowed to vote for three different nominees per day, once per nominee. We did this to help with folks who had a hard time picking their favorite. If you have more than 3 favorites, come back the next day and vote some more! We reserve the right to cancel fraudulent votes.
  4. Do I have to sign-up for the newsletter and share with friends to vote?

    Your vote is captured as soon as you click that button. The newsletter sign-up is so you don’t miss out on announcements and other opportunities to engage. The share options are for your convenience so you can spread the word. As iEducate Delaware’s community grows, so does its impact!
  5. I haven’t voted yet today, but the site isn’t letting me vote. Why? 

    We track votes with a 24 hour reset, instead of a daily reset. So if you voted at 4:52pm on Wednesday, you’ll be able to vote again at 4:52pm on Thursday.

  6. I thought I could vote 3x a day, but I voted once and now it won’t let me vote again?

    We decided to allow voters to have 3 votes a day so that if they had two or three finalists they really liked, they wouldn’t have to choose between them–they could support all of them. This of course wouldn’t work if they could choose to vote 3 times for the same person, so even though you are allowed 3 votes a day, they must be for different finalists.

  7. I’ve voted for my favorites. Now what?

    Thanks for voting! Your vote will help influence the selection of the honorees. If you want to have an even greater impact, get your friends, families, neighbors, and whoever else to vote as well. After you vote you’ll see convenient buttons to help you spread the word. And come back the next day to vote for 3 more of your favorites!


  1. Who chooses the honorees?

    Starting August 15, visitors to the site will be able to vote for their favorite nominee and project. We want iEducate Delaware to be a community-driven initiative, so the voting results will heavily influence the selection of winners. An external advisory group will choose the honorees based on voting results, taking into consideration finalists’ proposals for the use of grant funds.

  2. Who will be on the external advisory group?

    The external advisory group will consist of 5 members – 2 from New Castle County, 2 from Kent, and 1 from Sussex. We tried to make the group as diverse and representative as possible:

    • Lois Hobbs – A  Sussex resident and former teacher, principal, and superintendent who has been endlessly praised for her excellent work in education, Lois brings the perspective of a seasoned administrator.
    • Terri Hodges – A Kent resident and board member of the Delaware State PTA with strong connections to parent groups across the state, Terri brings the perspective of a highly engaged parent.
    • Maria Matos – A New Castle resident, lifelong activist, and current executive director of the Latin American Community Center, Maria brings the perspective of a community leader.
    • Fred Sears – A New Castle resident, president & CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation, and lifelong supporter of Delaware education, Fred brings the perspective of a business leader.
    • Kathleen Thomas – A Kent resident and 2005 State Teacher of the Year who is heavily involved across the state in representing and supporting the teaching profession, Kathleen brings the perspective of an excellent teacher.
  3. How many winners will there be?

    We wish we could recognize an indefinite number of individuals! Unfortunately, we must put some limits in place. We hope to the inaugural year of the project will kick off with 3 to 5 amazing people and stories, and that in future years that grows exponentially!
  4. How much is the award, and what can the money be used for?

    Honorees will receive $2,000, which will be used to support an organization or initiative that is related to the core of what the honoree is being recognized for. Ideally, these funds would help support expansion or replication of the great work being done. We will work with the honorees to determine the scope, and share plans (and results) when available.



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