Advocate for Education Award
ResourcesRecognitionAdvocate for Education Award

The importance of advocacy and grassroots engagement is a central component of the Virginia School Boards Association. It is imperative for board members to engage the stakeholders of their community including parents, business, community and higher education leaders, local community organizations, and policy makers in the work of building a successful public school system in each community across the Commonwealth.

The VSBA invites your board to nominate a fellow school board member for the annual Advocate for Education Award. This award will be presented at the VSBA Annual Convention in November. The nominee must demonstrate significant and outstanding leadership, commitment, and contributions to public education that have had an impact on their region and the Commonwealth. Nominees must show involvement in local, state, and federal advocacy on behalf of their division, VSBA, and public education.

Each local school board may submit one name/nomination for consideration. The nomination must be approved unanimously by the school board.

The application deadline is Friday August 2, 2024, and must include a narrative that addresses the nominee’s accomplishments and contributions in 1,000 words or less. The selection committee will review the applications and select the award winner(s). The award may be presented upon one or more school board members.

Contact the VSBA Office of Communications, at 434-295-8722 or email

Please provide a valid e-mail address when completing the entry form. This is how we will communicate with you about your entry.

Application Deadline: August 2, 2024

All entries must be submitted via the online submission form:

Click here for the 2024 Advocate for Education Award Information Packet.

Thank you to this year’s sponsor:

Past Recipients

2023 – Priscilla Liggon, Amherst County
2022 – Janet Turner-Giles, Nelson County
2021 – David Woodard, Tazewell County
2020 – Juandiego Wade, Charlottesville City
2019 – Beth Hardy, Goochland County
2018 – Janie Strauss, Fairfax County
2017 – Sanford Williams, Manassas City
2016 – Steve Koleszar, Albemarle County
2015 – Rodney Jordan, Norfolk City