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Background & History of B.E.S.T. Awards

THE FOUNDATION FOR THE BETHLEHEM AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT’S MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District (formerly known as Bethlehem Area Education Foundation or BAEF) is to Enhance Learning Opportunities for All Students of the Bethlehem Area School District, Promote Family and Community Partnerships, and Support Academic Innovation.

LEHIGH VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION’S MISSION STATEMENT

The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation promotes philanthropy in order to improve the quality of life in our region, to encourage collaboration among area philanthropists, and to serve as a source of information and expertise regarding charitable giving.

HISTORY OF THE B.E.S.T. AWARDS

The Bethlehem Educational Scholastic Trust (B.E.S.T.) Fund was established with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation more than two decades ago by a group of Bethlehem civic & business leaders who believe that the work of teachers is so critical to the community – as well as to the students – that outstanding teachers required special recognition.

Since 2000, B.E.S.T. Awards reward excellence in teaching at the K-12 levels in the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD). All recipients of the B.E.S.T. Award receive a certificate, a monetary award, a ticket to The Foundation’s Annual Celebration Dinner, and are recognized at the BASD convocation in August.

In partnership with The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District has developed the nomination process and recipient selection process for 2020. Recipients of the 2020 B.E.S.T. Awards are chosen by The Foundation’s Grant Committee which is comprised of community members with a variety of personal and professional expertise.

Teachers are chosen to receive one of three B.E.S.T. Awards:

  • Elementary School Level – The Seymour and Sophie Haber Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Middle School Level – The Bernie Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • High School Level – The Anthony Ruggiero Award for Excellence in Teaching