Home / About the B.E.S.T. Awards


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, 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 2024. Recipients of the 2024 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. Click here to view the 2024 Nomination Form.

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

Nominatation Criteria:

  • Supports students, the BASD and the community beyond the classroom
  • Conveys enthusiasm and is an expert in the subjects they teach
  • Has outstanding personal characteristics that enhance teaching and learning
  • Is a positive influence on parents, students, fellow teachers and administrators