MembersScholarships, Awards, Contests & Grants
2023-24 Scholarships, Awards, Contests & Grants
There are many benefits of being a KEA member, including eligibility for scholarships, awards, contests, and grants sponsored by KEA, NEA, and their partners. If you are a KEA member, some opportunities are also available for your family. Read on to see how KEA can help you grow in your profession and support you in your classroom or work site. The scholarships, awards, and contests listed below are open and are accepting submissions.
Scholarship Opportunities for KEA Aspiring Educator members:
Marnel C. Moorman Sr. Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship is open to current college students enrolled in an Education program at an accredited Kentucky university or college, or high school seniors who have a family member that is a KEA member and who plan to major in education. Ethnic-minority status will be considered but is not required. The Marnel C. Moorman Memorial Scholarship is given in memory of the first African-American to be elected President of the Kentucky Education Association. Mr. Moorman was serving his 2nd term as president when he was killed in a car accident in 1994 while returning from a meeting with KEA members. He believed deeply in the value of diversity in the teaching profession and within the association. The past presidents of KEA established this scholarship to preserve his memory and his many contributions to public education. A $1000 scholarship will be offered to each successful candidate on a one-year basis. The 2023-24 application may be submitted using this form. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Marvin Dodson-Carl Perkins Scholarships: Successful candidates must meet these requirements: 1) Be a member of the KEA Aspiring Educators; 2) Be a college junior, senior, post-baccalaureate student or MAT candidate in a Kentucky college or university during 2023-24, and; 3) not have previously won a Dodson-Perkins scholarship. The KEA MOVE Committee will determine the winners. KEA will award multiple scholarships totaling $6000; no single award will exceed $1000 or be less than $500. Winners will be honored at the 2024 KEA Delegate Assembly. The 2023-24 application is now open. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
KEA-Retired/Tom Denton Memorial Scholarship: Named for a past vice president of KEA and KEA-Retired, the Tom Denton Memorial Scholarship is funded by interested supporters of education. Scholarships will be presented annually using the principal and interest of the fund. Each scholarship will be at least $800 but not more than $1000. Eligible applicants shall be juniors, seniors, or MAT candidates in a Kentucky college for the following school year. Preference will be given to students who are KEA Aspiring Educator members, plan to teach in Kentucky, have an outstanding academic record and show evidence of financial need. The 2023-24 application is now open and can be accessed here. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Scholarship Opportunities for Active certified KEA members:
KEA President’s Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded annually to Active certified and ESP members in each KEA governance district. Funds are available to support members seeking a rank change (to Rank II (Master’s) or to Rank 1 (hours beyond Master’s), or for those seeking National Board certification. Continuing education scholarships are also available to ESP members who are seeking professional certifications or licenses. The 2023-24 Presidents’ Scholarship application is now open. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Scholarship Opportunities for KEA Education Support Professional (ESP) members and their families:
KEA President’s Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded annually to Active certified and ESP members in each KEA governance district. Funds are available to support members seeking a rank change (to Rank II (Master’s) or to Rank 1 (hours beyond Master’s), or for those seeking National Board certification. Continuing education scholarships are also available to ESP members seeking professional certifications or licenses. The 2023-24 Presidents’ Scholarship application is now open. The deadline for all applications will be 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
Representative Paul Mason Memorial Scholarship: Active or Retired ESP members, their children or grandchildren are eligible to apply. This scholarship is named after Rep. Mason, who used his time in the Kentucky House to champion the cause of those less fortunate. The scholarship will be awarded annually at the KESPA pre-delegate caucus, which usually occurs in March. The 2023-24 application is now open. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 p.m. eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
2024 KEA Teacher of the Year: Given annually, this award recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the association. All current Active certified members of a KEA local affiliate are eligible. Each KEA local affiliate may submit one nomination per year. If a local has more than one nominee submitted, the local affiliate must determine its nominee. Only nominations submitted and endorsed by a KEA local affiliate will be considered. The KEA Teacher of the Year will be honored at the 2024 KEA Delegate Assembly and will receive a $1,000 cash award.
The 2024 KEA Teacher of the Year will be KEA’s contestant for the 2025 NEA Teacher of the Year. Each year, NEA selects five (5) finalists from the submissions they receive. The five NEA finalists each receive The Horace Mann–NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence which include $10,000 cash and expenses-paid travel to The NEA Foundation’s annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, DC. One NEA Teacher of the Year will be selected from among the finalists; that person will receive an additional $25,000 in cash and a personalized commemorative gift.
Applications will be judged based on the following criteria: professional practice; advocacy for the association; community engagement; leadership in professional development; and attention to diversity. We encourage all applicants to preview the application requirements to have enough time to collect all required items, including letters of recommendation. The 2024 KEA Teacher of the Year application is now open. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
2024 Education Support Professional of the Year: The KEA Education Support Professional of the Year Award recognizes the contributions of Education Support Professionals to their schools, communities, and their profession. The award is presented to a member of the KEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESPs to public education. The award is $1,000 cash and is given at the KEA Delegate Assembly each year. The 2024 KEA ESP of the Year will be submitted to NEA to be considered for the 2025 NEA ESP of the Year. All current Active ESP members of a KEA local affiliate or bargaining unit who have been KEA members for at least three years as of December 31, 2023 are eligible. The application for the 2024 KEA ESP of the Year is open and can be found here. The deadline for all applications is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
KEA Smith-Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education: Established by the KEA Commission on Human Relations at the request of the KEA Delegate Assembly, the Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education was presented for the first time in 1974 and has been continuously awarded every year since then. The award is named for Mrs. Lucy Harth Smith (1888-1955), principal of Lexington’s Booker T. Washington Elementary School for 20 years, and Atwood S. Wilson (1895-1967), principal of Louisville’s Central High School for 29 years. Learn more about Ms. Smith, Mr. Wilson, and the history of the award here.
Selected each year by the KEA Diversity Committee, the award recognizes the work of Kentucky individuals or organizations that support and contribute to progress in racial and social justice. Nominators must be KEA members; however, candidates for the award do not have to be members of KEA but must be persons or organizations that currently do relevant work or have recently done relevant work in Kentucky. Consideration will be given to nominees that: encourage and support minorities to select the teaching profession; advance opportunities for youth of color; initiate or continue impactful work in the areas of human and civil rights; or lead in the field of innovative, creative and equitable education for all students. Nominations for the 2024 Smith-Wilson award are now being accepted. The deadline for all nominations is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
#DifferenceMakers 2023-24 Student Art Contest: Show us how talented your students are! You do not have to be a KEA member to submit your students’ artwork. Just have your students each submit an 8 1/2 X 11 portrait of the educator who has made a difference to them. Send your students’ #DifferenceMakers portraits and one copy of the required information form for each individual submission to KEA. You can download the official #DifferenceMakers entry form and rules here. One winner in each grade span (P-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12) will be selected. The winning students and their teachers will each win $50! The 2023-24 #DifferenceMakers contest is open and KEA is accepting submissions. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024. With permission, winning submissions will be published in the KEA News and may be published on KEA social media platforms.
Diversity Lesson Plan Contest: Active certified KEA members: Do you have a great diversity-focused lesson plan that you want to share? KEA believes that diversity in the classroom is important for students of all races, and that understanding people from other cultures builds a strong social foundation for our country. Each year, the KEA Diversity Committee sponsors a contest to select four lesson plans that emphasize diversity and present the concept to students in age-appropriate and engaging ways. Lesson plans will be scored based on this rubric. Two individual winners will each receive $250 and will be recognized at the KEA DA in April. The 2023-24 application can be found here. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
2023-24 ESP Diversity Project: The ESP Diversity Project contest encourages KEA ESP members to create a bulletin board or other visual project at their worksite with a theme of racial/social justice, encouraging diversity or accepting differences.All KEA ESP members are invited to participate. Submissions can be by individuals or by teams. Projects will be judged by the KEA Diversity Committee. Two individual winners will receive $100 each, or $100 per team (divided equally among the named team members). Winners will be recognized at the 2022 KEA Delegate Assembly. If possible, the winning projects (or photos of the projects) will be displayed at the KEA DA. Please submit your ESP Diversity Projects through this link. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00 PM Eastern, Wednesday, January 31, 2024.