Press Releases

2018 TAP Founder's Award Finalists

March 24, 2018

Washington, D.C.— The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) recognized each of the five finalists of the TAP Founder's Award at the 2018 TAP Conference for exceptional efforts to implement and represent the principles of the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement.  The TAP Founder's Award is funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, and the prize is to be used toward efforts to improve instruction and academic achievement.These efforts have resulted in improvements in instructional skills and student achievement. The Award is NIET's highest honor and was created by NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken.

The outstanding schools honored for 2018 are:

Each finalist received a plaque and $10,000 during a recognition luncheon at the conference, attended by 1,000 top educators and education leaders from across the country.

Following the recognition ceremony, Milken presented West Goshen Elementary School with the TAP Founder's Award and $50,000.

"Lincoln, Cross County, Mansfield, Slaton and West Goshen have distinguished themselves as shining examples of effective instructional leadership," said Milken. "I commend all staff and students, and congratulate West Goshen Elementary School as this year's TAP Founder's Award recipient. Your best practices and leadership are serving as a role model for the region, state and nation."

The TAP System is America's leading comprehensive educator effectiveness model that connects teacher leadership with daily job-embedded professional development, educator evaluation and support, and opportunities for performance-based compensation. Introduced in 1999, the TAP System, as administered through NIET, supports schools, districts, universities and states to advance educator effectiveness and student learning.   

Each finalist implements the TAP System by establishing leadership teams, made up of master and mentor teachers as well as administrators, who drive instruction. These teacher leaders guide weekly professional development and provide individual coaching in classrooms.

TAP's teacher leadership opportunities and professional development are complemented by systems of educator evaluation, feedback and support, as well as a performance-based compensation system that rewards educators for increased skill and student growth, and for taking on new leadership roles and responsibilities.