Scholar Leader Award FAQ

The following information sheet, in question and answer format, has been compiled from responses to surveys of schools participating in Scholar Leader Dinners across New England. We hope that the issues and answers generated will give planners more information from which to make decisions about continuing to support this activity or to begin participating in this program.

Q: What are the major reasons that schools participate?
A: Schools frequently report the following:

  • positive recognition for students
  • positive recognition for and supports parents of young adolescents
  • encourages scholarship and leadership for middle level students
  • wonderful state wide events recognizing middle level students
  • recognizes students beyond the school community
  • brings recognition to our school
  • students, parents, school officials and administration all sit together for a great evening of fun and recognition
  • it supports our school goals
  • promotes dignity and respect for all
  • a way to show pride in our students

Q: How do schools generate resources for this event?
A: In this time of tight budgets, there might be a variety of sources used to generate the resources needed for this activity. The following are some suggestions:

  • fundraising money from our school
  • access the student activity fund
  • access the principal's fund
  • we have a local business sponsor the whole table
  • our school board sponsors our participation
  • the teachers association and/or the administrator’s association pays for the table
  • all our teachers chip in a few bucks so our school can attend
  • civic group in our community supports
  • money comes from the school budget, we set it aside every year
  • we ask the parents to pay for their dinners but the school pays for the students

Q: How do you select your students for this award?
A: School leaders report a variety of ways they select students. They are:

  • team leader council solicits nominations from teachers and then selects the two students
  • the appropriate team(s) nominate students and the guidance department selects the two students
  • the teachers nominate the student and the unified arts teachers select the two students to be recognized
  • our student government nominates students and the team leader council and school improvement committee selects the two to be representative
  • each teacher nominates one student, the two are then selected by administration but we send letters to all the parents of the other students nominated telling them of their recognition even though they were not selected as one of the two
  • we get our students involved in the selection process
  • the principal selects the two students and invite the parents to attend
  • the administrative team sits down and selects the students

We hope that this question and answer sheet has been helpful for you as you think about your level of participation in the future. We appreciate support given to these events and feel strongly that positive nature of recognizing young people as representative of all student scholar leaders is a positive and good thing for our community, our states, our schools, and particularly for our students.

Brenda Needham
Executive Director, NELMS

For further information please contact NELMS at (978) 557-9311 or e-mail