Nominations open to award $25,000 grant to Seattle Public Schools principals

Nominate a Seattle Public School principal that leads with excellence and equity before February 28. 


The Alliance for Education, the local education fund for the Seattle Public School district, is asking the Seattle community to respond to a call for nominations for the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence. The Foster Award recognizes and honors two outstanding Seattle Public Schools principals who have demonstrated success in advancing educational justice and racial equity in their school community. Each awardee will receive a $25,000 grant to use in their school community. 

The award commemorates Thomas B. Foster, a prominent Seattle attorney who displayed a strong personal commitment to public education. Past award winners, since the award was created in 1999, can be found online here

“The Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence offers the community an opportunity to recognize some of our community’s most fearless, dedicated and unsung heroes – our public school principals,” says Lisa Chick, president of the Alliance for Education. “We’re grateful to have the opportunity to give this award in honor of Thomas B. Foster, a fierce advocate for public education in Seattle, and to recognize a few of the many principals in our city who are making our schools equitable, welcoming and effective learning communities for Seattle students.” 

Foster awardees are selected based on colleague and community nominations, as part of a process which takes into consideration school data and principal commitment and effectiveness. Principals must have served at least three years in their current school to be eligible for the award and can be principals at any of the K-12 schools in the Seattle Public School system. Recipients are publicly recognized in addition to receiving the $25,000 grant to be utilized at their school. Recognition includes a surprise assembly at their school and at the Alliance for Education Annual Gala, taking place this year on April 22, 2023 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. 

“As educators, we do so many things that are both seen and unseen. We go above and beyond to make sure our scholars get whatever they need and deserve! To be recognized for that hard work, especially with funds that can be put directly toward our scholars, means more than you will ever know,” says Graham Hill Elementary School Principal and 2018-19 Foster Award winner Rena Deese. “While this is an award for the principalship, it really is an award for our entire school community. A strong leader does not lead from above but within!” 

All are welcome to nominate a principal online by or before the deadline of Tuesday, February 28.