Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Alliance for Education Awards

William Jackson (center), principal of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle was a 2023 winner of the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence. Photo courtesy Alliance for Education.

2024 Alliance for Education award nominations open

Advancing educational justice and racial equity

Is there an educator, counselor, or principal at your child’s school who you believe has gone above and beyond in advancing educational justice and racial equality in your school community? Now’s the time to shout out about their work.

Call for nominations

This week, the Alliance for Education, the local education fund for the Seattle Public School district, called on parents and others in the Seattle community to nominate principals, educators, and counselors for three prestigious awards this spring—the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence, the Philip B. Swain Excellence in Education Award, and the Adrienne Weaver Science Teaching Award. 

Award winners will each receive a portion of $67,500 in grants, money that will, in turn, support their school community. Anyone in the community, including students, school staff, parents, and community members, may nominate.

Recognizing those who move justice and equity forward

Since 1999, the Alliance for Education’s endowed awards have provided school staff with additional funding outside the traditional school budget to recognize excellence and enhance support for students, classrooms, and schools. Here’s what each award stands for and what the winner will receive:

  • The Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence annually recognizes two principals with a 3+ year commitment to their school with a $25,000 grant and a surprise celebration. The award commemorates Thomas B. Foster, a prominent Seattle attorney who displayed a strong personal commitment to public education. 
  • The Philip B. Swain Excellence in Education Award recognizes five teachers and/or counselors working in grades 6 to 12 with a 3+ year commitment to a Title I school with an award including a $2,500 grant. The award honors Mr. Philip B. Swain, a former teacher who was a passionate advocate for public education. 
  • The Adrienne Weaver Science Teaching Award recognizes a science educator teaching grades K-8 with a 3+ year commitment to a Title I school. The award includes a $5,000 grant. It honors Ms. Adrienne Weaver, a former educator who loved teaching and science and believed in hands-on learning.   

Principals, educators, and counselors who inspire others

“These awards recognize counselors, educators, and principals who embody the commitment we need from one another to advance the arc of justice in our public schools,” says Yonas Fikak, Vice President of Impact at the Alliance for Education. “We’re inspired by the impact of the awards on educator instruction, philosophy, school culture, and student experiences.” 

Community nominations hold weight in an awardee selection process that also considers school-level data. Award winners will be announced this spring and recognized at the Alliance for Education Annual Gala, Auction, and After Party on April 27, 2024.

How to nominate

To nominate a principal, educator, or counselor, go to the award nominations webpage and complete the simple form. Nominations will remain open through Sunday, March 31. 



Lawmakers rev up plan to electrify 10,000 school buses

Class pets teach responsibility, empathy and even geography

Should WA ban student cellphones in public classrooms?

New research: WA slow on math/reading recovery

About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at