Bellingham Public Schools is committed to recognizing the special achievements and outstanding contributions of staff, volunteers and community partners. The Promise Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the exceptional work of select honorees that make a significant difference in our schools and community. These award recipients represent our school system and help increase awareness of the important contributions of all staff and volunteers. The criteria that will be used to score the nominations will be based largely on The Bellingham Promise. Who models the tenets of The Bellingham Promise in an exemplary way?  Who clearly and fully represents the mission, vision, core beliefs and outcomes of The Bellingham Promise?

Who is eligible?

Each school and Central Services may nominate in any or all of the categories outlined below. All nominations will come directly to the Promise Awards Advisory Group (c/o Department of Communications and Community Relations) to be scored. From this group of nominations, the advisory group will select one districtwide Promise Award recipient in each of these categories.

ABOVE AND BEYOND SERVICE AWARD This award is designed to recognize a staff member who models superior service. They work hard to make students, families and staff feel important, respected and exceed expectations daily. Any classified employee in Bellingham Public Schools is eligible.

COMMUNITY PARTNER OF THE YEAR Community partners may be an organization (such as a community nonprofit or parent organization) that provides a volunteer, unpaid service to the school or district.

COLLABORATION AWARD This award is given to a staff member or team that leads others through partnerships and collaboration. This award is intended for an individual or team that promotes effective partnerships, builds consensus and works to support The Bellingham Promise. Any individual employee or team in Bellingham Public Schools is eligible.

COMPASSION AND SERVICE AWARD This staff member promotes staff morale and fosters community by building bridges for people to come together both inside and outside of the school. This staff member promotes their school or community through positivity. Any individual employee or team in Bellingham Public Schools is eligible.

GREAT TEACHING AWARD This award recognizes a teacher in our district for exemplary work in teaching Bellingham students. This staff member exemplifies Great Teaching with Strong Support. Any certificated employee in Bellingham Public Schools is eligible.

OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AWARD This award is intended for a leader (e.g. principal, assistant principal, director, manager or supervisor) who exhibits commitment and dedication to The Bellingham Promise by supporting all staff and students. Due to the smaller number of eligible individuals, the recipient for this award will be selected by Department of Teaching and Learning executive team members.

ONE SCHOOLHOUSE AWARD Individuals or teams of staff or volunteers are eligible for this district-level award. The purpose of this award is to recognize those who are advancing the goals of the school system — beyond one classroom and school — for the better for all. This award is reviewed by and selected by executive team.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Volunteers may be an individual or team that is not a paid employee and provides a volunteer, unpaid service to the school or district.

Who can nominate?

Students, colleagues, labor associations, supervisors, parents or community members may nominate an eligible individual or team for any award. We do not accept self-nominations. Staff or volunteers who’ve received a Promise Award in the past five years are not eligible, even if nominated for a different award than they received.

How can I nominate?

Online nominations forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 3.

What is the process and timeline for the 2021 Promise Awards?

Feb. 3 Nomination window opens.

5 p.m. March 3 Nomination window closes. All nominations must be received by 5 p.m.

Early March  Advisory group scores nominations for districtwide awards in each of the categories and makes final selections. (Outstanding Leadership Award and One Schoolhouse Award are selected by executive team.)

Late March  Recipients announced.


Online Nomination Form (nominations closed)

Promise Awards Advisory Group

Past Promise Award Recipients


Nomination tip: Share stories that connect the nominee to The Bellingham Promise.



Lisa Gilchrist