Founder’s Award Competition

The Timothy R. Stephenson Founder’s Award is presented annually to the EAST program best demonstrating the overall purpose and mission of the EAST Initiative at the local level. The award is presented in honor of Tim Stephenson, who founded the EAST Initiative in Greenbrier, Arkansas in 1996. The Founder’s Award competition is a great opportunity for schools to showcase their program’s abilities and accomplishments over the past year. 

Who Can Submit?

All EAST schools are eligible to submit applications for 2011 except Har-Ber High School, the 2010 winner.

How to Apply

Applying for the Founder’s Award is a two-step process. Schools must first submit a letter of intent in November, followed by an application packet due in January. Following are guidelines for both.

Step 1 – Letter of Intent:  A formal letter (Word Document) addressed to the Founder's Award Judging Panel and including the following information:

  • Name of your school and program
  • Statement of your intent to submit a complete application packet by the deadline
  • The main student contact for the application—name and contact information

Attach your letter of intent and email to by Wednesday, November 17.

No letters will be accepted after the deadline and programs without a letter of intent cannot submit for the Founders Award. A program can decline to complete the application process after submitting a letter of intent.

Step 2 – Application Packet:  Click the following links for judging criteria, application packet requirements, and submission instructions. Application packet deadline is Wednesday, January 19.

Founder’s Award Judging Criteria

Founder's Award Application Packet & Submission Instructions


Finalists will be announced by the second week of February. Following are additional requirements for finalists.

1.  Write and submit for review a :30 elevator speech highlighting your program. Details on its purpose will be revealed to the finalist schools. 

2.  Discussion Topics: Provide 3-5 discussion topics.  More details about discussion topics will be provided with the announcement of the finalists in February.

3. Dress Rehearsal (Required): Two representatives from your program will be asked to attend a dress rehearsal on Wednesday, March 3, time to be announced. At this time, they will be oriented regarding stage production, sound and acoustics of the room, as well as the agenda for Banquet night.  

4.  Awards Banquet: Founder’s Award and Award of Excellence winners will be introduced onstage during the Banquet and the videos submitted in January as part of the application packets will be shown. Specific information about this process will be provided directly to finalists.


Feedback on application packets will be mailed approximately three weeks after the EAST Conference. Feedback cannot be given prior to the conference.

This page was last updated on Monday, October 4, 2010 at 3:55:49 PM | View update history