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Georgia CEC Awards

Georgia CEC Awards Nomination Requirements/Descriptions


Nominations Form

Nominations may be made by a GaCEC division, chapter, individual (CEC member, principal, fellow teacher/colleague, student, parent, self), educational organization (school, parent group, etc.), or community group. Individuals can nominate more than one award.

Nominees must show alignment with Georgia CEC's mission: Cultivating, supporting, and empowering education professionals who work with individuals with disabilities.

  • Advocating for education professionals and for individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents
  • Advancing professional practice
  • Promoting diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility
  • Building networks, partnerships, and communities

The GaCEC Awards Committee will conduct a blind review of each nomination based on the criteria.

Georgia CEC Awards Nomination Requirements/Descriptions

The Georgia CEC award winners will be:

  • Recognized by GaCEC Board
  • Featured in a press release via social media (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Profiled on the GA CEC website (
  • Monetary award (TBD- based on the number of award winners)


Employer of the Year

The Georgia CEC Employer Award recognizes a business or corporation that has provided for the employment and enhancement of individuals with exceptionalities in order to promote and support their full participation in the community. Businesses whose primary purpose is providing services to individuals with disabilities are not eligible.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • A public or private employer and
  • Exhibit efforts that align with CEC’s mission statement


Co-Teaching Team of the Year

The Georgia CEC Co-Teaching Team of the Year Award recognizes a CEC member (teacher) and a general education teacher who currently provides direct services to students. The Co-Teaching Team of the Year exemplifies the best in differentiated instructional practices that meet the needs of all students.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Is a current CEC member,
  • Holds a professional certification in the areas in which he or she provides services, and
  • Engages in work consistent with CEC’s mission statement

Posthumous nominations are not accepted.


Lifetime Achievement

  • Nominees must be CEC members for longer than 15 years


Outstanding CEC Leadership

The Georgia CEC Outstanding Leadership Award honors a CEC member who has provided leadership to the organization over an extensive period of time. The nominee has shown leadership and dedication to children and youth with exceptionalities and the professionals who serve them.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • A current CEC member
  • Provided past and/or ongoing leadership to CEC  


Outstanding Student Member

The Georgia Council for Exceptional Children (GaCEC) recognizes a college student who has made outstanding contributions in service to CEC and students with exceptionalities. The winner of this award will be nominated by Georgia CEC for the National CEC Outstanding Student Member of the Year Award.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Currently enrolled at an accredited college or university to obtain a degree in special education
  • Be a current CEC student member
  • Demonstrated outstanding contributions to CEC and students with exceptionalities in areas such as:
    • Involvement in CEC
    • Served as an officer and/or committee chair
    • Promoted CEC programs and events at their university
    • Advocated for membership in CEC at their university


The Paraprofessional of the Year

The Paraprofessional of the Year Award recognizes a paraprofessional who currently provides direct services to students with exceptionalities. The Paraprofessional of the Year is an outstanding professional member whose work exemplifies the best in special education support. Their work reflects significant educational success for students, continued professional development, and the highest standards of educational quality.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Provides services to Georgia students with exceptionalities
  • Exhibits exemplary personal and professional skills in supporting students with exceptionalities


The Georgia CEC Special Education Teacher of the Year (TOTY) Award recognizes a CEC member (teacher) who currently provides direct services to students with disabilities. Teacher of the Year exemplifies the best in differentiated instructional practices that meet the needs of all students. The GaTOY will be nominated for the national CEC TOY award.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a CEC member
  • Must be a certified special education teacher in Georgia
  • Must engage in work consistent with GaCEC’s mission 


The Yes I Can!

  • The Yes I Can! Awards honor students with exceptionalities. These awards celebrate the achievements of children and youth with exceptionalities; encourage these individuals to seek their highest potential; and increase public awareness of the abilities, aspirations, and personal qualities of those with disabilities.

This packet is NOT for the National Organization but for the Georgia Council for Exceptional Children. The nominator does not need to be a CEC member.

The Georgia CEC Awards Committee may select one winner in each of the following categories:

  • Academics
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • School and Community Activities
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Technology
  • Transition

Award Benefits

Each Georgia CEC Yes I Can! The award winner will:

  • Be invited to attend the awards ceremony/opening session of the GaCEC/IDEAS Conference
  • Be recognized and receive a commemorative plaque at the Georgia IDEAS Conference
  • Be featured in a press release in the recipient’s local newspaper or other media
  • Be featured on the GaCEC website
  • Be nominated by the GaCEC for the 2025 National CEC Yes I Can! Awards
  • Be called upon by GaCEC to share their story to promote the Yes I Can! awards program

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates must be 3–21 years of age when they are nominated
  • The nominee must have an identified disability
Last Updated:  6 February, 2024

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