NOMINTE yourself or a colleague NOW.  All 2017 award recipients will be honored at the February 28 - March 2, 2018 Annual IGNITE Conference for School Administrators & Pastors in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Save the dates and plan to be there to support the dedicated individuals who will be chosen.

Annual Award General Information

The Evangelical Lutheran Education Association coordinates 4 different annual award programs for ELCA Schools and Learning Centers:

  • The ELCA Early Childhood Director of the Year Award - This is an annual award given to an outstanding director of an ELCA early childhood program. Candidates may be nominated by another party by downloading, completing and returning the Nomination Form by March 15. Candidates are then contacted by the ELEA National Office, informing them that they have been nominated and are given an Application to be completed and returned by March 31.  While directors do not need to be nominated to apply - you may simply complete the Application and supply the accompanying materials - it is very nice to be nominated by a colleague!

  • The ELCA Elementary Principal of the Year Award - This is an annual award given to an outstanding principal of an ELCA elementary school. Candidates may be nominated by another party by downloading, completing and returning the Nomination Form by March 16 (earlier is better!). Candidates are then contacted by the ELEA National Office, informing them that they have been nominated and are given an Application to be completed and returned by March 31.  While principals do not need to be nominated to apply - you may simply complete the Application and supply the accompanying materials - it is very nice to be nominated by a colleague!

    The ELCA Elementary Principal of the Year who is chosen is automatically submitted as a candidate as a National Distinguished Principal through the program sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The Application Form for Principal of the Year IS the official National Distinguished Principal (NDP) application so it only needs to becompleted once. Being the ELCA Principal of the Year does not guarantee being chosen as a National Distinguished Principal, but most often our principals are approved as NDP's! NDP'sare honored at a special event in Washington, DC each October. To learn more about the NDP program, visit NAESP

  • The Distinguished Pastor of the Year Award - This is an annual award established by ELEA as a way to honor pastors of congregations with schools or early childhood centeres who have made outstanding contributions to the spiritual leadership of the program. It is a Nomination Process - in other words, the Pastors who are nominated do not have to even know they are being nominated, and they do not have to complete an application - the Nominator does it all! Download an Application with instructions and return by April 15.

  • The Donald A. Vetter Educational Service Award - This is an annual award given by ELEA to an individual who has exemplified the ideals of ELEA and of Lutheran education over a long period of time - a lifetime achievement award. It is named after Donald Vetter, ELEA's founder and first Executive Director. One nomination may come from each of the 9 Regions of the ELCA. To determine which Region you are in, go HERE to find your state. All nominations are submitted to the ELEA National Office following the instructions HERE. This is a Nomination Process - no application is completed by candidates. ELEA's National Board of Directors votes to choose the recipient. Nominations and accompanying materials are to be submitted by July 1 of each year.

All Award Recipients are honored and acknowledged at the following year's National School Administrator & Pastor Conference.