Four finalists in the running for the Central Education Award

| Rense Kuipers

Not three, but four candidates are in the race for the Central Education Award. In the final next Thursday, teachers Jurnan Schilder, Maaike Endedijk, Anne Leferink and Tracy Craig will compete for the title of 'teacher of the year'.

Normally, the final battle for the Central Education Award has three finalists. But the organisation could not ignore EEMCS lecturer Tracy Craig, says committee member Lars Essenstam. 'Three different study programmes had nominated her. Because of her broad popularity we decided to give her a wildcard for the finals, even though she had a slightly less convincing pitch and motivation letter compared to the other finalists.'

That final will take place online next Thursday afternoon, via Teams. 'Both teachers and students got used to this last year', says Essenstam. 'At first, we toyed with the idea of having them come together and broadcast it, but this seemed the best solution given the current situation. We are trying to run the finale smoothly and flawlessly from a podcast-like setting.'

Besides Craig, Jurnan Schilder (from Mechanical Engineering), Anne Leferink (Technical Medicine) and Maaike Endedijk (Educational Science & Technology) are the finalists. Schilder previously won the award in 2014. 'What stood out for us were their good motivations, nice pitches, clear stories and sharply edited videos,' says Essenstam.

During the final, the four finalists will all give a 15-minute mini-lecture. Then both the digitally present audience and the jury - consisting of current Teacher of the Year Serge Lemay, programme director Heleen Miedema and teacher Elyse Walter - will decide who may call him or herself Teacher of the Year 2021. The award consists of a cash prize of 2,500 euros and a certificate.

The final is on Thursday 27 May, from 16.00 to 17.30 hrs. You can take part via Teams here.

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