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Educator Awards

Ruth I. Eickman Outstanding Early Childhood Educator Award

About the Award

Ruth Eickman was a long-time educator in Lincoln Public schools, serving as a teacher or principal at Bethany (a former LPS school), McPhee, Pershing, Norwood Park, Rousseau, Holmes and Randolph schools. She was also the director of Federal Programs at the LPS District Office where her work supported students at those schools and others in the LPS system. She held that job for many years before she decided to go BACK to the classroom so she could one more experience the daily joy of watching young children learn. She enjoyed that position as a kindergarten teacher at Randolph Elementary School. 

Ruth retired from LPS in 1988, but not before winning an award for her outstanding contributions to early childhood education. She decided to make that award possible for future educators by creating this educator award. And here at the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, we have a special place in our heart for Ruth because in retirement she was a volunteer for us.

This award is presented annually to an LPS early childhood educator who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to young children and child-centered learning, has been involved with the families of these young children, has shown an appreciation of children’s and families’ uniqueness, uses developmentally appropriate practices when working with young children, and has demonstrated the use of innovative practices in the field of early childhood.

Applying for the Award

Application Open: November 1st, 2023 - February 29th, 2024
Award Amount: $750

Criteria: Any certified LPS early childhood educator (Family Educator, ECSE teacher, Early Childhood SLP working with children ages birth to 5 or K-2) is eligible to receive this award. Individuals may be nominated by their colleagues, their principals or their supervisors. You are encouraged to nominate an individual with whom you work to receive this prestigious award.

When nominating an educator, briefly describe the nominee in relation to his/her:

  • Commitment to young children and child-centered learning

  • Involvement with families

  • Appreciation of children’s/families’ uniqueness

  • Contributions to young children and their families through community activities.

  • You may also include those things that you feel best exemplify the nominee’s outstanding contributions to the field and profession of Early Childhood Education.

Nominating Process: Any individual or group may submit nominations.  Individuals may be nominated by their colleagues, their principals, or their supervisors.  

Selection Process: Applications are handled through Cara Lucas-Richt, Director of Early Childhood, and a selection committee.  Nominations will be reviewed by the selection committee.  The award winner will be approved by the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools.  The Ruth Eickman Award recipient will be announced at the Early Childhood Celebration in April.



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