AC JosepH Media

CAMDEN — The Camden Education Fund announced the launch of the RISE (Resilient, Inspirational, Solutions-Oriented Educators) awards to honor city teachers for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic. Between 5-10 teachers will receive $2,000 each.   

Any K-12 teacher in a Camden public school (district, renaissance, or charter) is eligible for the award. Teachers must be nominated via a letter or a video by a student, parent/guardian, or teacher/leader. Applications are due Feb. 4, 2021 and are available at   

“Throughout the city, there are inspiring teachers who have persevered through the pandemic, continued to deliver high-quality instruction and maintain strong relationships with students and families. Those teachers deserve to be celebrated, and it’s our hope that this award will help make teachers feel like they are seen, honored, and appreciated for their work,” said Jonathan Garr, Camden Education Fund’s Director of School Investments.

After being nominated, teachers will have a lesson (virtual or in-person) observed by an independent committee comprised of representatives from Camden Education Fund, the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, Relay Graduate School of Education, and Rowan University. Award recipients will be announced in the spring.

Camden Board of Education member Nyemah Gillespie applauded the announcement.

“School looks really different this year, but there is still learning and social emotional development happening all across the city, thanks to the heroic work of our city’s teachers. I can’t wait to celebrate the winners, along with their students and families. Our district owes a debt of gratitude to all the teachers who have gone above and beyond and adapted to conditions that they never trained for or imagined they’d ever be in,” said Gillespie.    

Since March, the Camden Education Fund has donated more than $1 million to support schools’ responses to the pandemic, including $370,000 for laptops and $800,000 to 8 school networks to assist with reopening. In addition, Camden Education Fund has launched an innovative partnership with Rowan University, now operating virtually, to attract more teachers to Camden.    

“The pandemic has changed how schools operate, but one thing remains constant: a great teacher is the most important resource in a classroom. Talent is one of our key focus areas, and this award is part of a broader effort to recognize our city’s dedicated educators. We look forward to celebrating a set of teachers whose positivity and resilience has kept students motivated, engaged, and learning in this challenging year,” said Naeha Dean, Camden Education Fund’s Executive Director.

For more information and to make a nomination, visit

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