P.O. BOX 2120



August 31, 2007



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



The Spirit of the Commonwealth Award


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the Spirit of the Commonwealth Award. Based on its Student Advisory Committees recommendation, the Board of Education established the Spirit of the Commonwealth Award to acknowledge the importance of promoting student involvement by recognizing student leadership in the school and community.


The award will be given annually to individual public high school juniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, well-rounded participation in school activities, and community and civic responsibility. Individual public middle/junior and high schools are also able to receive an award by providing diverse opportunities for students to serve the community and others in co-curricular and/or extracurricular activities, such as service learning and volunteering experiences. This award represents an opportunity for schools to demonstrate how character education is put in action.

How to Submit A Nomination

To be considered for the award, a student must be nominated by a school division principal, teacher, guidance counselor or parent. Nominated high school juniors will complete an application and submit it with letters of recommendation to their respective principals. Each high school principal, with the assistance of a school team, reviews all applications and selects the most qualified applicants in their respective schools. The names of the selected applicants are to be forwarded to the school division administration for review and submission to the Virginia Department of Education.


Individual middle/junior and high schools must also be nominated by a principal, teacher, staff member or parent. Principals of nominated schools will submit an application to their respective school division administrators for review by a division team. The school division team selects the most qualified middle/junior high and/or high school applicants and forwards the names to VDOE.


The Virginia Department of Education will provide award recipients with a letter of congratulations and certificates of recognition from the Board of Education. The completed certificates will be sent to the school division administrators for presentation to the recipients.


Please refer to the attachments for specific procedures for nomination and applications for the Spirit of the Commonwealth Award. The names of award recipients may be submitted electronically to: or mailed to:

Virginia Department of Education

C/O Dr. Vivian G. Stith-Williams

P.O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120

If you have questions or need additional information on the Spirit of the Commonwealth Award, please contact Dr. Vivian Stith-Williams, student services specialist, at 804-225-4543, or e-mail as noted above. Thank for your cooperation and assistance.