Conference 2009

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Founder's Award

Click to enlargeThe Timothy R. Stephenson Founder's Award is presented annually to the EAST program that best demonstrates the overall purpose and mission of the EAST Initiative. The award is presented in honor of Tim Stephenson, founder of the EAST Initiative in Greenbrier, Arkansas in 1996. We believe the Founder's Award presents a great opportunity to showcase your program's abilities and hard work over the last year. The Founder's Award winner will be chosen and subsequent awards (Programs of Excellence) may be given to programs that best exemplify the criteria.

2009 Founder's Award Finalists

Who Can Submit?

All EAST schools are eligible to submit an application for the 2009 Founder's Award except Brookland High School who was the winner of this award at the 2008 Conference. The three schools who won Awards of Excellence (Dardanelle High School, Harrisburg Schools and Fountain Lake High School) and are eligible. Any school who submits an Application Packet must be present at the Conference to be considered.

How to Apply

Applying for the Founder's Award is a two step process. Any school interested in being considered for the Founder’s Award must first submit a Letter of Intent. If a Letter of Intent is not received for a school, the Judges Panel will not accept their Application Packet. Following are the guidelines for the Letter of Intent and Application Packet:

Step 1 - Letter of Intent - The Letter of Intent should be a formal letter (Word Document) addressed to the Founder's Award Judges Panel and should include the following information:

  • Name of your school and program
  • A statement of your intent to submit a complete Application Packet by the deadline
  • The main student contact for the application - name and contact information

To submit your Letter of Intent, please email the document as an attachment to

The deadline to submit your Letter of Intent is Wednesday, November 12th. No letters will be accepted after the deadline and programs without a letter of intent cannot submit for the Founders Award. There is the option of not completing the process after submitting the letter of intent; however, a letter of intent must be filed before any program can be considered.

Step 2 - Application Packet - Click the following link to review the judging criteria, application packet requirements, and submission instructions. The application packet submission deadline is Wednesday, January 28th.

Founder's Award Judging Criteria & Application Packet

Award’s Banquet

Finalists will be announced within one week of the application deadline. If your program is chosen as a finalist, please review the following information carefully because this process has changed.

Dress Rehearsal - Two representatives from your program will be asked to attend a dress rehearsal during the conference on Wednesday, March 4th, time to be announced. During this time, they will be given some pointers that involve the stage, production, sound and acoustics of the room. This will also help the students understand fully what is expected during the Banquet if their program is chosen as a winner.

Award’s Banquet - The programs who win the overall Founder’s Award and Awards of Excellence will be introduced from the stage at the Award’s Banquet. Two students will be asked to the stage to give a brief introduction to their video presentation. (The presentation that will be shown is the one that was submitted in January as part of the Application Packet). Following the video, the students will be asked a number of questions that will be specific to their program. This will allow them to give more detail in a spontaneous manner. While we understand the concern of being unprepared, we are more concerned about over-rehearsed responses. A general guide to what types of questions will be provided at the dress rehearsal; although the exact questions will not be released. More information about this process will be provided when the finalists are announced.


Feedback will be provided for each program that submits a complete application packet. This feedback will be mailed to the school approximately three weeks after the EAST Conference. Feedback cannot be given prior to the conference.

This page was last updated on Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 8:57 AM | View all updates | Site Map