SOAR Recognizes Teachers of Distinction; Issues Call for Nominations for 2018-19


SOAR Community Foundation recognizes, rewards and supports excellence in teaching with its Teacher of Distinction Awards program.  The awards are presented annually at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership annual banquet in January.   

Recipients for the 2017-18 school year include Denise Adair, a robotics and engineering design teacher at Millsaps Career and Technical Center, and Mallory Carlisle, a history teacher at Armstrong Middle School.  As honorees, Mrs. Adair and Mrs. Carlisle were awarded $1,000.  

SOAR is currently seeking Teacher of Distinction nominations for the 2018-19 school year for kindergarten through twelfth grade (including Special Education) in the Starkville and Oktibbeha public, parochial, and private schools. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, other school district employees, or community citizens can make nominations based on their observation and assessment of the teacher.  Nominees must then apply by submitting required documentation to support their nomination.  A local screening committee will provide an initial review of all applications while an external selection committee chooses the award winners.  Nominations must be postmarked by May 31, 2019, to SOAR, P.O. Box 80010, Starkville, MS 39760.   

Award Program 

  • Fund up to three (3) $1000 awards for teachers
  • Present a symbol of this designation as a Teacher of Distinction
  • Awards presented January 2020 

Award Criteria

  • Student academic performance and growth
  • Ability to inspire students
  • Excellence beyond required duties
  • Professional achievement and development
  • Ambassador for the school district and education
  • Effective approaches to teaching
  • High level of integrity in all areas

Award Nomination Form

(Please print clearly.)

Nominee Name: ___________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________

City, State, and Zip: ________________________________________

Daytime Phone: ___________________________________________

Email:  __________________________________________________

Subject(s) Taught: _________________________________________

Grade(s) Taught: __________________________________________

School: __________________________________________________

Why do you believe this teacher should receive a Teacher of Distinction Award?









Nomination submitted by:

Name: ___________________ Phone: _____________ Date: _______ 


SOAR stands for Starkville/Oktibbeha Achieving Results and was established in 2002 as an affiliate with CREATE, a 46-year-old public, charitable, community foundation.  SOAR’s endowment fund is invested and managed by CREATE, but a local board of directors retains control over the money used for grants for projects aimed at benefiting Starkville and the entire county.  SOAR has awarded grants totaling more than $182,563 to 37 different organizations and projects in Starkville and other communities in Oktibbeha County since 2005.

The current Board Members of SOAR, representing a cross section of the community, are Dr. David Boles, Bobby Crosland, Suzanne Dressel (Chair), Pat Lane, Mitzy Johnson-Mills, Paul Millsaps, Janice Muzzi, Gavin Reevs, Buddy Staggers, Nellah Taylor, Alan Tucker, Chuck Ware, Dr. Martha Wells, Ross Williams, and Dr. Marty Wiseman. 

As your community foundation, SOAR can serve as a clearinghouse for donors in their charitable giving.  Gifts to SOAR can be made in cash, stock, real estate, personal property, insurance, charitable trusts, and bequests in wills.  Cash gifts can be given by automatic bank draft, check, or online with a credit card.  As a 501(c)(3) organization, gifts to SOAR are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  If you have any questions about SOAR or need more information about giving through SOAR, please contact Jan Eastman, Executive Director, by phone at 662-534-3230 or by email at