APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Awards

The purpose of the APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award is to provide an opportunity for TOPSS to recognize outstanding teachers in psychology.


Sponsors: Board of Educational Affairs ; TOPSS


There will be up to three annual awards.

Winners will receive a framed certificate, engraved award, cash prize of $500, and a free TOPSS membership or renewal for the 2020 membership year. Additionally, Worth Publishers is generously donating a $500 credit to Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishers and a copy of the “High School Psychology Video Anthology DVD” to each of the winning teachers.

Prior to October 2014, this award was named “APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Awards.”


Teachers of high school psychology are invited to apply or can be nominated by a colleague, supervisor, student or administrator. 

Nominees must be high school teacher affiliates of the APA (high school teacher affiliates are automatically members of the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) — see the high school teacher affiliate application.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted by Feb. 15, 2019. Electronic submissions are encouraged. Please submit materials to:

Emily Leary Chesnes
APA Education Directorate
750 First St, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Application Procedure

A nomination form (DOC, 41KB) is available for those interested in nominating a colleague or friend.

Nominated teachers are asked to provide the following in one PDF:

  1. Application form (DOC, 28KB).
  2. Three letters of support, one from each of the following categories. Letters should attest to teacher’s commitment to academic and professional excellence, passion for teaching, and/or impact on student learning. Letters must be separate from nomination form.
    1. Former student.
    2. Superintendent, principal or administrator.
    3. Colleague.
  3. A two-day lesson plan designed for a topic in psychology. The plan must:
    1. Contain appropriate content and be accurate.
    2. Explicitly address and be correlated to the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula.
    3. Include any activities and demonstrations used. If making adaptations to another colleague's lesson or teacher resource materials, please cite. Also, cite any other resources used including journal articles, textbooks and/or other scholarly materials.
    4. Be original and highlight a lesson that reflects your own teaching style or that best exemplifies your teaching.
  4. A brief personal statement (no more than three pages, double spaced) that discusses or describes:
    1. The factors that influenced you to become a teacher.
    2. What you consider to be your greatest contributions and accomplishments in the teaching of psychology.
    3. What you do to strengthen and improve your teaching of psychology.
    4. Any roles and initiatives that demonstrate and/or promote professional development activities and provide leadership for others, especially those in the field of psychology.
  5. A updated CV or resume.

Judging Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated using the TOPSS rubric (PDF, 371KB). The award committee is appointed by the TOPSS chair and will include no less than three members. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. The committee reserves the right not to confer an award if submissions do not meet minimum requirements.

The winners will be announced in the Psychology Teacher Network newsletter.

For additional information, please contact Emily Leary Chesnes at (202) 572-3013.

Past Recipients






Read the APA press release.

  • Lara Bruner, MA, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, Ariz.
    "Memory" — lesson plan (PDF, 277KB) and supporting activity (PDF, 694KB)
  • William Elmhorst, MS, Marshfield High School, Marshfield, Wisc.
    "Perception" (PDF, 106KB)
  • Joseph Swope, PhD, Northwest High School, Germantown, Md.
    "Operant Conditioning" (PDF, 240KB)


Read the APA press release.

  • Nancy D. Fenton, MA, Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • Kathleen K. Gavura, MEd, Colonia High School in Colonia, N.J.
  • Michael J. Hamilton, MA, Hopkinton High School in Hopkinton, Mass.


Read the PTN article or APA press release.

  • Laura Brandt, Grayslake Central High School, Grayslake, Ill.
  • Kimberly Patterson, Cypress Bay High School, Weston, Fla.
  • Maria Vita, Penn Manor High School, Millersville, Pa.


Read the APA press release.

  • Nancy Diehl, PhD, Hong Kong International School, Tai Tam, Hong Kong
  • Sheryl Freedman, MA, Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, Md.
  • Melissa J. Kennedy, PhD, Holy Names Academy, Seattle, Wash.


  • William James, Miford High School, Highland, Mich.
  • Scott Reed, Hamilton High School,Chandler, Ariz.


  • Trudy Loop, The Altamont School, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Jeff Norby, West De Pere High School, De Pere, Wis.


  • Mary Jarvis, Wausau West High School, Wausau, Wis.
  • Katherine Minter, Westwood High School, Round Rock ISD, Austin, Texas
  • Allyson J. Weseley, EdD, Roslyn High School, Roslyn, N.Y.
  • Michael McLane, Sterling Heights High School, Sterling Heights, Mich.
  • Jacquelynn Norman, San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas
  • Susan Spencer, Arthur L. Johnson High School, Clark, N.J.


  • Annette Jordan, Woods Cross High School, Woods Cross, Utah
  • Debra Park, West Deptford High School, Westville, N.J.
  • Lynn Pleiss, Dartmouth High School, Dartmouth, Mass.


  • Deborah Costello, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Fla.
  • Wendy Hart, Brentwood High School, Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Julie Tedford, Freeburg Community High School, Freeburg, Ill.


  • Viviana Mendoza, American Cooperative School, La Paz, Bolivia


  • Audrey Dill, Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls, N.J.
  • Rob Johns, Westside High School, Omaha, Neb.


  • Jeanne Blakeslee, St. Paul’s School for Girls, Brooklandville, Md.
  • William Cofrin, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, N.H.
  • Amy Fineburg, Homewood High School, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Kristin Whitlock, Viewmont High School, Bountiful, Utah


  • Charles Greiner, James M. Bennett High School, Salisbury, Md.
  • Faye Johnson, Paint Branch High School, Burtonsville, Md.
  • Terri Ann Lindenberg, Lake Park High School, Roselle, Ill.


  • John Billingslea, Franklin High School, Reisterstown, Md.
  • Mary Boteler, Sherwood High School, Sandy Spring, Md.
  • Pamala Coburn, Davis High School, Kaysville, Utah
  • Al Kirton, Natick High School, Natick, Mass.
  • Baird Wiehe, Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights, Ohio