Since 1988, CTY has invited extraordinary teachers to participate in the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship Program.
Sarah D. Barder was an educator, philanthropist, parent, and fan of CTY who originally endowed this program for talented teachers from California and Nevada. Today, the program includes an annual conference for those teachers who have been selected by CTY, based on student nominations. In their first year as fellows, recipients of the award receive an all-expense paid trip to the conference and a small stipend. In the years to follow, veteran teachers are invited to return to the conference, interact with new and returning fellows, and participate in a robust program of professional development centered around a theme.
Each year, students who live in California, Nevada, and Maryland and who attended a CTY summer program or enrolled in a CTY Online Programs program the previous year are invited to nominate a teacher for recognition as an outstanding educator. These nominated teachers are then invited to apply to the fellows program. A committee of CTY educators reviews the applications and selects 10 to 15 teachers for recognition.
New fellows then join veteran fellows for the annual conference, which features speakers on a variety of timely educational topics. Many fellows use the annual conference to meet professional development goals. They also enjoy the camaraderie that has marked the program from its beginning.
More than 400 outstanding teachers and administrators have been honored in the 29 years of the fellows program. One trait the fellows all share is that they have challenged a student or colleague at a level commensurate with academic and professional talent. It is this appropriate challenge that is the hallmark of CTY and the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship Program.