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Judging Criteria
Judging Overview 
Entries to the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards are sorted into categories based on the nomination/application criteria and evaluated using the WEM Blue Ribbon Panel Judging Rubric specific to that category. There are two rounds of judging, a preliminary round and a finalist round.

In the preliminary round, a panel composed of leaders in education and business reviews all of the entries in the category to which they are assigned. Applications scoring at a predetermined rubric score or higher advance to the finalist round.

In the finalist round of judging, the panel reads, scores, ranks and discusses the merits of the finalists to determine its recommendations for the state and regional honorees in each category.
After the panel has made its recommendations, Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy) completes a check of references and licensure (if applicable).
Judges for the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards are volunteers who serve without compensation. They are experienced practitioners who are committed to quality education and the recognition of outstanding educators.

All judges are given an orientation, including a review of the scoring criteria.

Preliminary panels review all submissions for their respective categories. Finalists from each category are reviewed a second time by different panelists, discussed, ranked and a final selection determined.
At the discretion of the panel and Synergy, the regional awards may not be given in a particular category.
Judging panels are assembled anew each year with an emphasis on expertise and a mix of new and returning individuals on each panel.
Judging Ethics
For the award process to be effective, Synergy expects fairness and objectivity from all panelists. The background and relationship of all judges to any applicants is reviewed in panel placement to avoid conflicts of interest. Judges also sign a Confidentiality/Conflict of Interest Statement.
All entry documentation is treated as confidential.

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