In 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line launched the Giving Joy campaign, recognizing and awarding 30 educators who work tirelessly to bring joy to their classroom. The month-long campaign, which recognized the powerful connection between travel and education, launched in advance of the newly revitalized Norwegian Joy’s inaugural sailing in North America, which coincided with Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6- 10, 2019). The 30 teachers with the most votes won a seven-day cruise for two and were invited to a special award ceremony in Seattle. There, the three grand prize finalists were awarded with $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 for their schools.
Inspired by Norwegian’s efforts to celebrate this well-deserving community of individuals, the Cruise Line’s partners contributed to the prize winnings, resulting in a total donation of over $100,000 for the school of the grand prize winner.
To learn more about the 2019 campaign, click here.
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
16,975 VOTES | $100,500 FOR ONE WORLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
My name is Nicole Conlisk. I have been a NYC public school teacher, for the last 12.5 years, working in the NEST program with students with Autism. On 11/12/18, at 28 weeks pregnant with twins, and a 2.5 year old son at home, I was diagnosed with stage-3 Breast Cancer at only 33 years old. I was devastated. However, I’m fighting and the cancer is shrinking. My students are inspired by my positive attitude, and my fight to beat cancer. I receive emails from my students regularly but one in particular sums up how my students feel about me. “I already miss all the fun lessons and the way you connect with your students on a different level. Nothing feels right when I walk into your classroom and you are not there ready for me with a smile. Though I am still learning, I will always remember your ways and techniques of teaching. Besides the fact that you are an awesome teacher, I miss your personality and how you walk into school everyday with a smile, enjoying the little time that you have with your students.The fact that I am thinking about you every second of the day shows how you have an impact on me.” Raising 3 kids, fighting cancer, and not being able to teach my students has been challenging. A cruise would be a great escape!
14,817 VOTES | $15,000 FOR NOBLESVILLE WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL
May 25, 2018 I, as well at 1500 other parents, received a phone call no parent should ever receive. There was a shooting at my child’s school. My son, a then 7th grader at Noblesville West Middle School was in his 2nd period science class, Jason’s seaman was the teacher. A class mate came in and opened fire in his classroom, Jason Seaman quickly went in to action throwing a ball at the shooter and pinning him down so the rest of the class and school could run to safety. Jason took 3 bullets in the process. I, and hundreds of other parents, are forever greatful for his heroics and I could both think of a more deserving person of this prize.
5,112 VOTES | $10,000 FOR MCDOWELL INTERMEDIATE HIGH SCHOOL
I nominate Ashley Kuzma because she is the definition of a dedicated teacher. She was diagnosed with rare throat cancer in 2017 (never a smoker). She underwent 29 radiation treatments, a partial laryngectomy, then a total laryngectomy (2018), with more rounds of radiation and chemo. In between surgeries and treatment, she continued to return to what she loves most--teaching. Ashley teaches Gifted Support at MIHS in the Millcreek School District in Erie, PA. She challenges students to reach their potential by creating differentiated lessons/activities based on their needs and interests. She prepares these students for senior high and beyond. Prior to becoming the Gifted Support teacher, she taught Social Studies, so traveling to historical sites and absorbing the history is part of her passion. She has a true sense of adventure and a desire to learn. Her students recognize this genuine interest, and it makes her teaching truly authentic. Ashley has recently learned that cancer has returned and the treatment outlooks are slim, yet she continues to teach and make a difference. She is looking to enjoy every moment of every day and try to check items off her bucket list. I do not know anyone who is more deserving.
TOP 30 Winners
George Washington Carver Elementary School
Coral Gables, FL
Ms. Alexandra Durr is a 4th grade math science and social studies teacher at a public school in Coconut Grove Florida. She is passionate about what she does...
Loudoun County Public Schools
Amber is a special education teacher for the past 15 years. She has devoted her entire career to helping children who struggle with reading math and writing....
Arnel Dela Cruz
Miyamura High School
Mr. Dela Cruz is a fantastic teacher. He is always prepared with the assignment of the day that is aligned with the objective standard and essential questions....
Young Audiences Charter School
I'm nominating my wife because she's one of the hardest working teachers out there. She has been named Teacher of the Year 9 times. She currently hold the...
McDowell Intermediate High School
I nominate Ashley Kuzma because she is the definition of a dedicated teacher. She was diagnosed with rare throat cancer in 2017 (never a smoker). She underwent...
Windy Hill Middle School
Middle school science teacher always puts her students first works 10-12 hour days through most of the week responsible for bringing thousands of dollars worth...
Dutch Lane Elementary School
Teaching students with autism is a passion of mine. In the 30 years that I have been teaching I have established relationships with countless numbers of...
Sheridan Technical High School
Fort Lauderdale, FL
As an 11th and 12th grade English teacher frequently my impact can be seen after my students graduate. One student has told me she is now going to be a teacher...
Ronan Middle School
I nominate Mr. Becker who is an 8th grade Math teacher in Ronan Montana. Mr. Becker is an amazing math teacher that has devoted his life to helping kids grow...
Patchogue-Medford High School
He is the most dedicated teacher I have ever know he has taught math since 1974. In 2015 he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. They had to take out most of his...
Randall Middle School
After suffering a near death traumatic brain injury as a freshman in college Chris has defied all odds to become a dedicated honors mathematics teacher who...
Jackson Middle School
Mr. Shepherd is an exceptional teacher! He has taught four of my sweet perfect never obnoxious children. For each of them he has been the favorite of their...
Walter S. Boardman Elementary School
Ms. Degnan is the most passionate and caring teacher! She spreads JOY in everything she does. She is not only a phenomenal teacher but she does everything with...
Noblesville West Middle School
I May 25 2018 I as well at 1500 other parents received a phone call no parent should ever receive. There was a shooting at my child's school. My son a then 7th...
Sachem North High School
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
For over 15 years I have watched my son beam over his job. If you ask him what he does he doesn't just say "I teach high school history." Instead he simply...
Lincoln Performing Arts Elementary
Jordan Price is one of those teachers that stay with you for life. He has taught drama at my son's school for the last 4 years and from day one we knew we had...
Vestaburg Community School
My wife is a loving dedicated teacher. She works hard each day to not only be there academically for her students but to be there emotionally as well. Her...
Manatee High School
My husband Kendall is not only the most inspirational educator I have ever seen but he chooses to share joy with his students every day even after experiencing...
Northland Pines-Eagle River Elementary
Eagle River, WI
Putting my first child into school was by far one of scariest things I have ever done. Ms. Ward has gone above and beyond her duties as being a 4k teacher that...
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20
Melissa teaches high school students ages 14-21 with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone chemotherapy...
Cheney High School
Monte Syrie is the definition of what teaching is. With so many teachers teaching to the test he goes beyond to inspire those in our community and beyond. He...
Catholic Education Centre
As a special education teacher Nancy lives her true passion by supporting students from JK-Gr. 12 across all areas of ability (learning disabilities autism...
One World Middle School
My name is Nicole Conlisk. I have been a NYC public school teacher for the last 12.5 years working in the NEST program with students with Autism. On 11/12/18...
Corcoran High School- Syracuse City School District
My mother is the kind of teacher you want your kids to have. She inspires her students to go out and change the world. She has taught at the same inner city...
Imagine Schools at Town Center
Palm Coast, FL
Mrs. Spires has a niche for teaching. I truly believe that teaching is her true calling and passion. Mrs. Spires has been teaching for 7 years and this is her...
Uintah High School
I am nominating Rachelle Durrant because she is a phenomenal teacher. Not only does she passion when it comes to teaching but she loves her students as well....
Woodland Avenue Elementary School
I am a special education teacher in the Hicksville School District and have been teaching for 20 years. I was born with a hearing loss and truly understand...
Lake Olympia Middle School
Missouri City, TX
Mr. Thomas has a passion for making learning FUN! He desires to transform the way content is delivered and has used $1500 of his own funds to purchase flexible...
Long Cane Middle School
Traviera has a beautiful soul and a heart for children. She teaches middle school social studies Read 180 and aerobics to students of all ability levels. She...
Dodge County High School
"I'm enough of a realist to understand that I can't reach every student but I am more of an optimist to get up every morning and try!" This is my motto for...