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Sheelagh Nolan Award


The Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious award that honours the devotion and perseverance of the late Sheelagh Nolan. Sheelagh was an active contributor to many school and community causes. Sheelagh’s son, Patrick, is on the Autism Spectrum and was always Sheelagh’s greatest inspiration. With this award, we celebrate her legacy of support and her championing of excellence in education.

The winner of this award may be an individual or group—such as a teacher, a student support team, or a learning team—within a recognized and accredited Nova Scotia education centre, college, university, or Designated Special Education Private School (DSEPS).

Nominations will be accepted from parents, educators, learning support personnel, or learners at a school in Nova Scotia. With this award, we will recognize the efforts of an individual or team who fosters the growth and maximizes the potential of a learner or learners on the Autism Spectrum in a collaborative and positive manner.

Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching: Criteria

When choosing someone to nominate, please clearly explain how that individual or team provides an exceptional learning environment for Autistic learners. In other words, be specific in your examples, using real life stories and situations.

Include information for all five criteria listed below, as they will be weighed equally when reviewed. Other comments may also be considered when reviewing applications.

  1. The person I am nominating works hard to help the Autistic learner(s) grow.
  2. The person I am nominating recognizes the importance of collaborating with the learner, family/caregivers, educators, and other significant partners involved.
  3. The person I am nominating helps the Autistic learner(s) build self-esteem and peer relationships.
  4. The person I am nominating consistently ensures they use the best practices and the most current information about autism and teaching Autistic learners.
  5. The person I am nominating is a teacher, member of a student support team, or learning team within an acredited Nova Scotia education centre, college/university or DSEPS school.