In a nod to its educational roots, OnPoint Community Credit Union, in partnership with KGW-TV recently launched its first annual Prize for Excellence in Education contest.
"Our annual OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education contest celebrates extraordinary teaching methods that spark enthusiasm and passion in students and their parents," said OnPoint President/CEO Rob Stuart. "The OnPoint Prize will be awarded at the end of each school year to the teacher who meets the contest criteria of inspiring creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom and demonstrates exemplary teaching methods and style."
The Portland, Ore.-based credit union will award nearly $45,000 to deserving private and public K-12 teachers and their schools, including paying the mortgage for one year of the Educator of the Year, plus $5,000 to the respective teacher's school for necessary resources and supplies.
According to OnPoint Senior Vice President of Marketing/Member Services Kelly Schrader, the credit union, founded by 16 teachers in 1932, has always played an integral part in honoring the beloved teachers in the communities it serves. Now more than ever, educators who possess extraordinary teaching methods and spark enthusiasm and passion in students and their parents should be celebrated, said Schrader.
"We hope students and their parents will take this opportunity to celebrate the teachers and schools they believe have made a positive difference in their lives," said Schrader. "We felt this campaign not only honors our roots as a teachers credit union but also generates goodwill and excitement in our communities in the midst of a tough economy."
Schrader said that strengthening local education is one of the best ways to build thriving communities. In addition to the Educator of the Year award, a Community Choice winner will be selected and awarded $1,500 cash, plus $1,500 for his or her school. Three finalists will also be selected to win $1,500 each and $1,500 for their schools. Five semifinalists will be given $250 each for their schools. Winners will be announced on June 4.
Nomination forms are available at www.onpointprize.com and will be accepted through April 16.
A collaborative effort between OnPoint and its marketing agency partner Weber Marketing, the contest has provided what Schrader said has been an ideal opportunity for the credit union to make the most of social media outlets to educate and engage members. A multimedia blitz including a mix of television and radio commercials, banner ads, the contest microsite and printed materials provided to the school districts in the 13 counties served has helped spread the word about the contest.
In addition, throughout the campaign, KGW-TV will run a series of promos to support the OnPoint contest. The $2.8 billion credit union will also post updates of the contest on Facebook and Twitter.
"So far the employee reaction has been fantastic," said Schrader. "Several have made a point to tell me how proud they are that OnPoint is sponsoring a campaign like this. The feedback we're getting from our members is also very positive; in fact, comments from the public are included on the microsite."
A nine-person prize selection committee composed of representatives from OnPoint, educational institutions, state government, educational nonprofit organizations and the business community will determine the contest winners. Committee members were chosen because of their experience with and involvement in education.