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Sheelagh Nolan

Award Nominations - Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching

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Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching

2021 Call for Nominations 

Applications open on Monday, October 18th: Download Nomination Form

Thank you for taking this opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievement of educators and teams in support of Autistic learners across the lifespan in Nova Scotia. Another year has passed where COVID-19 has forced teachers and students, community members, and those in the working field to overcome unprecedented challenges. Celebrating their successes has never been more important than it is right now. 
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 numerous 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 a group in Nova Scotia, such as a teacher or member of a student support team, a learning team, or a school. It may also be awarded to honour the exceptional work of individuals and teams who continue to teach Autistic individuals once their school days are through, both in the workplace and in the community. 

Nominations will be accepted from parents, educators/learning support personnel, or learners at a school or in another learning environment (community or workplace) in Nova Scotia. 

With this award, we will recognize the efforts of an individual or team who foster the growth and maximize the potential of a learner or learners on the Autism Spectrum in a collaborative and positive manner. 


Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching:  
How to Make Sure Your Nomination Ticks All the Boxes 


When choosing someone to nominate, it is best to be very clear in how that individual or team provides an exceptional learning environment to those who are autistic (In other words, please be very specific in your examples, using real life stories and situations you have experienced or have been told about). 

Please be sure to include information for all four “check boxes” below, as they will be looked at equally when determining who the winner will be. Additional comments may also be considered when determining the winner. 

1. The person I am nominating works hard to help the student or learner with autism grow and maximize their potential; 
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 build self-esteem and peer relationships; and 
4. The person I am nominating consistently makes sure that they use the best practices and the most current information about autism and teaching autistic learners. 
For the 2020-2021 year, the Awards committee will also consider how the nominee has gone above and beyond to support learners face the unique challenges caused by COVID-19. 
This year, the Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented at our Holiday Open House on December 9th, 2021. All nominees and nominators, schools, and the community will be notified of the details prior to the event.


Please submit your completed nomination form by November 19th, 2021 to Jill Cormier at 

You may also send in your physical nominations by fax or mail:
Fax: 902-446-4997
Autism Nova Scotia
5945 Spring Garden Rd
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 1Y4. 

Download 2021 Sheelagh Nolan Award Nomination Form

Technical Support: How to fill out the nomination form on your mobile device

After you’ve installed Acrobat Reader, open your web browser from your mobile device and go to, then follow these steps:

  • Click on the Download Nomination Form link to open it in the previewer.
  • When the PDF opens, click on the share icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • When the list of applications you can share the PDF with opens, pick Acrobat.
  • An Adobe Acrobat action screen should now open asking you what action you want take. Pick "Import to Acrobat".
  • The document will open in Acrobat. Fill out the PDF and once you’ve completed it, click on the share icon at the top of the screen.
  • A screen saying “Invite People By Email” will appear. Do NOT enter email addresses here, instead click on the “Share a Copy” at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to send using your regular email.
  • A dialog box will appear asking which application to use in sharing the file. Pick your normal email program from the list. The program should open, and the filled PDF should automatically be loaded as an attachment. Fill in the email address, a subject, body (optional), and hit send.