In the fall of 2016 our department initiated the “JMU High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award“, intended to be an award offered annually in recognition of a high school physics teacher who exhibits exceptional dedication to teaching physics and has an outstanding record of going above and beyond in providing education and guidance necessary for their students’ success. Thus, the nominations for the award come from former high school students who are currently enrolled at JMU in STEM disciplines and take physics courses in our department.