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LVCF Honors Nitschmann Teacher Theodora Loupos-Augustino with a B.E.S.T Award

LVCF Honors Nitschmann Teacher Theodora Loupos-Augustino with a B.E.S.T Award

Allentown, Pa., June 15, 2017—The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation recently awarded The Bernie Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Middle School Level to Theodora Loupos-Augustino, a sixth-grade Literacy and English Language Arts teacher at Nitschmann Middle School in Bethlehem, Pa.

Beall Fowler, chair of the Board of Governors at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, made a surprise visit to Nitschmann Middle School on June 2, 2017 to present the award to Loupos-Augustino. He was joined by Peter Mayes, Principal of Nitschmann, and more than 50 of the teacher’s adoring students who cheered wildly when the award was announced.

“Theodora was nominated by no less than four of her co-workers,” noted Fowler. “One of whom was also a parent of one of her students.”  Fowler shared a statement from one of the nominations that encapsulated Loupos-Augustino’s meaning to the school and the students. “Mrs. Loupos is a teacher who is truly committed to education in that she puts students’ learning and interests above everything else. She consistently believes that every one of her students can learn and she provides the conditions for this to happen, including individualized attention. She has shown herself to be a lifelong learner, always striving to be up to date on current educational trends by going above and beyond with professional development.”

“Mrs. Loupos has embraced the many philosophical changes in educational trends over her 31 years with passion and commitment by surrounding herself with a supportive professional network. In addition, she has challenged herself as she has taught most every  grade level from sixth through twelfth grade. She had always enthusiastically accepted the challenge of teaching a new grade level and has found ways to get through to even some of the most challenging students. Her positive energy and confidence in the classroom is infectious to all who know her.”

Since 2000, the B.E.S.T. Awards reward excellence in teaching at the K-12 levels in the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD).  The Bethlehem Educational Scholastic Trust (B.E.S.T.) Fund at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation began more than two decades ago by a group of Bethlehem civic and business leaders who believed that the work of teachers is so critical to the community - as well as to the students - that outstanding teachers required special recognition.  Since then, recipients of the B.E.S.T. Awards are chosen by a committee which is comprised of teachers and educational professionals from outside the district as well as several past recipients of the B.E.S.T. Award.  The Award winners receive a check of $800 and are recognized at the BASD convocation ceremony in August.

For more information on the LVCF B.E.S.T. Awards and to nominate a BASD Teacher in 2018, visit:


See the video of the the surprise presentation...