Two  flyers announcing Philhower and Steengrafe awards

The Rotary Club of Westfield is accepting nominations for the 30th Annual Charles Philhower Fellowship Award, which recognizes an outstanding full-time educator in Grades Pre-K through 5 in the Westfield Public Schools.

Additionally, the Rotary Club is introducing the 1st Annual Weyman Steengrafe Award to recognize full-time employees of the Westfield Public School who are not certified teachers.

 The deadline to submit a nomination for both awards is Friday, April 14, 2023.

  • PHILHOWER NOMINATIONS:  Westfield Public School staff members, parents, students, and members of the Westfield community are invited to complete this ONLINE FORM to nominate an educator who is a full-time faculty member in grades Pre-K-5 in the Westfield Public Schools and who is not a former Philhower Fellow.  Nominations should specify ways in which the teacher has demonstrated outstanding teaching, interest in children, and continued pursuit of professional growth.  A list of previous Philhower Fellows is available at this link

  • STEENGRAFE NOMINATIONS:  With Pre-K-12 teachers eligible for annual recognition from the Rotary Club, Optimist Club, and the Westfield High School educator awards, the Steengrafe Award was established by the Rotary Club to recognize full-time additional employees who have worked for the district for at least five years and who have demonstrated a clear commitment to the students and staff of the Westfield Public Schools. Employees eligible to be nominated include secretaries, paraprofessionals, and staff members in the technology and buildings and grounds departments as well as members of district administration.   Members of the school community may complete this ONLINE FORM to nominate an employee. 

Both fellowship recipients will be honored at a Westfield Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, May 9 and at a Rotary luncheon as well. The Philhower and Steengrafe Fellows also will receive a Rotary grant to further professional growth or to enhance classroom activities for students.

The Philhower award was established in 1993 by the Rotary Club of Westfield to recognize the importance of teaching in the elementary grades and to honor Westfield Rotarian and School Superintendent Charles Philhower.  Mr. Philhower, who died in 1962, was Supervising Principal (Superintendent) of Westfield Public Schools for 30 years from 1917 to 1947. He served as President of the Westfield Rotary Club in 1929-30 and as District Governor in 1937-1938.  As Rotary President, he instituted the club’s annual scholarship awards to graduating Westfield students.

The Steengrafe Fellowship is established in memory of Weyman O. Steengrafe, who began teaching Social Studies in the Westfield Public Schools in 1942 before serving as Principal at Franklin, Tamaques, and Wilson Elementary Schools.  Steengrafe, who died in 2010, was a lifelong Rotarian from 1966-2010, serving as Club President in 1971-1972 and District Governor in 1985-1986.