TOP Board member Ned Michaels (left) with TOP co-founders Ed Michaels and Katie Michaels Post (second and third from left) surrounded by supportive family members.
2006 | The first awards - originally called the Michaels Awards - were presented at a celebratory event at the Atlanta Speech School in November 2006. Ten educators were declared winners, each receiving a $4,000 prize, half for a school or classroom project they had proposed during the application process and half for their personal use.
After that night, the Michaels family quickly realized that their small foundation and family couldn’t sustain the awards alone, so they asked other like-minded families to join their mission. They also renamed the organization the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education. Many of those families who signed up to the task still partner with us today.
Through our yearly awards process, we have granted over 130 educators $7,500 each: one-third of the money to fund a classroom or school project, one-third to pursue a professional development opportunity, and one-third for the winner’s personal use.
2019 | We recognized that over the last fourteen years, AFAEE’s reach and scope had grown, and we were no longer an organization funded solely by family foundations. In an effort to increase our visibility and better advance our mission, we began a rebranding process.
In June 2019, we formally announced our new name: the Teach On Project! By changing our name, we're embracing who we've always been: an organization committed to Keeping Excellent Educators in Public Schools.