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Friends of Education Award

Jump to 2024 Award Recipient

The Friends of Education Award was established by the Board of Education to recognize and show appreciation to those who have made exemplary contributions to Howard County public education and to increase awareness of the importance of community involvement to the achievement of the school system’s Strategic Call to Action plan. Any Howard County resident or non-profit group, organization, association, or business located in or serving Howard County who has not already been a recipient, may be nominated for the award.

Who Does the Award Recognize?

The Friends of Education Award recognizes an individual, business, or non-profit group, organization, or association for an innovative or unique contribution that:


Nominations for the 2025 Friends of Education award will open in late 2024.

Who May Be Nominated?

Any employee of the Howard County Public School System, Howard County resident or member of a group, organization, association or business located in or serving Howard County may submit a nomination.

What is Required for Nomination?

A complete Friends of Education Award application and three current signed letters of recommendation are required to submit a nomination. During the nomination period, nominators may complete an application online or contact the Board of Education at 410-313-1584.

Who are the Previous Award Recipients?

A complete list of Friends of Education award recipients is available on the BoardDocs website.

2024 Award Recipient

Suzi Padgett

Suzi Padgett is a member of the Bright Minds Foundation and serves on the HCPSS Superintendent’s Program Innovation Advisory Board. She was recognized at the April 11, 2024, Board of Education meeting, during which Board Chair Jennifer Swickard Mallo said the following:

“Ms. Padgett is tireless advocate for Howard County students, families, and educators. Her commitment to supporting education in Howard County is driven by her belief that ‘access to a quality education impacts everything we do in our lives’ and is rooted in her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“[Padgett] is a builder of people, networks, programs and initiatives, and community organizations focused on making a difference in the lives of the students, families, and educators.