Norwegian Cruise Line commemorated a new ship by awarding 100 teachers from the U.S. and Canada with a free voyage that included an exclusive concert by Kelly Clarkson. Norwegian’s Giving Joy awards ceremony also recognized the teachers with $170,000 for the top three Grand Prize winners and their schools. The contest was launched during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2–6) to recognize deserving educators.
The top three Grand Prize winners who garnered the most votes were flown to Galveston, Texas, from their homes in New Jersey, Florida, and New York, to embark on the cruise.
• Patricia Hosmer from Bayonne High School in Bayonne, New Jersey Hosmer has been a dedicated teacher and curriculum writer for over 35 years. With her incredible dedication, the widowed breast cancer survivor also teaches at an Alternative High School in the evening and tutors students who are unable to attend school due to illness.
• Theresa Schrager from Falcon Cove Middle School, in Weston, Florida, won second place. Schrager said “Many children have hurdles to overcome, but hard work and creativity is what makes a student strive in my Film and Creative Writing classes. Sometimes, I am the only class that keeps students coming to school, and I have to motivate them to do their best in other classes.”
• Third prize went to Anthony Stirpe from New Rochelle High School in New York called teaching ‘the privilege of a lifetime’. “As teachers, we have superpowers; when we put a grade on an assignment, we have the ability to make a student see themselves in a particular way. We label them a success, mark them as average, or, worst case, we set them up for failure. I like to create a classroom where all kids find something they excel in. When students struggle, I let them know it is okay to fail forward, make mistakes, correct those mistakes and grow” he said.
In addition to their schools getting donations, each of the Grand Prize winners received another surprise—nearly $40,000 each in prize money, thanks to partners of the Giving Joy annual teacher recognition program. To date the Giving Joy program has awarded 230 teachers across the U.S. and Canada with free cruises and donated over $350,000 to schools and educators since 2019.