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What is the Beyonder Award?

Dr. E. Paul Torrance coined the word “Beyonder” to describe projects that “outdistance the others so far that they are not even on the same scale.” Community Projects students who demonstrate exceptional depth, passion, and commitment in a project that goes above and
beyond what would normally be expected of students are considered for the Beyonder Award.

Conferring of the Beyonder Award is not mandatory and is determined independently of
place scoring. Each evaluator can nominate a project for consideration to receive the Beyonder. Three evaluators independently review each nominated project and complete the Beyonder matrix. After completing the Beyonder matrix, the three evaluators will confer to determine if a project merits awarding the Beyonder. The award is considered the most prestigious in the Community Projects program.

The award is given to students who have demonstrated an exceptional amount of passion, depth, and commitment to the project, going above and beyond what would normally be expected. See an example of a recent Beyonder project.

Beyonder Characteristics

Pursued the project with intensity.
Demonstrated extraordinary motivation and commitment.
Exhibited an unusually clear purpose/mission in mind.
Addressed purpose/mission with exceptional diligence.
Enhanced their understanding of the issues and decision making with outstanding use of critical thinking tools.
Displayed exceptional effort throughout.
Implemented remarkable action rather than requesting it from others.
Extended beyond the scope of ordinary attempts to address the area of concern.
Pursued uncommon risks to ensure that goals were met.
Demonstrated superior depth of thinking beyond expectations for their division.
Extended innovative actions far beyond required focus and format.
Displayed extraordinary conviction to pursue an avenue that is “different” or “unusual”.
Demonstrated a marked preparedness to “go-it-alone” when support from others
wanes.
Displayed an intense love for their work in implementing the project.
Demonstrated a rare passion for the issue/area of concern.
Displayed notable joy in their work.
Exhibited extraordinary pride in their accomplishments.
Demonstrated remarkable creativity.
Displayed thinking far beyond the ordinary.
Showed the unique courage to be creative.
Implemented extraordinarily original ideas.
Employed a highly innovative approach(es).
Enhanced their efforts through the outstanding use of creative thinking tools.
Displayed exceptional motivation to address/overcome obstacles.
Exhibited rare tolerance of mistakes made.
Showed superior learning from their mistakes.
Demonstrated unusual freedom from the expectations of others.
Revealed remarkable independence; not governed by teacher/adult direction.
Demonstrated project has depth.
Displayed notable delight in deep thinking.
Demonstrated uncommon reflective thinking throughout the Project.
Made a truly profound difference in their community.
Showed exceptional concern for the sustainability of the project.

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April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in Gifted Education. She earned the National Board Certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board Assessor for the certification of others. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.