The Eddies

One of our greatest strengths as a Network is working together to spread impact and know-how. In that spirit, the Eddies—advocate-nominated and voted awards—provide an annual opportunity to feature outstanding policy and advocacy wins from the past year, telling the story of how education policy was advanced one community and campaign at a time. Eddies winners are announced at the annual PIE Network Summit during an evening ceremony where advocates can laugh together and learn about and celebrate powerful campaigns across the country.

Meet the 2021 Winners

Award Categories

Redesigned in 2021 and upgraded again in 2022, advocates are nominated in seven categories:

  • Game Changer Campaign of the Year recognizes local, state, or national advocacy campaigns that tackled a big problem and achieved a new, game-changing policy or protected an existing critical policy. Sometimes a policy window opens quickly, and advocates move fast; sometimes, the window opens after years of sustained advocacy efforts. Either way, nominees in this category pushed the envelope to make a significant impact for students and families—paving the way for others to replicate or adapt this strategy in their communities.
  • Best Collaboration features coalitions of leaders and organizations who worked together to achieve a significant impact for students and families. Working in coalition can be incredibly powerful—and incredibly challenging.  This category honors the hard work of coalitions that organized artfully to respond to unique opportunities or challenges in their states and communities, contributed to a policy win, and inspired others to take up similar efforts. Leaders and organizations in this category not only advanced or protected critical policy to impact students—they did it in partnership and across lines of difference. 
  • Best Defense highlights campaigns that strategically defended important policy and overcame significant odds; sometimes, the most significant wins are actually holding the line. Nominees in this category provide models for how to deploy sharp strategies to defend policies or efforts that benefit students.
  • Most Actionable Research spotlights resources or tools that shed new light on pressing and widespread problems or solutions and that state and local advocates across the Network leveraged to make a compelling case for policy change and achieve breakthroughs.
  • Power to the People Campaign features grassroots policy and advocacy campaigns at the local level that responded to community needs, grew from community power, and transformed opportunities for students and families in their community. While direct services are powerful—and needed—this category features policy and advocacy campaigns serving students and families.
  • Best Implementation is a new award this year that highlights the necessary implementation work to ensure that breakthrough policy or laws lead to sustained impact for students. Advocates know passing policy is only the beginning of the work to change outcomes and opportunities for students. This category features implementation work on laws or policies that were passed or adopted at least three years ago. Nominations for this award must include 1) specific data showing impact on outcomes and 2) describe a PIE Network member or partner organization’s involvement in implementation (setting or advocating for regulations, data monitoring, stakeholder engagement and momentum-building, professional development, etc). While individual leaders may have changed over time, nominations in this category should reflect sustained advocacy or policy work that PIE Network member or partner organizations have been involved with since the policy or law was passed.
  • Suzanne Kubach PIE Network Weaver of the Year honors local, state, or national leaders who consistently go above and beyond their job description to connect and support peers advancing state and local advocacy policy. This category recognizes advocates who thoughtfully and intentionally support the leadership and work of others, strengthening the Network and the sector. This category was previously called Network MVP.

Rules & Guidelines

  • Individual national, state, or local Network member organizations may only self-nominate once per category. If multiple self-nominations are made in the same category, the PIE Network team will ask the member organization to pick one campaign.
  • The Eddies will continue to amplify coalition work. However, due to budget constraints and the worldwide shortage of crystal Eddies, we will only hand out seven crystal Eddies per winner. If there are more than seven organizations listed on your nomination, please specify which organizations should receive a crystal award if your coalition wins.
  • Sometimes nominations can be a fit for multiple categories. A policy and advocacy campaign can only be nominated once. However, you will be prompted to select a secondary category during the nomination process. The Eddies Nominations Committee, all of whom are Network leaders, may suggest moving a nomination into a different category. If they do, the PIE Network team will reach out.
  • Each staff member at every PIE Network member or partner organization is eligible to cast one vote for a winner in each category. We encourage everyone to vote based on merit and not on organization affiliation or name recognition.

Eddies! FAQs

Who is eligible for an Eddie?

PIE Network members and partners are eligible to be nominated, as well as thought-leaders and friends that worked in conjunction with a member or partner on a key advocacy campaign. 

How are winners selected?

After PIE Network members and partners make nominations, a selection committee made up of Network leaders identifies finalists in each category. The Network is then invited to select a winner in each category. Anyone that works on staff at a PIE Network member or partner organization is eligible to vote. 

When does the Eddies process typically start each year?

PIE Network begins accepting nominations each summer. Network-wide voting generally happens in early fall.

What is required of Eddies Winners?

We will ask winners and finalists in each category to share best practices and lessons learned on what made their work successful, strategies that could be replicable in other places, and what they would do differently if they could. 

View Past Winners & Nominees