Dean's List Notification Emails

We were planning on announcing our Dean’s List nominees next Sunday at our Robot Reveal celebration. However it seems that FIRST emailed them today, so, so much for it being a surprise.

I’m thinking it might be nice for FIRST to hold off on the announcement until build season is complete (or have this as an option). Do other teams have similar public events like this? Would others like the announcement to be a bit later in the season? Or not…

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We announce them briefly right after the submission is due (because FIRST sends the emails out), and then do a more formal recognition at the end of the year banquet.

What really had me worried this year was the hour delay between the first and second Dean’s List confirmation emails that went out. Had some frantic re-checking of the nomination forms during that gap…

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That time gap is interesting - both of ours went out at 9:46a.

Keep in mind there is no longer an “end” to build season - there’s kickoff, the award submission deadlines, and then week 1 events. For students nominated at week-1 events, getting those notifications as early as possible gives them more time to prepare. With remote interviews this year, anyone nominated at a week 1 event will be going through interviews next week, which means judge advisors are reaching out now to schedule that stuff! There really is no more time for them to wait, unless they sent them out week by week, which seems needlessly complicated to me.

Besides, for us there is no surprise, not since they started the interview process. We have interested students “apply” for it at the end of the fall, and then they know the results going into build season. This lets us collaborate with them a bit, when we need outside details to include - for example, one of the questions is to share the number of year’s they’ve been involved with FIRST, which means we need to check with them on FLL/FTC involvement and make sure we get that detail correct. Other students may have involvement outside of the team that’s relevant that we need details on - for example, our 2014 winner had a STEM-based project for her Girl Scout Gold Award that was inspired by her time on the team and included in her essay.


Ours went out at 7:43 am (CST) for both. Maybe they ran into a problem on the server halfway through?

Interesting, we received one at 7:32AM, the other at 8:45AM. Maybe they were processed in batches and ours just got split for some reason

Keep in mind that when you filled out the award submission one of the boxes that you (presumably) checked said:

I acknowledge that the youth team members of the team have verified the accuracy of this submission.

So, in theory, at least some youth team members need to know prior to the submission deadline.

Less interesting detail: Our emails went out at 8:10 and 8:25am for our nominees. :man_shrugging:

Going back to your question on how other teams announce their nominees- we announce it as soon as it is decided (our students and mentors vote). One of the great things about this model is that we are able to openly solicit additional information and anecdotes from the team to help in writing the essay. We celebrate our nominees at events later in the year as well, including our robot reveal night and end of year awards banquet. It just isn’t a surprise at that point.


Thank you all for your perspectives.

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I knew HQ sends the emails, but it sure would be nice to know exactly when they go out far enough in advance to plan.

I try to do something different every year and since we didn’t have regular classes last week (long story, not pandemic related) most of the team is not in the building, and we don’t have most at our meetings. So this year I called an “Emergency Meeting” via Zoom, spammed their emails and Slack, and surprised everyone with the announcement.

(Well, almost everyone except the parents, who needed to give consent to release academic information, and the students who reviewed the application.)

Yea, everything that Bryan said. You have to acknowledge that so the students have to read it.

I know I actively seek ideas from my students and it helps me write stronger essays. For example, I will normally send them a giant questionnaire saying brag about yourself, I don’t know everything about one. One of my previous students have represented FIRST through FLL at the White House so that was pretty neat to include in her Dean’s List essay.

If the questionaire I use would be interesting to anyone, let me know and I would be happy to pass it along.


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