Awards / Scholarships

2018 Lifetime Achievement Winner

Philip Poinelli Philip J. Poinelli, FAIA, LEED AP, ALEP
Symmes Maini & McKee Associates
Cambridge, MA

An architect and Educational Planner with Symmes Maini & McKee Associates in Cambridge MA, Philip Poinelli was instrumental in the development of the firm's K-12 Studio, and currently leads SMMA's educational planning initiatives' influencing most all of SMMA's K-12 public and private school projects. Mr. Poinelli is passionate about educational planning; collaborating, assessing, and working with dedicated professionals, nationally and internationally developing ideas for planning, programming and design of innovative and creative learning environments that not only support, but enhance educational delivery pedagogy. Active since 2007, Phil's previous roles in the organization include: four years in the Northeast Region leadership; three years as juror for the MacConnell Award; 2011 Planning Awards Juror, and numerous committee positions. He also served for three years as co-chair of the AIA/CAE K-12 committee. He is a writer, speaker and researcher on educational planning and places. In 2012 Mr. Poinelli was elected to the AIA College of Fellows and earned his ALEP certification. A '09 SDSU graduate, he was one of the early ALEP's and is active in helping to make the designation represent the cutting edge of the profession.

Edward Kirkbride Award

The Edward Kirkbride Award is bestowed upon a project that exhibits exceptional strength in each of the judging criteria.

2018 Regional Design Awards

Kirkbride Award
Lester J. Gates Middle School

Lester J. Gates Middle School
Lester J. Gates Middle School
Scituate Public Schools | Scituate, MA
Dore & Whittier Architects

When Scituate Public Schools embarked on their journey to repair or replace the aging existing intermediate school, there was uncertainty about where that journey would take them. Ultimately, they developed both a new educational vision and a future-ready facility to support that new vision.

While projects of this size tend to have hundreds of competing interests, the School District made it clear from the beginning that the decision-making process would put student needs first. As evidence of that, this project acknowledges that individual students have individual learning preferences. Rather than prioritizing control and teacher ownership, where the learning experience is the same for every student, learning studios and breakout spaces are designed to offer students the opportunity to choose their own learning environment or customize an environment to meet their individual needs. Similarly, rather than a single type of furniture in every learning space, which is easier to maintain and often cheaper to purchase, students have a wide range of choices. Read more »

Photo: Jason Boone, Dore & Whittier Architects, receiving the Ed Kirkbride Award

Project of Distinction
Winchester High School

Winchester High School
Winchester High School
Town of Winchester, MA
Symmes Maini & McKee Associates

Transforming Brutal into Beautiful
How do you transform the brutal into the beautiful, the rigid into the flexible, the imposing into the inviting? These are the questions we had to answer in our approach to renovating Winchester High School, an example of 1970s Brutalist architecture serving 1,370 students in a bedroom community situated approximately twenty minutes northwest of Boston.

The directive from the Town of Winchester was to transform the out-of-place aesthetic and poor learning environment to reflect the school’s top ten Massachusetts public school status and National Blue Ribbon credentials. Read more »

Photo: Michael Van Hamel, SMMA receiving the Project of Distinction Award

Distinguished Service Award
Distinguished Service Award Photo: Ron Lamarre, President presenting the Distinguished Service Award to Jason Boone

Past Winners »


The Advanced Academy for Designing Learning Spaces – Cohort 8

The Northeast Region is offering a scholarship for members to participate in The Advanced Academy: Cohort 8. The scholarship will be given to a member in good standing and who is committed to the profession and wants to become actively involved in the Association at the Chapter, Regional, and International levels but needs financial assistance to participate.

The scholarship will financially assist a member with registration into the full program.

Applicants must be a member of the A4LE.

The Region will award one scholarship of 70% of the cost of the program, which is $5,000. The scholarship award winner will be expected to complete each module of the program with at least 80% to earn the certificate, report to the Northeast Region progress in the program, and make a presentation about the program at a Regional event. If the scholarship recipient does not achieve at least an 80% in each module, the region will no longer provide the funding to continue in The Academy.

Submit Your Application

Please submit your application by April 23, 2021.

Schedule of Scholarship
Application Due April 23, 2021
Application Review April 26 – May 14, 2021
Scholarship Announced May 17, 2021

Advanced Academy Cohort 8
Schedule subject to change

Module 1: Learning Theories – Frameworks for School Design
Instructor: Sandra Duncan, EdD
August 16 – September 26, 2021
Module 2: Leading Educational Visioning and Community Engagement
Instructor: Page Dettmann, ALEP
October 4 – November 21, 2021
Module 3: Assessment of the School Facility
Instructor: Rob Pillar, ALEP
November 29 – January 16, 2022
Module 4: Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning Services
Instructor: Sue Robertson, ALEP
January 24 – March 6, 2022
Module 5: High Performance School Design
Instructor: Aaron Jobson
March 14 – April 24, 2022
Module 6: Project Management / Project Delivery
Instructor: Irene Nigaglioni
Become a Member


ALEP / Certificate Programs


Comprehensive industry education: ALEP, Advanced Academy and Vibrant Learning Environments


Online Awards


Visit our showcase of past online entry submissions


LearningSCAPES 2021


January 6-8, 2022
Washington Hilton, Washington DC