Pious Ali, the dynamic and ground-breaking leader of Portland Empowered, has been nominated for the $100,000 Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

The award recognizes a person, school, district or organization for advancing student-centered approaches to learning.

Last year, thanks to enthusiastic community support, Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce handily won the award in a five-state competition.

Nominees are chosen from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. The nominee receiving the most votes at studentsatthecenterhub.org/ award-nominees/ is the winner. Simply go online and enter your email address to vote.

The site shows a running tally of votes for each of the five candidates until Sept. 30, when voting ends at noon.

Margot McCain

Portland