The Joëlle Award for Excellence in Education was created to honor the life’s work of Joëlle Dumas, founder of the Venice Chamber of Commerce education committee and creator of the WAVE (We Are Venice Education) Awards, an annual event celebrating educators in our community.

The recipient of this distinguished award will be someone who best reflects the qualities of its namesake.

Eligibility criteria for candidates are as follows:

Joelle Dumas

1. Candidate contributions must be in the Chamber service area of Venice and/or Mar Vista.

2. The candidate must be a supporter and contributor to the education community with a minimum of 3 years as an active community volunteer and leader.

3. The candidate should be someone who has been instrumental in initiating a project or a program that has had a direct impact within the education community and has had a measurable benefit to students.

4. The candidate must exemplify personal attributes that best reflect its namesake: unrelenting passion for community, ardent advocate for educational excellence, going above and beyond to support students, prioritizing the building of bridges and relationships throughout all endeavors.

Joelle Dumas, 1949-2022.  Joelle was the founder of Ecole Claire Fontaine and the Venice WAVE awards.  She also ran a summer camp for kids and served as Education Chair on the Venice Chamber of Commerce.  Joelle worked tirelessly to create a better community and her passion and love were infectious. Joelle loved children and the ocean.  Venice Paparazzi had the pleasure of knowing and working with Joelle on many projects and events. We photographed the WAVE awards every year, shot her son’s wedding, promoted her camps, photographed graduations at Ecole Claire Fontaine, served on the Venice Chamber of Commerce Board with her, and more.  View the interview we did with Joelle in 2018. 

Submissions are due by Friday, March 15th. Nominate a Candidate


The 14th Annual WAVE Awards is presented by the VCC Education Committee, and celebrates the hard work and dedication of our local educators.

Join us for an evening of recognition and appreciation as we honor the teachers who continue to inspire, educate, & motivate our local students. We will also celebrate the lifetime contributions of the second recipient of the Joelle Award for Excellence in Education.

About the WAVE (We Are Venice Education) Awards:  The theme for this year’s WAVE Awards is “Inspiring Unity”.  This theme embraces the challenging political and emotional climate faced by teachers and students. Honored teachers have demonstrated a balanced approach to meeting students’ needs through inclusive and emotionally engaging acts in the classroom.

These educators go above and beyond to provide excellence in education and help our children reach their full potential. This is an opportunity to show our appreciation and to celebrate their passion, hard work, and to acknowledge the positive impact they have on our children’s lives.

Whether you are a parent, student, or member of the community, this event is the perfect way to express your gratitude and support for these exceptional educators. We look forward to sharing this unforgettable evening with you. You will hear inspiring stories, meet incredible teachers, and witness firsthand the transformative power of education.

Get your May 9 tickets now!

Go down memory lane with Venice Paparazzi photos!

Venice Paparazzi has covered the WAVE awards every single year since it started in 2011.

Nominate a Candidate

Get your May 9 tickets now!

Thank You to Our Partners