Volunteer judges invited by The Miami Herald from an independent panel for each category to read the entry forms and conduct interviews. Judges will select a Silver Knight winner and three Honorable Mentions in each category. Judges in one category do not consult judges in another category before reaching decisions. The schools Silver Knight Coordinator is notified of the site and specific day in March for Silver Knight interviews. Because of the difficulty in arranging schedules for all the judges, interviews will be conducted on that one-day only.
All nominees must agree to appear for the interview. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Students are advised to dress in business attire. The 10-15 minute interview gives selected nominees a chance to elaborate on ideas and activities presented in the Entry Form Packet. It also gives the judges a glimpse of a nominees poise, sincerity and enthusiasm. The Miami Herald will disqualify a schools nominee if that student fails to appear for a scheduled interview.
There are no requirements that a Silver Knight nominee take specific courses to be qualified in a given category. However, judges require -in evaluating the Academic Checklist - that some of a nominee's classroom interests are directly related to that category.
Interviews usually begin at about 8 a.m., and for some categories, extend until 6:00 p.m. Judges will evaluate each nominee based on the following criteria: (Max. of 100 points)
1. Service (up to 50 pts)- use of skills and talents for the betterment of our South Florida community. Creativity in problem solving and the quality consistency and measurable impact of service.
2. Achievement (up to 40 pts)- based on grade point average. Including a listing of honors and awards related to this category is encouraged.
3. Leadership/Character/Interview (up to 10 pts)- significant roles in school and community activities, use of good judgment, perseverance in overcoming challenges, and realization of goals. Poise, maturity, sincerity, enthusiasm and ability to communicate ideas.