Celebrating Excellence in Education

On February 8, 2013, in front of more than 800 leaders in public education, five educators will receive The Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, DC.

These educators have been selected for this award by their peers because they have attained the highest standards of the profession, as shown by their exemplary instruction, advocacy for public education, a commitment to diversity, and engagement of parents and community. Honoring these educators is our thank you for their excellent work.

We congratulate:

  • Kellie Blair-Hardt, a special education teacher at Metz Middle School in Manassas, VA;
  • Melissa Collins, a second grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School in Memphis, TN;
  • Julia Marshall, a teacher interventionist and literacy coach at Rosewood Elementary International School in Rock Hill, SC;
  • Leslie Nicholas, a language arts teacher at Wyoming Valley West Middle School in Kingston, PA; and
  • Jennifer Thomas, an instructional coach and English language arts teacher in the San Jose Unified School district in San Jose, CA


Watch clips from an interview with these outstanding educators and prepared to be inspired.

Known as the Academy of Awards of public education, the  NEA Foundation’s Gala features award presentations to 38 educators, who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate for the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. These awards recognize and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.



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