Meet five teachers helping kids know more

Read on to find out who 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, D.C. They are:


  • Lisa Esquibel, a Kindergarten teacher at Davis Elementary School in Cheyenne, WY, holds a Masters degree, ESL Endorsement, and Collaborative Literacy Intervention Project Certification;
  • Jonathan Gillentine, a Pre-K teacher at  Rev. Benjamin Parker School in Kaneohe, HI is National Board Certified and holds a PhD;
  • Cara Haney, a Kindergarten teacher at Panther Lake Elementary in Kent, WA, is National Board Certified and holds a Masters degree;
  • Danielle Kovach, a third grade Special Education teacher at Hopatcong Public Schools  in Succasunna, NJ, holds two Masters degrees: in Special Education and in Educational Technology; and
  • Jeff Peneston, a ninth grade Earth Sciences teacher at Liverpool High School, in Liverpool, NY, is the 2011 New York State Teacher of the Year.


Known as the Academy of Awards of public education, the Gala features award presentations to 35 educators, who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, including the five Horace Mann awardees, announced today. The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.




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