Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Five Educators Named Finalists for National Education Award

WASHINGTON, DC (September 19, 2012) – Five educators will receive The Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education awards gala to be held on Feb. 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. They are:

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

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence are given annually at the Foundation’s black tie event that attracts 850 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic and business sectors, and is known as the Academy Awards of public education.  The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. 

“These educators have been selected for this award by their peers because they have attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by their exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Honoring them is our way of thanking them for their excellent work.”

In addition to the recognition, students and educators at the awardees’ school will receive digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation.   Video profiles of the awardees will be produced during the trainings and featured at the awards gala. 

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from NEA Member Benefits, the Horace Mann Companies, the Pearson Foundation, and California Casualty.

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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