From the dozens of educators that NEA affiliates select, an expert panel chooses five to receive the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Horace Mann Awardees receive $10,000, and special recognition at the NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Gala. The panel selects one of these finalists to receive the NEA Member Benefits award and $25,000 at the gala.
Congratulations to our 2019 Awardees!
We are proud to recognize these five educators for their diligence and dedication to students, colleagues, community, and profession. The awardees are:
Matthew Bacon-Brenes, a dual language immersion mentor teacher in Portland Public Schools in Portland, OR, nominated by the Oregon Education Association.
Leah Juelke, a 9th to 12th grade language arts educator for English learner (EL) students at Fargo South High School in Fargo, ND, nominated by North Dakota United.
Dan Ryder, a 9th to 12th grade language arts educator at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, ME, nominated by the Maine Education Association.
Cynthia Tong, an 8th grade social studies educator at Ewa Makai Middle School in Ewa Beach, HI, nominated by the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Cicely Woodard, an 8th grade mathematics educator at Freedom Middle School in Franklin, TN, nominated by the Tennessee Education Association.
“The most critical component of education is the teacher. Students thrive when teachers are empowered with thoughtful and consistent training.”
“To be an excellent educator, the most important thing is to create relationships with students that foster communication and cultural understanding.”
“Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. You see the best in humanity and the future..."”
“A great educator teaches everyone, every day, in small ways.”
“The impact that we make on the lives of students and that they make on us is powerful, life-changing, and enduring.”
Texas State Teachers Association
3rd to 5th Grade Educator, Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Austin, TX
North Carolina Association of Educators
12th Grade Language Arts Educator, South Point High School in Belmont, NC
Virginia Education Association
6th to 8th Grade Math and Social Studies Educator, Georgetown School in Mechanicsville, VA
Kansas National Education Association
4th Grade Educator, Pray-Woodman Elementary School in Maize, KS
Louisiana Association of Educators
Exceptional Student Services Educator, Eden Park Academy of Ethics and Excellence in Baton Rouge, LA
Nominate an Educator
The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence present an annual opportunity for NEA state leaders to collectively and publicly recognize and reward exemplary educators for their outstanding instruction and advocacy to advance the profession. Each NEA direct affiliate may nominate an educator to receive an Award for Teaching Excellence between September and May. Visit our Nominate an Educator page for more information and to submit a nomination.