For the Media

Educators Honored for Teaching Excellence and Resilience During Pandemic School Year

Educators Honored for Teaching Excellence and Resilience During Pandemic School Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 25, 2021) – The NEA Foundation today announced that 46 public school educators from across the country will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. The educators will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s 2022 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on February 11, 2022.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees are nominated for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators. This year’s awardees represent 45 states.

“At a time when our country has faced tremendous challenges from the pandemic, we are more aware than ever of the dedication, excellence and innovation of our nation’s educators. Never has it been more important to honor and celebrate them,” says Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “Each California Casualty awardee exemplifies a passion for the profession, serves as a leader among their peers, and represents the best in the teaching profession. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and support, and we look forward to honoring the 2022 awardees.”

“To say recent times have been tough on educators is an understatement. We are humbled by the sacrifice, compassion and perseverance of the California Casualty awardees,” says Joe Volponi, President and CEO, California Casualty. “Without a doubt, their students, colleagues and communities will continue to benefit from their efforts, and it is a privilege to honor such excellence.”

Of the 46 state awardees who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five will be chosen as finalists for the top national award and will receive $10,000. The educator selected for the top award will be revealed at the gala and will receive $25,000. The gala will also be livestreamed.

Find here information about the awards and a gallery of this year’s awardees.


Editor’s Note: Please use our correct name, The NEA Foundation. The “NEA” is never spelled out in our name. It is not the National Education Association Foundation. Many thanks!

About the NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that invests in educators’ leadership, shared learning and collaboration; supports partnerships and initiatives that strengthen public education; and promotes improvements in public education policy and practice. Find us at, Facebook and Twitter.