For the Media

Five educators selected from 36 national awardees to receive top awards at Gala

Five educators selected from 36 national awardees to receive top awards at Gala


Five educators will take the stage with an audience of 800 leaders of education, business, and their peers to receive public education’s most prestigious prizes, the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence and $10,000. These educators are among 36 awardees who will be recognized at the NEA Foundation’s annual Awards Gala in Washington, DC on Feb. 7, 2014. At the end of the night one will receive the top award, the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, and an additional $25,000.

We know that educators succeed because of the support they receive. That’s why we invite you to celebrate with us as we live stream the Gala from for the first time this year. Interested in hosting a viewing party? Find more details here.

Meet the awardees (left to right):


  • Kimberley Gilles, a language arts educator in Danville, CA, shares a passion for civil rights with her students through her writing classes by teaching works like “The Laramie Project.”


  • Eileen Sheehy, a U.S. government and politics educator in Billings, MT, teaches students to think critically about the U.S. Constitution and articulate their political views.


  • Kathleen Sims, an early childhood special education and school readiness educator in Foley, MN, emphasizes full-inclusion and experiential learning by transforming her classroom to bring books to life.


  • Brian Sites, a social studies, mathematics, and technology educator in Richland, WA, develops highly-personalized learning pathways for students at risk of dropping out.


  • Christopher Stone, a fifth grade educator in Wallingford, CT, uses soda bottles and construction paper to help students build rockets that literally make STEM education take off.

Their students may already know how exceptional their teacher is. That doesn’t mean their students won’t also benefit from the award.

Each classroom will receive digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation, and the videos that they produce about their teachers will premiere at the Gala. Check back here in February to see the student-made videos.