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Five Public School Educators Earn National Award for Teaching Excellence

Washington, DC (October 23, 2019) – Five educators will receive one of public education’s highest honors, the NEA Foundation’s prestigious Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, recognition as one of the nation’s top educators, and $10,000. Celebrating 20 years of honoring educators with this award, in partnership with Horace Mann, the NEA Foundation recognizes educators for their diligence and dedication to students, colleagues, community, and profession. The Foundation offers live coverage of the awards on February 7 from 7:30 – 10:30 pm ET on its Gala page and on Twitter at @NEAFoundation. The awardees are:

  • Kerisa Baedke, an 8th grade foreign language educator at Prairieview School in Waukee, Iowa, nominated by the Iowa State Education Association.
  • Patricia Hannon, a reading intervention specialist at Hohenfels Elementary School in Hohenfels, Germany, nominated by the Federal Education Association.
  • Jessica Jernegan, a 5th grade educator at Bixby North Intermediate in Bixby, Oklahoma, nominated by the Oklahoma Education Association.
  • Elizabeth Sked, a kindergarten instructional literary coach at CB Jennings Dual Language and International Elementary School in New London, Connecticut, nominated by the Connecticut Education Association.
  • Alhassan Susso, a 12th grade social studies educator at International Community High School in The Bronx, New York, nominated by the New York State United Teachers.

“The Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence recipients represent the best in public education and have made a lasting impact on their students, school communities, and beyond,” said Sara A. Sneed, President and CEO, the NEA Foundation. “These inspiring leaders exemplify the pivotal role that educators play in our society, serving the needs of the whole child, and helping to shape future generations of engaged citizens.”

“As a company approaching 75 years of serving educators’ financial needs, we are proud to sponsor these awards,” said Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of Horace Mann. “We at Horace Mann know the dedication, innovation and passion all teachers give to their work and these five educators personify excellence in the classroom.”

Each educator and their students will be featured in a video filmed at their school, which will premiere at the Gala.

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards, which are sponsored by NEA Member Benefits, the Horace Mann Companies, and California Casualty. Educators will be celebrated at the NEA Foundation’s Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence on February 7, 2020 by over 850 leaders in public education, philanthropic, and business sectors, in Washington, DC, and by many more viewers online. Students, colleagues, peers, and family members of awardees host viewing parties to watch live streaming video of the program at home as awardees from across the nation are recognized.

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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 public charity founded by educators for educators to improve education for all students. Celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, the Foundation has served as a laboratory of learning, offering funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges. We believe that when educators unleash their own power, ideas, and voices, communities, schools, and students all benefit. Visit neafoundation.org for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our blog.

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann (Horace Mann Educators Corp. (NYSE:HMN)) is the largest financial services company focused on providing America’s educators and school employees with insurance and retirement solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Illinois. For more information about the company, visit horacemann.com.

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