Foundation Voices

Foundation Update July 2022

Foundation Update July 2022


Educators’ Big Night Returns to In-Person Celebration

Educators’ big night was one to remember! On May 13, more than 600 educators and supporters of public education celebrated the achievements of outstanding educators from across the country during the 2022 NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence In Education.

For the first time in two years, this prestigious awards ceremony brought educators and others together both in person and virtually, for moments of reflection on teaching excellence and the importance of public education, all amid inspiration, laughter, and dancing.

Forty-six outstanding educators nominated by their peers for dedication to the teaching profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy, were recognized with prestigious California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Among these, five were honored for exemplary skill and service as recipients of the distinguished Horace Mann Awards. Learn more about the Horace Mann Awardees, Adriana Abundis Alonzo, Natalia Benjamin, Alexandra Castellanos Smith, and Chris Gleason here.

Kathy Purviance-Snow (pictured above), a career and technical education and social studies educator in Snohomish, Wash., took home the night’s top honor, the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence! Watch Kathy’s acceptance speech here!

The Foundation also honored the Algebra Project with the First National Bank of Omaha Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education for its’ tireless work to encourage math literacy in underserved communities, and Californians for Justice with the inaugural NEA Foundation Equity Partner Award for its work to improve the lives of communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and other traditionally marginalized groups.

Hosted by Laura Coates, CNN senior legal analyst and SirusXM Host, the event also featured a beautiful performance by Mosaic Gymnastics and music performed by BroadSound.

If you missed the Salute to Excellence in Education, or simply want to re-live the magic of the evening, you can view all of the awards presentations here!


NEA Foundation’s Up Close Podcast Heats Up with Education Heavyweight

Have you tuned in to the Up Close Podcast yet? If not, you are missing out on fascinating conversations about the present and future of public education. On the latest episode “Good Teaching Is Like Good Cooking,” Dr. Pedro Noguera, dean of the Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California, sits down with host Sara Sneed to talk about ways to support and increase the capacity of educators and schools to meet the needs of students today.


Jumpstart the 2022-23 School Year With Support from The NEA Foundation

Educators planning to hit the ground running in the next school year became eligible to apply for one of three NEA Foundation Grants on June 15th! These grants of up to $5,000 enable educators to elevate classroom instruction, provide support to colleagues, and engage students in ways that strengthen student voice and support students’ engagement in civic and community life.

Jessica Ong, a pre-kindergarten educator from El Cerrito, CA received a grant this past spring. With the Foundation’s support, Jessica is developing activities using cue cards, toys, musical instruments, and learning aids to develop lessons that will support language, articulation, and speaking skill development.

EDUCATORS!! You can transform your classroom just like Ms. Ong! Check out each of our three grant opportunities on our website and apply by September 15th!


Award-Winning Educators Team Up to Offer Teaching Strategies for Immigrant Students

Responding to growing classroom diversity, educators are creating welcoming and equitable learning environments that support the needs of all students. As one great example, four educators recently worked together to author Creating A Sense of Belonging for Immigrant and Refugee Students. This publication offers compelling stories and practical applications to help educators reach students in the classroom and beyond, including lesson plans, reflection questions, best practices for virtual learning, and strategies for increasing the connections with students’ families.

Congratulations to Mandy Manning (2018 National Teacher of the Year and NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow), Ivonne Orozco Sahi (2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year), Leah Juelke (2018 North Dakota Teacher of the Year and NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow), and Sarahí Monterrey (2019 Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year) for their incredible work to help educators thrive in the classroom!




Donor Spotlight

The NEA Foundation would like to extend its gratitude to major sponsors of the Salute to Excellence in Education. With their support, we have been able to ensure that educators and others striving to ensure excellence in public education receive the recognition they deserve. Thank you to California Casualty, First National Bank of Omaha, Horace Mann, NEA Member Benefits, American Fidelity, and Bank of America for supporting the absolute best in public education.

The NEA Foundation looks forward to see YOU at next year’s celebration!


Public Education in the News

The NEA Foundation works in partnership with others to promote the absolute best in public education. Thank you to the generous supporters who make our work possible.

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