The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence is The Salute to Excellence in Education's top award and one of public education's most prestigious honors.
The NEA Foundation awarded one of public education’s highest honors to Natalie Johnson-Berry, a dean of students and restorative justice facilitator at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, which comes with a prize of $25,000, was presented to Natalie Johnson-Berry by NEA Member Benefits President and CEO Leona Lindner at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on May 5, 2023.
An educator of nearly 25 years, Johnson-Berry has worked to facilitate relationships and collaboration throughout her school community addressing a range of issues. Whether instructing her students about empathy or coaching her peers on restorative teaching practices, Johnson-Berry has brought an equity focus and spirit of affirmation to her classroom and broader community.
“Natalie understands the impact of a supportive learning environment on students’ ability to succeed,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “Her leadership and commitment to restorative justice and community-building has inspired her peers and students and fostered engagement and partnerships within the school community. The NEA Foundation is honored to recognize her achievements with this special award.”