National Award Shines Spotlight on Grafton- Bethel Elementary Fourth Grade Educator
Submitted by Carrie McCloud and Katherine Goff

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WASHINGTON, DC (September 15, 2016) – "Genius Hour—dedicated time each week for students to explore topics of their choosing—has expanded the learning for my students, their families, and my school community in unique ways,” Carol Bauer said of her classroom innovation.

Bauer, a fourth grade educator at Grafton Bethel Elementary School in Yorktown, Virginia, will receive the NEA Foundation’s prestigious Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, recognition as one of the nation’s top educators, and $10,000. The award honors educators for their diligence and dedication to students, colleagues, community, and profession.

"We are proud to have Carol represent the school division. She is an excellent advocate for both teachers and students,” stated Dr. Stephanie Guy, chief academic officer.

She will be celebrated at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala on February 10, 2017, by over 850 leaders in public education, philanthropic, and business sectors, in Washington, D.C., 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."

Carol Bauer has been selected for this award by her peers for attaining the highest teaching standards, as shown by her exemplary instruction, professional advocacy and leadership, attention to diversity, and community outreach,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. "Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them, and all the public school educators they represent, for their excellent work with our nation’s most precious resource, our children.”

Bauer was nominated for the award by the Virginia Education Association, a National Education Association affiliate.

The four other finalists are:

Dr. Al Rabanera, a mathematics educator at La Vista High School in Fullerton, California, nominated by the California Teachers Association;

Melissa Ladd, a fifth grade educator at Poplar Road Elementary School in Sharpsburg, Georgia, nominated by the Georgia Association of Educators;

Sonia Galaviz, a fifth grade educator at Garfield Elementary School in Boise, Idaho, nominated by the Idaho Education Association;

and Stephanie Johnson, a second grade educator at HB Rhame Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, nominated by the South Carolina Education Association.

"Working with educators every day, we are continually amazed at their dedication, innovation and altruism, but these five educators really go above and beyond to exemplify teaching excellence,” said Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of Horace Mann. "We are proud to sponsor these awards, and to help all educators protect what they have today and prepare for a successful financial future.”

Bauer’s students will help produce a video honoring their teacher, which will premiere at the gala.

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from NEA Member Benefits, the Horace Mann Companies, Promethean, and California Casualty.


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