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NEA Foundation names Salt Lake City educator to receive national award

7/17/2017

The NEA Foundation announced that Jody Tolley, an American Sign Language educator at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of 38 public educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February in Washington, D.C.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees are nominated by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.“Most of my students will forget how to sign most of the things I have taught them 20 years from now, but I hope they remember for the remainder of their days how to treat other human beings,” says Tolley.

Each year, the Salute to Excellence in Education Gala draws almost 1,000 supporters of public education, and thousands more online, to applaud these awardees. At the gala, the educators are truly the stars, celebrated throughout the night with music, performances, videos, and more. The evening gives educators well-deserved recognition for their hard work, personal dedication, and profound influence.“These outstanding educators put heart and soul into supporting students and improving the profession,” says Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO. “We deeply appreciate California Casualty’s partnership in recognizing educators across the country.”

“We are glad to have the chance to show our respect and appreciation for the work of public school educators each year,” says Beau Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We applaud the great work of the California Casualty awardees.”Of these 38 state awardees, who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five finalists will be announced at the beginning of the school year and receive $10,000 at the gala. The nation’s top educator will be revealed at the gala on February 9, 2018 and receive an additional $25,000. The gala will be livestreamed at neafoundation.org.

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards. Find more information about the awards and photos of the awardees.

About the NEA Foundation


The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students. Since our beginning in 1969, 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 elevate and share educator solutions to ensure greater reach and impact on student learning. 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.

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