WEAC member Richard Erickson, who teaches chemistry, physics, and alternative education at Bayfield High School in Bayfield, WI, received the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. over the weekend.
The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence are presented annually at its awards gala, which attracts more than 800 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic, and business sectors. The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.
“Richard has been selected for this award by her peers because he has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by his exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” 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.”
Erickson was nominated for the award by WEAC, the state’s National Education Association affiliate.
The four other finalists are:
- Crystal Williams Gordon, who teaches biology at Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge, LA;
- Anna E. Baldwin, who teaches English language arts and History at Arlee High School in Arlee, MT;
- Terri A. Butts, a curriculum effectiveness specialist at the Richland Two Child Development Center in Columbia, SC; and
- Allison P. Riddle, who teaches fifth grade at Foxboro Elementary in North Salt Lake City, UT.
The NEA Foundation live streamed the event on its website, enabling students, peers, and families of the awardees to join in the celebration from communities around the country.
All five of the awardees students have also benefitted from the awards. Last fall, they received digital arts training from Scena Media, which they used to create an original video honoring their teacher. Watch the student-made videos, which premiered live 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, Scena Media, Promethean, and California Casualty.