Friday, January 28, 2011

NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala

On February 9th, I'll be on a flight heading to Washington, D.C.

I'm one of five educators who has won the Horace Mann Teaching Excellence Award! The other four Horace Mann Award winners and 26 other state Teaching Excellence winners will gather in our nation's capital to learn about our upcoming trip to China this June.

We'll be packing evening gowns along with our notebooks because the fabulous National Education Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education will happen on Friday, February 11th.

Last year, I attended the Salute to Excellence in Education as the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and was impressed with the massive columns in the National Building Museum, the sparkling people celebrating education and the young people who brought their amazing talents to the stage to entertain us.

This year, as a national finalist for the $25,000 NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, I'm on pins and needles!

In December, my students created a movie about me, with the expert help of the Pearson Foundation digital arts trainers. and I'm anxious to see the finished product displayed for more than 800 educators! Northern Highlands Regional High School students will be there with me because it is their film that will be shone to everyone. I'm so proud of these kids! They did such a terrific job!

I'm in emergency gown mode right now and have narrowed it down to two choices - one plum colored and the other blue. Wearing such attire is not an everyday thing so I will have to choose carefully. I'm tending towards "plum." My husband's life is easy as he will wear a tuxedo. He happens to own one because he sings in a chorus so he's good to go. I don't think he's stressing about his shoes!

But whatever I select, will be just fine.

The people attending this NEA Foundation event won't be focused on what I am wearing! They are coming together to remember and be inspired by the excellence that all educators share. I'm just a reflection of that light, the daily work of these teachers, the incremental sparks of everyday excellence they produce in their classrooms.

I am honored to catch their light!

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