Yorktown teacher receives national award

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Carol Bauer, fourth-grade teacher at Grafton Bethel Elementary School. (Courtesy NEA Foundation.)

A Yorktown elementary school teacher is a recipient of the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. Carol Bauer, a fourth grade teacher at Grafton Bethel Elementary School, is one of five teachers nationwide to receive the award this year.

“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,” Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation, said in a press release. “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 will travel to Washington, D.C. in February to receive the award and a $10,000 prize at the NEA Foundation Gala, according to a press release from insurance company and award provider Horace Mann. Bauer’s students will take part in the production of a video honoring her, which will premiere at the gala.

Grafton Bethel Principal Lisa Ruffieux praised Bauer’s impact on the school’s faculty and students.

“It just speaks to the caliber of our staff,” Ruffieux told WYDaily. “Carol has made an impact with her colleagues through her enthusiasm and experience. Our students are able to access several top-notch teachers and this is just one more accolade.”

The NEA Foundation’s press release states that Bauer was nominated for the award by the Virginia Education Association, which is an affiliate of the National Education Association.

The other four other winners 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,” Marita Zuraitis, President and CEO of Horace Mann said in the release. “We are proud to sponsor these awards, and to help all educators protect what they have today and prepare for a successful financial future.”