October 06, 2011

NEA Foundation recognizes Liverpool teacher Jeff Peneston for 'Excellence in Education'

Source: NEA Foundation

Via the NEA Foundation:

Liverpool Educator to Receive National Education Award

penestonWASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2011) - Jeff Peneston, a ninth grade Earth Sciences teacher at Liverpool High School in Liverpool, NY, will receive 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 Gala to be held on Feb. 10, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Known as the Academy of Awards of public education, the Gala features award presentations to 35 educators, who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, including the five Horace Mann awardees, announced today, and the recipient of one of public education's most prestigious honors, The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, which comes with an additional $25,000. The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.

"Jeff Peneston has been selected for this award by his peers because he has attained the highest standards of the profession, as shown by his exemplary instruction, advocacy for public education, a commitment to diversity, 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 for their excellent work."

"We exist as a company to support those who take care of our children's future, and the teachers we're honoring with this award are the best of the best," said Horace Mann President and CEO Pete Heckman. "We salute them for their commitment and thank them for making a difference every day. Our collective future is brighter because of them."

Peneston was nominated for the award by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

"In a field of distinguished professionals who dedicate their lives to helping students, Jeffry stands out," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "His work with students, and with other teachers as a mentor, represents the very best of what the teaching profession has to offer."

The other four recipients of the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence are:

  • Lisa Esquibel, a Kindergarten teacher at Davis Elementary School in Cheyenne, WY, holds a Masters degree, ESL Endorsement, and Collaborative Literacy Intervention Project Certification;
  • Jonathan Gillentine, a Pre-K teacher at Rev. Benjamin Parker School Kaneohe, from is National Board Certified and holds a PhD;
  • Cara Haney, a Kindergarten teacher at Panther Lake Elementary in Kent, WA, is a National Board Certified and holds a Masters degree; and
  • Danielle Kovach, a third grade Special Education teacher at Hopatcong Public Schools Hopatcong, NJ, holds two Masters degrees: in Special Education and in Educational Technology.

In addition to the recognition, students and educators at the awardees' school will receive digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation. Video profiles of the awardees will be produced during the trainings and presented at the Gala in February, to an audience of 850 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic, and business sectors. The video profiles of last year's finalists can be viewed at

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

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.


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