Jeffry Peneston, a ninth-grade earth science teacher at Liverpool High School and New York state's 2011 Teacher of the Year, will receive the NEA Foundation's prestigious Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. The award comes with a $10,000 prize.
Peneston, a member of the United Liverpool Faculty Association (ULFA) who has taught for 25 years, was nominated by NYSUT for the award.
"Jeff exemplifies excellence in education, inside and outside the classroom," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. "He inspires his students with hands-on scientific field work that instills a love of learning. In his role as Teacher of the Year, he has served as an ambassador for our profession."
ULFA President Pattie Miller said "Jeff is one of the most innovative, creative and energetic teachers I've ever come across. His enthusiasm is just infectious."
Peneston will be among the 35 educators, including four other Horace Mann award winners, who will be recognized at a gala in February in Washington, D.C. One educator will also receive the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, which comes with an additional $25,000.
"Jeff Peneston 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.