Highland educator to receive Award for Teaching Excellence


Gay Beck to be Honored by California Casualty and the NEA Foundation at Washington, DC Awards Gala

WASHINGTON, DC (July 27, 2011) –Gay Beck, a Kindergarten educator at Highland Elementary, is a recipient of the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for public educators.


Beck is one of 35 awardees who will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 10, 2012.  Known as the Academy Awards of public education, the gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from public education, philanthropy, and the private sector.


“We give these awards annually to educators to recognize and promote excellence in education and to elevate the profession,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “We are thrilled that California Casualty has joined us in honoring their work to make a difference in the lives of students in classrooms across the country.” 

In addition, Highland Elementary School will receive a $650 award. 

“Educating our youth is so critically important. California Casualty is proud to partner with the NEA Foundation to pause and celebrate excellence in teaching,” said Beau Brown, President and CEO of California Casualty.

Beck was nominated by the Utah Education Association, National Education Association’s state affiliate in Utah.  Photos and names of all of the state nominees can be found here .


From the 35 state awardees, five finalists will be selected to receive a $10,000 cash award. At the conclusion of the Washington, DC gala, one finalist will be named the nation’s top educator and receive an additional $25,000.


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

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is an independent, public charity supported by contributions from educators, corporate sponsors, and others. We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information.

Back to News Listing