NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NEWS RELEASE) – The following is a news release from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching:

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) recognized each of five finalists for NIET’s 2020 Founder’s Award today and awarded them $10,000 for their work to support educators and improve student academic achievement. Duplessis Primary School, located in Ascension Parish outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received the grand prize of $50,000.

NIET hosted the online recognition ceremony attended by faculty, students, district officials and community members of each finalist school. The finalists are:

·       Chinle Elementary School, Chinle Unified School District, Arizona

·       Desert View Elementary School, Gadsden Elementary School District #32, Arizona

·       Duplessis Primary School, Ascension Public Schools, Louisiana

·       Slaton High School, Slaton Independent School District, Texas

·       Slaughter Elementary School, East Feliciana Public Schools, Louisiana

“Outstanding educators are not only the foundation for successful schools, but unite whole communities. This is all the more evident now in districts across the country,” said NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken. “Duplessis Primary and this year’s finalists embody the leadership, talent, and compassion to maximize student potential and build a prosperous society for the future.”

“If we have learned anything this spring, it is that great teaching has to be at the heart of what we do. These five Founder’s Award finalists demonstrate that every day,” NIET CEO Dr. Candice McQueen said. “I congratulate Duplessis Primary, and am excited to follow the progress of all finalist schools as they serve as models of excellence in a new frontier.”   

For 20 years, NIET has worked with more than 8,500 schools, districts, states, and universities to establish structures of leadership, development, and support to ensure that all students have effective teachers. NIET’s partner schools have achieved sustained progress by outperforming similar schools and having greater teacher retention. The Founder’s Award was created by NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken to acknowledge one school annually for exceptional implementation of NIET’s principles to make excellent teaching the cornerstone of student learning.

Founder’s Award recipients are determined by NIET based on their efforts to prioritize instructional excellence; coordinate ongoing professional learning tailored to the specific needs of teachers and students; create a collaborative, reflective environment for all to thrive; and maximize skills, knowledge, and experiences of teacher leaders and administrators to drive student achievement growth.

(News release from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching)