Teacher of Year receives another honor

Jeff Peneston, New York state’s 2011 teacher of the year and a member of the United Liverpool Faculty Association, will be recognized as one of the top educators in the nation at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala later this week in Washington, DC.

Peneston, a ninth grade science teacher at Liverpool High School, outside of Syracuse, is one of five recipients of the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, which comes with a $10,000 cash award and qualifies him for the event’s highest honor, the $25,000 NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence.

Known as the Academy Awards of public education, the NEA Foundation’s gala attracts more than 800 of the nation’s leaders in education, business, and philanthropy. NYSUT leaders nominated Peneston, one of 35 public school educators selected for the awards by their states’ NEA affiliate.

“As a lifelong learner, willing to share his expertise with colleagues and students, Jeff serves as a role model for all,” said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. “Jeff’s exemplary personal and professional contributions to the advancement of innovative science education and commitment to excellence in education should leave no doubt as to why he is the nominee of the more than 600,000 members of NYSUT.”

During the gala, a video honoring Peneston will premiere. The video was created by his students, with digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation.

“Jeff is a committed educator who is continually improving his practice to benefit students,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “For his dedication to his profession and students, we are pleased to honor him.”

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators’ dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.

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