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National Teachers Hall of Fame is a Gift

Tell the truth. Did you even know there is a National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF)? Do you know where it is located? Do you know how to nominate someone for induction? If you support the teaching profession, you really should know the answers to these questions.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet the newly-announced 2012 inductees into this special Hall of Fame for teachers. The event honoring the inductees was hosted by the National Education Association with Secretary Arne Duncan offering heartfelt words about these special teachers. I represented the Pearson Foundation,the premier event sponsor. Other generous supporters of the celebration were: ETS, ENA, EF, AT&T, Bank of America, Security Benefit, Southwest, NEA Foundation, and College Board.

Only five individuals are chosen annually by the NTHF Selection Committee. The inductees must have at least 20 years of PreK-12 teaching experience. Those who are selected are award-winning teachers with a deep knowledge of how to teach and about current education issues. I am happy to introduce you to the 2012 NTHF members:

David L. Brock is a high school science teacher at Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science and the Disney "All American Teacher" Award. In a yearbook dedication, his students said, "He has motivated our class with his knowledge of all subjects and instilled in us a genuine love of learning that we will take with us to college and beyond."

Glen D. Lid is a Chemistry teacher at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois. He, too, is a Disney "All-American Teacher" and received the Illinois Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction. A colleague of Glenn's said, " Whether it be teaching, coaching, volunteering, or working with students or staff, Glenn puts his heart and soul into everything he attempts."

Scott Charlesworth-Seiler is a 5th grade teacher at the Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource School in Crystal, Minnesota. He has earned National Board Certification, and he received the Milken National Educator Award. His principal said, "Scott has consistently demonstrated a profound ability to find creative solutions that support our mission and vision of ensuring equity and excellence for all students."

James A. Brooks is an English and Photojournalism teacher at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, North Carolina. He also has earned National Board Certification. He has won the NEA Award for Teaching Excellence and was selected for the All-USA Today Teachers Team. His superintendent said, "Jim Brooks challenges his students to be the very best they can be. He leads his peers in trying new ways to teach."

Deborah Lynn Tackmann is a health educator at North High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Like some of the other inductees, she was named to the All-USA Today Teachers Team and was a Disney "All American Teacher." A fellow trainer/consultant said, "Deb has a very keen sense of motivating her students while making the information tough, relevant, pertinent, and practical."

These teachers represent the best in our profession. Their experience enables them to have a wide-ranging repertoire of instructional strategies to meet the needs of every student who comes to their classes. Their experience and knowledge serve them well in coaching and mentoring their peers. They never stop teaching, and what is even more important, they never stop learning.

On June 13-15th, these teachers will head to Emporia, Kansas, home of the NTHF, for the official induction ceremony. Just like Canton, Ohio, the home of the Professional Football Hall of Fame and Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Emporia has created a museum and exhibitions to showcase the best of the teaching profession. The annual induction ceremony brings together the Emporia community, great educators, and education supporters from around the country to celebrate the profession that makes and keeps our democracy strong. Emporia State University, known for a high quality teacher education program, houses the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

If you are a teacher, think about making a pilgrimage to the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas. You will be welcomed and celebrated. In Emporia, teachers are held in high regard. The rest of the nation has a lot to learn from this wonderful place.

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