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5 Great Teachers Head to Hall of Fame

Last week, five teachers from Maryland to Texas came to Washington, DC, to meet with Secretary Arne Duncan, officials from the Department of Education, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel, and the NEA Board of Directors. What was so special about these teachers? They will be the newest inductees into the National Teacher Hall of Fame on Friday, June 14, 2013.

These veteran teachers spoke eloquently and from the heart about the challenges and joys of being career teachers. They are an impressive group, worthy of our praise and admiration. Allow me to introduce them to you.

Deborah Cornelison is a 9th-grade physical science teacher at Bying Junior High School in Ada, Oklahoma. She has been teaching for 25 years.

Rebecca Gault is a 6th-grade language arts/reading/intervention teacher at Bel Air Middle School in Bel Air, Maryland, who has been teaching for 22 years.

English teacher Darryl Johnson teaches grades 10-12 and works at Smithville High School in Smithville, Missouri. He's has been teaching for 21 years.

Martha McLeod is a 5th-grade science lab instructor at Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport, Texas, who has been teaching for 20 years.

Beth Vernon, an 8th-grade earth and space science teacher, comes from Brittany Hill Middle School in Blue Springs, Missouri. She has 28 years of experience.

The National Teacher Hall of Fame was founded in 1989 and located in Emporia, Kansas. Its mission is to recognize and honor exceptional career teachers, encourage excellence in teaching, and preserve the rich heritage of the teaching profession. If you go to Emporia, you can visit the National Teacher Hall of Fame at Emporia State University. There you will find a museum, teacher resource center, and gift shop, each of which celebrates teaching.

While only five teachers---each required to have a minimum of twenty years experience---are inducted annually, there is another program to recognize a million teachers who make a difference for their students. Anyone can visit the NTHF website, thank a teacher who has made a positive difference, and share words of praise. Every tribute will be included in a bound volume so that visitors can read the public's special messages to teachers. While at the NTHF, you can make a donation as a further special tribute to the teacher you want to recognize.

The NTHF provides a valuable service to the teaching profession by recognizing excellence and connecting teaching and learning to the community. We should salute the National Education Association, Pearson Foundation, Security Benefit Corporation, Bank of America, and California Casualty for providing funding to sustain the programs of NTHF. It also merits the support of every teacher and every supporter of teachers. Today is a good time to begin offering your support.

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