Crystal Pierce, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Fairview Alpha Elementary School in Campti was recently named one of 43 public school educators who received the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence – one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for public educators.
The educators will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in
Education Gala in Washington, DC Feb. 10.
The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence are unique: in addition to being
recognized for excellence in instructional and professional practice, awardees are
nominated by their peers – their National Education Association state affiliate – for their
dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development,
attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.
Pierce says she is dedicated to finding the “aha” moment with her students.
“I can show my students pictures or videos, but when I actually bring the experience to them:
Aha! They get it! So when it comes time for the lesson on jungles, for example, my
classroom becomes a jungle, complete with vines, waterfalls and wildlife,” Pierce
Because the NEA Foundation values both professional development and diversity,
awardees are invited to participate in its Global Learning Fellowship. Fellows learn how
to prepare their students for a connected and multicultural world in this comprehensive,
year-long professional development program, which includes an international field study
“These outstanding educators are innovators, challengers, and global thinkers,” said
Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO. “We are delighted that California
Casualty joins us once again in expressing our shared admiration and thanks for their
“The California Casualty awardees are the architects of our nation’s future,” said Beau
Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to honor them with
the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence.” The Louisiana Association of Educators nominated Pierce for the honor. Her school received an award of $650.