Arizona Education Association

Winter 2016

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WINTER 2016 | ADVOCATE 21 O n October 12, 2016, California Casualty Representative Jill Strandquist surprised Maria Plata at her school with the announcement that the Kyrene Del Norte Dual Language teacher 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 school teachers. Earlier this year, The Arizona Education Association named Plata as AEA's Teacher of the Year. In honor of Plata, Kyrene Del Norte will also receive an award of $650 to help further the support of the Dual Language Program. Plata believes in providing all students with an encouraging classroom environment. "When a student struggles with something, our class quietly chants 'Si, se puede, si, se puede.' Simply creating a safe environment for students to take risks — especially when learning a new language — pays off tremendously," she said. 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. These teachers will be honored at the NEA Foundation's Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 10, 2017. 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 next June. "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 work." "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." Founded in 1914, California Casualty has been the Arizona Education Association's trusted source for home and auto insurance products since 1982. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit or call 1-866-763-6285. Kyrene Education Association Member Receives California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence

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