NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize, reward and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. The NEA Foundation and the NEA present the awards jointly.


The Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize educators with outstanding professional practice who:

  • Excel in the classroom.
  • Advocate for the profession.
  • Engage the community.
  • Exhibit professional development leadership.
  • Pay attention to diversity.

The Education Minnesota awardee receives expense-paid travel to the NEA Foundation's Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C.

Five awardees are selected from state affiliates to receive the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, including $10,000 each and expense-paid travel for themselves and a guest. One of the five also receives the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence, which includes $25,000.

How to apply

Submissions must be received by Education Minnesota by Jan. 29, 2021. Candidate interviews will be held virtually in early March, with a single candidate nominated by May 1 to represent Education Minnesota.

Click here to complete the online application and attach your resume, candidate statement and letters of recommendation. A photo is optional.

Application materials can also be mailed or emailed to: 

Email Jessica Schmidt at

Education Minnesota 
ATTN: Jessica Schmidt
41 Sherburne Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55103


1. Demographic information (online application or PDF)
2. Resume (up to two pages)
3. Statement (3,400 words maximum)
4. Endorsement letters (up to three letters, six pages maximum)
5. Digital Photo (optional)

Contact Jessica Schmidt with any questions.