This spring, NSNO asked public school leaders from across the city to nominate outstanding teachers for the inaugural New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award.

We launched this program for few reasons.

First, behind every headline – of system-wide improvement, strong school communities, orincredible individual accomplishment – there are hundreds of educators that have supported and inspired students in New Orleans.

Second, few in the city – NSNO certainly included – have done enough to celebrate and honor the work of teachers in recent years. The conversation too often remains at the system level. We felt we needed to shine a spotlight on the excitement, innovation, and love that characterize so many New Orleans classrooms.

As former public school teachers ourselves, we know firsthand how challenging and rewarding this work can be. We are thrilled to have a new way to recognize educators across our city and show them how much we appreciate the essential work they do.

Great teachers do more than lead a classroom. They excel at driving student learning and they also demonstrate commitment to honing their craft. To support this growth and continuous learning, NSNO has provided support and funding to organizations that help schools develop great teachers – for example, Relay Graduate School of Education, Match Teacher Coaching, teachNOLA, and the Center for Transformative Teacher Training. In addition to building skills, great teachers build strong relationships with their students. They have a significant impact on their school community.

We asked school leaders to nominate teachers who embody all of these characteristics and were wowed by the results. Nominations poured in from dozens of schools across the city, both public charter schools and traditional district schools. Principals inspired us with stories of new and veteran teachers who consistently exceed expectations and impact their student’s lives every day.

Finalists have been chosen from that group of distinguished educators. Check back on Wednesday (May 27) – we will announce the winning teachers and highlight some of their incredible contributions to the city, both inside and outside of the classroom.

In the meantime, the academic year is ending soon at schools across the city. If you know one of the nearly 3,500 public school teachers in New Orleans, we encourage you to celebrate their commitment and hard work this year. And nominate them next year – we hope to make the New Orleans Excellence in Teaching Award a tradition for years to come.


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