Liverpool Educator Finalist for National Education Award

This year, the NEA Foundation’s annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on February, 10, will feature local teacher, Jeff Peneston, of Liverpool, NY. Peneston is one of the five finalists nominated for the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, and will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to be honored at what is called the Academy Awards of public education.

Past attendees have included former President Bill Clinton. This year’s gala will be emceed by Dominique Dawes, the three-time Olympic gymnast and motivational speaker.

Please see the release below for more on Peneston, as well as the event advisory. The release includes a link to a short video about Peneston, created by his students. We would also be happy to share photos if you are interested.


Liverpool Educator Finalist for National Education Award Jeff Peneston to be honored at
The NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on February 10

WASHINGTON, DC (February 3, 2012)– Jeff Peneston, a ninth grade science teacher at Liverpool High School in Liverpool, NY, will be recognized as one of the top educators in the country at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, DC, on Feb. 10, 2012. He is one of five recipients of the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence, which comes with a $10,000 cash award and qualifies her for the event’s highest honor, the $25,000 NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence.

Known as the Academy Awards of public education, the NEA Foundation’s gala attracts more than 800 of the nation’s leaders in education, business, and philanthropy. Peneston was nominated by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and was one of 35 public school educators selected for the awards by their state’s NEA affiliate.

“As a lifelong learner, willing to share his expertise with colleagues and students, Jeff serves as a role model for all,” said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the NYSUT. “Jeff’s exemplary personal and professional contributions to the advancement of innovative science education and commitment to excellence in education should leave no doubt as to why he is the nominee of the more than 600,000 members of NYSUT.”

During the gala, a video honoring Peneston will premiere. The video was created by his students, with digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation. (See video:

“Jeff is a committed educator who is continually improving his practice to benefit students,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “For his dedication to his profession and students, we are pleased to honor him.”

Contact: Carrie McCloud, communications associate, The NEA Foundation, 202-822-7806, [email protected]

For more the awards visit:

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