RHHS teacher tapped for national education award

Anthony Pitts, a 12th-grade language arts teacher at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on Feb. 9, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

The NEA Foundation said Pitts will be one of 38 public educators to receive the award. Awardees are nominated by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators, a news release said.

“The best thing about my teaching is that I give each student the freedom to dream and dream big, no limitations,” Pitts said.

Pitts was named the Jasper County School District’s 2016 teacher of the year. He began teaching English in 1993 and has taught in Mississippi, Louisiana and North Carolina. He came to Jasper’s school district in 2015.

Each year, the Salute to Excellence in Education Gala draws about 1,000 supporters of public education, and thousands more online.

The evening gives educators well-deserved recognition for their hard work, dedication and profound influence.

“These outstanding educators put heart and soul into supporting students and improving the profession,” says Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation president and CEO. “We deeply appreciate California Casualty’s partnership in recognizing educators across the country.”

“We are glad to have the chance to show our respect and appreciation for the work of public school educators each year,” says Beau Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We applaud the great work of the California Casualty awardees.”

Of the 38 state awardees who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five finalists will be announced at the beginning of the school year and receive $10,000 at the gala.

The nation’s top educator will be revealed at the gala and receive an additional $25,000. The gala will be livestreamed at neafoundation.org.

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