NEARI Awards

Deadline to submit application: 5:00pm on February 16, 2024

Application Form


The NEARI Teaching Excellence Award is to recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.


All current NEARI teacher members with a minimum of three (3) years of teaching experience and membership in NEARI.


All applications must be submitted through the online application system opening Jan 8, 2024, and closing February 16, 2024. The nominaton package must include:

  1. Resume
  2. Nominee Statement (illustrating the five award criteria)
  3. Endorsement Letter(s) - up to three letters
  4. Digital Photo


The awardee will be notified by March 4, 2024.

Award Selection Committee

The NEARI awards committee will consist of officers and members of NEARI.


The NEARI awardee will receive expenses-paid travel to Washington, DC, for the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala, to be held in February of 2025. Five awardees are selected for the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence and receive $10,000 each plus expenses- paid travel to the Gala for themselves and a guest. The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, selected from the five Horace Mann awardees, receives $25,000 in cash and a commemorative gift.

Nomination Package Requirements


The resume provides a brief, factual overview of the nominee's career, including positions held, degrees attained, honors received, etc. The resume may also describe personal achievements or activities that are not noted elsewhere. Two pages maximum.


The nominee's statement must be written by the nominee, as a first-person narrative. The statement should include specific examples to illustrate all five of the award criteria.


How have you grown as an educator throughout your career? Cite examples of ways you have developed your skills and/or adapted your practice over time. What strategies or methods do you use to support student learning and student success? Share a story about how your work has made a difference for a student or a group of students.


How has your involvement in the National Education Association Rhode Island contributed to your success as an educator? How would you persuade a new colleague to join or become more active in NEARI? In what other ways do you serve as an advocate for the profession and for public education? Please include examples in your statement.


How do you address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in your interactions with students? What is the result of such efforts? How does your approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice affect your work? Please include examples.


How have you been intentional in engaging families and community members to support student learning and success? How do you build relationships with parents and community members? Please include examples.


What experiences or activities have been most beneficial to your professional knowledge, skills, and practice? How have you contributed to the professional development of your colleagues? How has your professional growth made a difference for your students, school and community? Please include examples.


Letters of endorsement are written by the nominee's local affiliate president, colleagues, current or former students, parents, or community members. Letters should be signed, if possible, and the salutation should address the NEARI Award Selection Committee. Up to three letters, two pages maximum each, double-spacing preferred. Letters must be submitted with all other materials.


A JPEG photo (at least 72 pixels per inch and 400KB) of the nominee should be uploaded as part of the online application. Selfies are not recommended.

By submitting this photo and application, the awardee consents to the unlimited use by NEARI, the NEA Foundation and/or the National Education Association (NEA) of his/her image in any form, including but not limited to, digital media, film, audio recording or still photography, in connection with any NEARI, Foundation and/or NEA publicity or communications effort. These efforts may include, among other things, publications, videos, and websites.

Criteria for Selection

Must be a NEARI/NEA member (including teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff). Additionally, educators of all cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, heritages and races, gender and sexual orientations, abilities, and ideas are valued and encouraged to participate.

Nominations will be judged by the assembled awards selection committee using the following rubric:

Criteria SectionMax Value
Professional Practice15 pts
Advocacy for the Profession15 pts
Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice10 pts
Family and Community Engagement5 pts
Leadership in Professional Development5 pts

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