Diana Callope of Whitewater wins national education award

DianaCollopeWEAC member Diana Callope, a math teacher at Whitewater Middle School, has been named a winner of the 2016 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of public education’s most prestigious awards. Diana is among 42 public school educators nationwide who will be honored.

Diana is Wisconsin’s 2015 Teacher of the Year and was previously named Wisconsin’s Middle School Teacher of the Year in a surprise ceremony at her school in September. She also received a Kohl Teacher Fellowship last spring. Read more about Diana.

In her application for Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year, Diana wrote, “My educational philosophy can be stated in one word: Connect'” She explained that throughout her teaching career there have been shifts in best practices and gains in technology, but the constant is that “by connecting with students and becoming a significant, motivating adult in their lives, students in my classroom can learn anything.”

Each of the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence award winners are highly accomplished professionals: they are master teachers, mentors, certified by their states, and the recipients of numerous other awards for their professional practice and expertise. In addition, most hold advanced degrees, many are state Teachers of the Year, and some are certified by the National Board for Professional Standards.

Unique to these awards, each educator will be invited to participate in the Global Learning Fellowship, an extensive, year-long professional development opportunity to cultivate global competence skills educators use to improve their practice and to prepare their students to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Fellows contribute to the advancement of the profession by creating global lesson plans that are shared with educators on open source platforms.

Awardees will be recognized at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala, to be held in Washington, D.C. on February 12, 2016. The gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from public education, philanthropy, and the private sector.

“We honor these outstanding educators, who truly deserve our recognition and thanks, and we empower them to transform the profession by driving innovation that leads to positive student outcomes,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “As Global Learning Fellows, our awardees receive high caliber professional development opportunities that benefit their students, colleagues, and the field. We are thrilled that California Casualty has joined us again this year to pay tribute to these educators.”

“Educating our youth is so critically important. California Casualty is proud to partner with the NEA Foundation to pause and celebrate excellence in teaching,” said Beau Brown, Chairman and CEO of California Casualty.

The educators were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate. Each educator’s school will receive a $650 award.

From the 42 state awardees, five finalists will be selected to receive $10,000 cash awards. At the conclusion of the Washington, D.C. gala, one finalist will be named the nation’s top educator and receive an additional $25,000.

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards. Find more information about the awards and photos of the awardees.