||February 13, 2014
||David Mance, Media Relations Coordinator, 509-865-0731 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heritage University Alumnus Recognized as one of Nation's Top
Educators by NEA Foundation
Washington, DC — A Heritage University alumnus and teacher from the Tri-Cities, WA was recognized by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation as one of the nation's top educators during its annual gala in our nation's capital over the weekend.
Brian Sites received the 2014 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.
"Brian has been selected for this award by his peers because he has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by his exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them for their excellent work.”
Sites is currently a social studies, mathematics and technology teacher at River’s Edge High School in Richland. As part of the award, he received $10,000, and his students received digital arts training from the Pearson Foundation. His students produced a video honoring their teacher, which premiered at the gala.
“I share this award with the students I teach. I find inspiration in what they accomplish every day, they demonstrate a great deal of resilience to overcome obstacles that otherwise may hold them back. It gives me great enthusiasm for my job. It’s a team effort at River’s Edge, we have a building full of people who want every student to succeed,” says Brian Sites.
“Brian has a passion for helping students identify their potential, and then works with them individually to help put them on track to meet their goals,” says Dan Chubb, principal of River’s Edge.
Sites graduated Cum Laude from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in Education and a major in Social Studies. He received an M. Ed with Professional Development in English as a Second Language (ESL) from Heritage University in May of 2006. Dr. Patricia Valdez-Zontek, the Chair of the Bilingual/ESL Department at Heritage University, remembers Sites as a student who continually strived to learn more. “He’s a teacher at heart but he’s also a life-long learner,” says Dr. Valdez-Zontek.
Sites is one of five teachers nationwide to receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. For the first time, the teachers’ students, colleagues and supporters were able to watch the celebration this past weekend via a live webcast on the NEA Foundation’s website.