Gadd Ardrey Receives NEA Honors

Gadd Ardrey Receives NEA Honors
Posted on 07/22/2020

The NEA Foundation Names Lafayette Educator to Receive National Award


WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 22, 2020) – The NEA Foundation today announced that Hannah Gadd Ardrey, a choir director at Lafayette Schools in Oxford, MS, is one of 46 public school educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February.


The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees are nominated for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.


Each year, the Salute to Excellence in Education Gala celebrates the best in public education from around the country. The awardees represent diverse school communities from small towns to urban centers. At the gala, the educators are truly the stars, celebrated throughout the night with music, performances, videos, and more.


“In a time when awareness of educators’ vital role to our society is growing, we honor exceptional educators who serve students and communities in extraordinary ways,” says Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO, the NEA Foundation. “Each California Casualty awardee exemplifies the best in public education, demonstrates innovative approaches to student learning, and supports their peers. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and support, and we look forward to honoring the 2021 California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees.”


“It’s an honor to recognize these exceptional educators and education support professionals who nurture, inspire, and make a difference in the lives of others,” says Joe Volponi, president and CEO, California Casualty. “The California Casualty awardees show us all that with passion, innovation and dedication, you can achieve great things.”




Of the 46 state awardees who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five finalists will be announced this fall and receive a $10,000 award. The educator selected for the top award will be revealed at the gala, and will receive $25,000. The gala will be livestreamed at


The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards. Find more information about the awards and a gallery of this year’s awardees.




Editor’s Note: Please use our correct name, the NEA Foundation. The “NEA” is never spelled out in our name. It is not the National Education Association Foundation. Many thanks!


About the NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students. Since our beginning in 1969, the Foundation has served as a laboratory of learning, offering funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges. We elevate and share educator solutions to ensure greater reach and impact on student learning. We believe that when educators unleash their own power, ideas, and voices, communities, schools, and students all benefit. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our blog.