Hays Middle School art instructor Kimberly Schneweis is  one of 45 public educators receiving the prestigious 2020 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. On Wednesday, California Casualty’s Shawn Courtney presented Ms. Schneweis with a certificate and $150 stipend to purchase educational materials for her classroom. Ms. Schneweis will use the funds to buy an art portfolio to protect her students’ artwork.

Ms. Schneweis was nominated for the award by her peers in the Kansas National Education Association, and will represent Kansas at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, D.C., on February 7, 2020.

A 30-year teacher, Ms. Schneweis believes that educators need to advocate for their students beyond the classroom. She feels strongly that more committed people need to be attracted to the profession to continue their important work.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence highlight educators from around the country cited by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity and advocacy for fellow educators.

“This year’s awardees are fulfilling the promise of public education in the classrooms, schools and communities from coast to coast,” said Sara A. Sneed, President and CEO, the NEA Foundation. “Each awardee has met a very high standard, and together, they are celebrated for a shared commitment to educational excellence, innovation approaches to student learning, and support for their peers. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and celebration of the very best in education, and we look forward to honoring the 2020 California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees.”

“We are proud to honor these exceptional educators and show our appreciation for their incredible work,” said Beau Brown, Chairman of the California Casualty Board. “The California Casualty awardees exemplify educators’ ability to be a positive force in their student’s lives.”