Nea friend of education award

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The NEA Board of Directors created the Friend of Education Award as an annual recognition of a person, organization or group whose leadership, acts, and support have contributed to the improvement of American education on a national level. Past recipients include U.S. Presidents, a Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Education, a Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Senators and Representatives, Governors, educators, civil rights leaders, journalists, authors, and an athlete.
The 2016-17 NEA priorities focus on the eradication of Institutional Racism, the implementation of ESSA, and empowering Early Career members. In alignment with these goals, a duly nominated individual, organization or group shall have significantly contributed to the advancement of public education through exhibited leadership, acts, and support of education on a national level; that establish the nominee as a true friend of education, education employees, and/or students. A nominee need not be an American citizen, but should reflect philosophies and principles that advance NEA’s mission, priorities, and strategic goals.
Any member of the National Education Association or any local or state affiliate of NEA may nominate an individual, organization or group to the Friend of Education Award Committee by completing a nomination form and submitting it to the NEA by January 31, 2018. Each nomination must be signed and submitted by an NEA member. Non-NEA members are not eligible as nominators.
The Friend of Education Award Committee, composed of 8 members of the NEA Board of Directors, will review each duly submitted nomination and recommend a recipient to the NEA Board of Directors for approval.
Presentation of the Friend of Education Award is a scheduled event at the annual Representative Assembly. The presentation is made to the award recipient by the NEA President.
The deadline for receiving nominations for the 2018 NEA Friend of Education Award is January 31, 2018. Nominations must be signed and include proof of the nominator’s NEA membership or affiliation. Completed nomination forms, together with all accompanying materials, should be emailed to Tina Paden (



Year Recipient

1972 Lyndon B. Johnson

1973 Abraham A. Ribicoff

1974 Carl D. Perkins

1975 Terry Sanford

1976 Roy Wilkins

1977 Hubert H. Humphrey

1978 Joan Ganz Cooney

1979 Thurgood Marshall

1980 Jimmy Carter

1981 George McGovern

1982 Arthur S. Flemming

1983 Frosty Troy

1984 Robert T. Stafford

1985 Barbara Parker

1986 Christa McAuliffe

1987 Ernest Boyer

1988 Augustus F. Hawkins

1989 Mary Hatwood Futrell

1990 Claiborne Pell

1991 Alan Page

1992 Jonathan Kozol

1993 John S. Hendricks

1994 David Berliner

1995 Richard W. Riley
Year Recipient

1996 William Jefferson Clinton

1997 James B. Hunt

1998 Zell Miller

1999 Hillary Rodham Clinton

2000 Edward M. Kennedy

2001 Morris Dees

2002 James Jeffords

2003 Paul Wellstone

2004 Marian Wright Edelman

2005 Cheryl Brown Henderson

2006 The Tom Joyner Foundation

2007 Nancy Pelosi

2008 Barbara Morgan

2009 Linda Darling-Hammond

2010 Diane Ravitch

2011 The “Wisconsin 14”

2012 Dr. Paul Krugman

2013 Patty Murray

2014 Malala Yousafzai

2015 Paula Kerger

2015 Patricia de Stacy Harrison

2016 Senator Lamar Alexander

2016 Senator Patty Murray

2017 LeVar Burton

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