2020 Founder's Award Finalists – Hailing from Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas – Honored with $10,000

May 19, 2020

2020 Founder's Award Finalists – Hailing from Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas – Honored with $10,000

Duplessis Primary School in Ascension Parish, LA, announced as $50,000 grand prize winner

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) recognized each of five finalists for NIET's 2020 Founder's Award today and awarded them $10,000 for their work to support educators and improve student academic achievement. Duplessis Primary School, located in Ascension Parish outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received the grand prize of $50,000.

NIET hosted the online recognition ceremony attended by faculty, students, district officials and community members of each finalist school. The finalists are:

Chinle Elementary School, Chinle Unified School District, Arizona

Desert View Elementary School, Gadsden Elementary School District #32, Arizona

Duplessis Primary School, Ascension Public Schools, Louisiana

Slaton High School, Slaton Independent School District, Texas

Slaughter Elementary School, East Feliciana Public Schools, Louisiana

"Outstanding educators are not only the foundation for successful schools, but unite whole communities. This is all the more evident now in districts across the country," said NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken. "Duplessis Primary and this year's finalists embody the leadership, talent, and compassion to maximize student potential and build a prosperous society for the future."

For 20 years, NIET has worked with more than 8,500 schools, districts, states, and universities to establish structures of leadership, development, and support to ensure that all students have effective teachers. NIET's partner schools have achieved sustained progress by outperforming similar schools and having greater teacher retention. The Founder's Award was created by NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken to acknowledge one school annually for exceptional implementation of NIET's principles to make excellent teaching the cornerstone of student learning.

Founder's Award recipients are determined by NIET based on their efforts to prioritize instructional excellence; coordinate ongoing professional learning tailored to the specific needs of teachers and students; create a collaborative, reflective environment for all to thrive; and maximize skills, knowledge, and experiences of teacher leaders and administrators to drive student achievement growth.

For photos and video profiles of each finalist, visit the NIET newsroom.

Watch the recording of the event and hear reflections from the finalists:

Watch the announcement by NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken and hear remarks from Duplessis and Ascension leaders:

For interviews, please contact Jana Rausch at jrausch@niet.org or (310) 435-9259. Follow NIET on Facebook and Twitter @NIETteach.