A new Teaching Excellence Award will be presented to a Unit 4 teacher this spring. The Mann-Hankel Teaching Excellence Award will provide $1,500 to a Unit 4 tenured teacher who has worked as an educator for at least 10 years and has been employed by Unit 4 for at least 5 years.

Unit 4 Superintendent Dr. Susan Zola reflects, “The Mann-Hankel Teaching Excellence Award seeks to shine a light on the daily commitment by our educators to create classrooms of scholars meeting both the academic and social emotional learning needs of our students.  Having the privilege to honor an educator who exemplifies service, dedication and excellence affirms the decision for those who have chosen to teach as their life’s work.  There has never been a better time to spotlight the value of educators in our community.”

Barbara Mann, a former CU Schools Foundation Board Chair and her husband Steve shared their interest in creating such an award. “My parents were teachers and I grew up seeing their deep commitment to their students and firm belief that education was the path to success. Their own lives were deeply impacted by the teachers who believed in them during their very challenging childhoods. Steve and I created this award to acknowledge them and all the teachers who have touched our lives. We are delighted to honor an excellent Unit 4 teacher and we know there are many. Our children had wonderful teachers at Unit 4 who nurtured them, challenged them and gave them a firm foundation for success.  This is our small way of expressing gratitude to all of them.”

Unit 4 staff should contact Stacey Moore, Chief Communications Officer moorest@u4sd.org for nomination forms. Nominations are currently being accepted through April 30. Additional letters of support can be submitted by parents, former students, and community members. The selected teacher will be honored this spring, with a $1,500 award paid out in fall of 2021.