The NEA Foundation announced this week that Terri Butts, Child Development Center Curriculum Effectiveness Specialist and former Richland Two teacher of the year, will receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala to be held on Feb. 13, 2015 in Washington, DC.
The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence are presented annually at its awards gala, which attracts more than 800 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic, and business sectors. The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.
“Terri has been selected for this award by her peers because she has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by her exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them, and all the public school educators they represent, for their excellent work.”
Butts was nominated for the award by the South Carolina Education Association, the state’s National Education Association affiliate.
Butts has been an educator for over 19 years. She had the honor of serving as the 2012-2013 Richland District Two Teacher of the year. Currently, she holds the honor of being a National Education Foundation Top Five Horace Mann awardee. Butts has taught second and third grades in both Kershaw and Richland counties. She earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from Hampton University in Hampton Virginia. Butts worked in many areas from childcare to social work before finding her true calling in teaching. In 1995, she earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina. In her years of teaching, she has served as a cooperating teacher for graduate students, an Instructional Coach, and an adjunct instructor for Winthrop University. She received National Board Certification in the area of Middle Childhood/Generalist in 2002 and recertification in 2011. Butts, and her husband Edward, have been married for 31 years. They are the proud parents of two adult children and a wonderful grandson.
The NEA Foundation will live stream video of the event on its website, enabling students, peers, and families of the awardees to join in the celebration from communities around the country. In addition to this recognition, students and educators at the awardees’ schools have produced videos of the awardees that will be premiered at the awards gala.