Educators make a difference.
Every day they work hard to plant seeds in vibrant minds, helping grow a brighter future for California. They don’t do it for money or glory, and they certainly don’t do it alone. Their dedication is matched by supportive staffs and schools led by forward thinking administrators who push the envelope to incorporate technology and new ways of teaching.
We realize that all too often educators are the unsung heroes working hard to make sure our children excel. They give their time, encouragement, and frequently their own funds to make sure their students learn and achieve. Their reward is the satisfaction that they made a difference in a child’s life.
That commitment is embodied by Daniel Jocz, nominated as California’s candidate for the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Mr. Jocz realizes that incorporating 21st century technology, like YouTube, in his high school social studies classes makes the content relevant, rigorous and engaging. Mr Jocz has taught for 11 years at the Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles where he is a department chair and associated student body advisor. Those who know Mr. Jocz say he instills a sense of success and pride that students take with them throughout their day and beyond school hours.
Another educator who digs deep to make lessons applicable and memorable is Tara Buford, an elementary school teacher in Escondido, California. She has a passion for learning and is committed to helping every child in her classroom. As a “life-long learner” herself, Tara wants to expand opportunities to make lessons fun and engaging for all of her students. “If I’m not having fun they’re not having fun,” she said.
Tara estimates that she spends as much as $1,000 a year of her own funds to make sure her students have the tools and materials they need to succeed. Her students benefitted in 2015 when she received one of California Casualty’s $2,500 Academic Awards. Tara was able to purchase electronic learning systems and games geared to preparing her classes for the Common Core curriculum.
California Casualty values the contributions of educators like Daniel and Tara. While we might remember a favorite teacher that motivated us, few of them get the public accolades they deserve.
That’s why we’ve teamed up for a second year to be the presenting sponsor of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) School Recognition Program that honors educators who inspire students to succeed, recognizes schools that continually show high achievement and celebrates the support staff that provide the backbone for quality education. California Casualty’s support makes possible the following 2016 California School Recognition Programs:
- Gold Ribbon Schools – honoring exemplary public elementary schools which demonstrate significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap
- Teachers of the Year – recognizing exemplary teachers and their contribution to quality education
- Classified School Employee of the Year – highlighting those who symbolize the profession’s commitment to education
- California Green Ribbon School Awards – recognizing schools that accomplish great things in the areas of sustainability and health
- California Blue Ribbon Schools – celebrating schools that promote and support the improvement of education
With a relationship that spans 65 years, we understand that great teachers often need help to accomplish great things. That’s why we do more than just provide the CTA Auto and Home Insurance Program; we give back to the communities we serve in meaningful ways that have real impact on their lives. These programs include the $2,500 California Casualty Academic Award, that helps offset the money that educators spend of their own funds for classroom supplies and equipment; the California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants, given to public high schools in California that demonstrate the greatest need for their sporting programs; and the Impact Teen Drivers “Create Real Impact” contest, that awards students and schools that design the best interactive messages to prevent distracted and reckless driving – the number one killer of teens today.
Teachers and support staff do make a difference. Their devotion to our children is why the CDE’s School Recognition Program is so important, and why California Casualty is proud to be a sponsor.