Great educators can have a lifelong impact on their students. As they challenge and encourage the learning process, they also guide them on the path to future success.
They don’t do alone. Creating a learning environment for all students requires the combined efforts of schools, administrators, teachers and professional support staff.
Those who succeed have a passion for pushing students to reach new heights. They don’t do it for glory or adulation; they do it because they can make a difference in a child’s life. Working in education is more than just a job; it’s a calling.
That devotion is exhibited by Palm Springs Painted Hills Middle School music-band and choir instructor Brian McDaniel, California’s 2018 National Teacher of the Year nominee. He believes that, “An outstanding teacher is a force of nature, an earthquake looking for every opportunity to burst through the surface and change the world. The power of an outstanding teacher can generate countless aftershocks long after they’ve passed on.”
McDaniel’s colleagues and students say he motivates and inspires everyone he meets. He overcame being homeless and in foster care early in life through music. His belief in the power of music to heal has been embraced by students, and their performances routinely win awards.
California Casualty values the contributions of educators like Mr. McDaniel.
As the Presenting Sponsor of the California School Recognition Program, California Casualty is proud to make possible the events that honor the 2018 California Teachers of the Year, Classified Employees of the year, and the public schools named as Distinguished Schools. From the many years that we have been visiting classrooms and listening to educators, we’ve learned that every person or school that is recognized represents dozens more that are doing great things for students, staff and their communities.
With a relationship that spans 66 years, CTA and California Casualty are mutually committed supporting educators in their goal of improving the learning environment. We understand that great teachers don’t accomplish great things by themselves. That’s why California Casualty and CTA are sponsors of the California School Recognition Program.
California Casualty CEO Beau Brown said it best when he remarked, “Our partnerships with CTA and the California Department of Education is a testament of how schools, businesses and communities can come together to promote the remarkable successes of those developing the minds of our future generations.”
California Casualty supports educators in other meaningful ways with programs that have real impact on their lives. These include $7,500 School Lounge Makeovers; California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants; Impact Teen Drivers “Create Real Impact” contest that works to end distracted driving crashes – the number one killer of teens today; and $250 Help Your Classroom grants.
We thank everyone involved with education that makes a difference every day.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction with California Casualty AVP Lisa Almeida, Field Marketing Manager Amanda Keidel and CEO Beau Brown at 2017 Teachers of the Year Ceremony
Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom
As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we have the opportunity to teach students about Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights, and tolerance. We’ve curated a variety of videos, lesson plans, resources, and other activities to help you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (BrainPop.com)
Martin Luther King Jr. – Pastor (History.com)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (History.com)
Montgomery Bus Boycott (History.com)
March from Selma to Montgomery (History.com)
Bloody Sunday (History.com)
King Leads the March on Washington (History.com)
Martin Luther King Jr. – House Bombing (History.com)
Separate But Not Equal (History.com)
Lesson Plans, Resources, and Activities
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Racial and Social Justice: A Curriculum for Empowerment provided by the National Park Service
A teacher’s resource guide that provides activities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade to explore the rich history of the civil rights movement and the persona of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This educational curriculum was developed by The Alonzo Crim Center for Excellence in Urban Education at Georgia State University. The curriculum focuses on building on students’ current civil rights knowledge and helping them to compare present-day realities to past struggles for justice in America and throughout the world.
The Spirit of Service by Scholastic
Curriculum-focused service lessons for grades 3–5 and 6–8. Teach your students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and inspire them to “lead in deed.” Classroom-friendly resources, including videos, news articles, photographs, book lists, and lesson plans to support your Common Core work.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Standford University
The King Institute provides document-based lesson plans, online educational resources and professional development with emphasis on the modern African American Freedom Struggle. Our resources focus not only on King’s visionary ideas, but also the work of ordinary people who have made extraordinary contributions to liberation movements.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day classroom resources by PBS Newshour Extra
Examine Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with lesson plans and videos. Use classroom resources to examine King’s impact on civil rights and his ongoing legacy with your students.
Observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by PBS LearningMedia
Join PBS LearningMedia in observing and celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with this special collection of resources related to Dr. King and his achievements.
Martin Luther King, Jr. lesson ideas by BrainPop
Teaching Tolerance by California Casualty
The words “incomprehensible,” “terrible,” and “devastation like we’ve never seen or imagined” continue to be used to describe the impact of the fires that ravaged and changed the face of Santa Rosa and areas of Sonoma and Napa counties in October. The images of the wind-blown firestorm are seared into our consciousness.
In the aftermath, vast acreage was blackened and trailer parks, hotels and neighborhoods were decimated – leaving our hearts heavy for those who lost family, friends or their homes.
It would have been much worse if not for the heroes who saved countless lives and property. During the firestorm, first responders stood tall as the fury unfolded around them. They made valiant runs into choking smoke and pitch dark conditions to rouse and rescue those caught off-guard, guiding and carrying the infirmed or confused as the relentless inferno consumed everything in its way. They are an inspiration to us all.
Most of those in uniform say they were just doing their job; helping others at their own peril, even while their homes and property were threatened.
As the smoke clears and the damage assessed, we want to thank all the first responders and volunteers who made a difference for so many.
Please join California Casualty in expressing our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTS and others who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. To all our heroes, we appreciate and thank you!
Check out our previous #ThisIsMyMoment video here.
Aaron Dean is an educator and NEA Member. He works daily to inspire and educate his students. Watch the video above to learn how a simple classroom interaction turned into one of the defining moments of his career.
There is much debate about what millennials think and do. Many experts have predicted that they won’t stay with a company very long, and with their swift acceptance of the sharing economy, millennials are the generation that won’t buy homes or cars. That appears to be far from reality. In fact, it appears they are tremendously misunderstood.
“That doesn’t match my life at all,” said Sarah W. I’m in the process of buying a home and I see myself staying at this place for the duration. Sarah is in her second year as a customer service advisor with California Casualty.
Elizabeth C. shares Sarah’s enthusiasm. She and her husband have just bought their first home. She is flourishing as a sales consultant. “I just graduated college in December and California Casualty was one of my first picks,” she said. “It really helps knowing the average person here has been with the company 12 years and many have 20 to 30 years of experience. Most other companies have high turnovers and people aren’t happy. Here, people are happy and they enjoy their job.”
Elizabeth thinks she will be with the company for many years.
Sarah concurs, adding that she anticipates staying with California Casualty for decades. She loves working with quality people and doesn’t want to be “one of those who say I worked a year here and a year there.” She added, “People are happy working here and that’s why they stayed.”
California Casualty, provider of auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement professionals, firefighters and nurses, is also looking to prove the so-called “experts” wrong about the millennial generation. The company is now hiring in Leawood, Kansas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Phoenix, Arizona, looking for young, motivated people who yearn for a well-paying career with longevity and stability.
Longevity is the Norm
California Casualty is entering its 104th year as a family owned company. It is guided by the California Casualty Code, written more than 50 years ago, which spells out how clients should be treated. The Code has helped cement long-standing business relationships with the members of the affinity groups that California Casualty does business with.
“I love working for the company because I get to help first responders and American heroes protect their most valuable assets,” stressed Robert H. He can’t imagine working anywhere else, adding, “They treat employees right, and I plan on being one of the long-time veterans.”
Robert and others say it’s impressive how California Casualty values its employees, many who have 25 years or more years with the company.
Deana P. is in her 40th year with the company. What’s the secret to her longevity? “The great culture and so many people living up to the California Casualty Code,” she said. “That and how everyone chips in to help others when there is a coworker in need.”
Steve A., a veteran of more than 30 years, says the family atmosphere is the key. “I like the size of the organization because it allows for individual recognition and there is a sense that individual contributions truly do make a difference. As a privately held company the atmosphere seems less corporate and more personal, and the company is currently headed by a descendent of the founder of the company, who formed the company over 100 years ago. When Beau Brown, our CEO, visits with me, the conversation often involves our families and personal interests. The leadership is supportive, encouraging and professional with ethics being of utmost importance.”
Beau Brown is the fourth generation CEO from the Brown family. He makes it a point to meet and greet as many of the employees as possible. He can often be seen saying hello and catching up with each person, checking to see how their job is going. Providing a quality work/life balance is extremely important to the company, which also allows for casual dress and promotes employee social activities for team members at its service centers, located in Colorado, Kansas and Arizona. Employees are recognized every five years for work anniversaries, and Beau and other Operating Committee executives host and serve an annual lunch at each of the three service centers located in Colorado Springs; Glendale, Arizona; and Leawood, Kansas. Beau feels it’s important that every member of the California Casualty family is thanked and shown appreciation for the hard work they do. The employee-focused approach is resonating with younger workers.
Tiffany L. remarked, “I can’t wait to say that I have worked with this company for so many years. I feel proud to work for a company that lives with integrity and doesn’t just talk about it.” Tiffany, into her second year with the company, owns her own home and cringes at those throwing money away on rent each month.
California Casualty wants to share its promise of stable, rewarding employment with people who value helping those who serve our communities.
And, for members of the younger generation who want to buy a home and drive a vehicle they own, California Casualty is ready to offer a career that can span decades. Are you ready for a rewarding career with California Casualty? Check out opportunities and apply at http://www.calcas.com/careers.