Spearfish Educator Receives Prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence


Press Release
Contact: Shawn Courtney

Spearfish Educator Receives Prestigious
California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence
Jessica Zwaschka recognized by
California Casualty and the NEA Foundation

erre, SD, September 21, 2018 – The last day of summer held a wonderful surprise for Spearfish High School and science instructor Jessica Zwaschka. The school was presented with a $500 check from California Casualty’s Shawn Courtney at their staff meeting. Ms. Zwaschka is one of 46 public school educators across the country receiving the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. 

Ms. Zwaschka was nominated for the award by the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) and will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 8, 2019. Ms. Zwaschka is also the 2018 SDEA Teacher of Excellence. “I enjoy working with my chemistry students and the younger students in my summer science camps. Building relationships and a love of science is what it’s all about,” she told the SDEA.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence highlight educators from around the country cited by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity and advocacy for fellow educators. 

“We are delighted that during our 50th anniversary next year, we will celebrate the largest number of awardees in our history. These educators are keeping the promise of public education by creating learning opportunities for their students that are relevant and rigorous. They advocate for each other, the profession, and public education,” says Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation President and CEO.

“We deeply appreciate California Casualty’s partnership in recognizing these exemplary educators, and we look forward to honoring them next February on stage at the beautiful National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. and with virtual celebrations across the country.”

“We are glad to have the chance to show our respect and appreciation for the work of public school educators each year,” said Beau Brown, California Casualty CEO. “We applaud the great work of the California Casualty awardees.”

Headquartered in San Mateo, California, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty has provided the NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program since 2000. Founded in 1914, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more about California Casualty, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit or call 1.800.800.9410.