Amanda Harris Receives 2020 SDEA Teacher of Excellence Award


Harris Receives 2020 SDEA Teacher of Excellence Award

Pierre - The South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) has named Harrisburg South Fourth Grade teacher, Amanda Harris, the 2020 SDEA Teacher of Excellence. Harris will also be nominated for the NEA Foundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.  Educators selected for this award have demonstrated outstanding professional practice, association advocacy, community engagement and leadership in professional development. 

“Amanda is the personification of the impact of great teachers.  She entered teaching inspired by her teachers’ passion for their students,” said SDEA President Mary McCorkle.  “I know Amanda will continue to share her passion for education with students and educators across South Dakota.” 

Harris has taught in the Harrisburg School District since 2013. She has served on curriculum committees in her district and regularly presents at educator conferences. She has started several afterschool clubs at her school, including a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) club and stop-motion movie making club. She also helped start her school’s theater company. Harris is an active member of the Harrisburg Education Association.

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the association. The awards are jointly presented by the NEA Foundation and the NEA.  Along with a $1,000 grant from SDEA, Harris will receive a trip to the NEA Foundation’s 2021 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington DC.  Five awardees are selected for The Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence and receive $10,000. The NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, selected from the five, receives $25,000 in cash.

SDEA is South Dakota’s largest education professionals’ organization, representing more than 6,000 elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.