Press Release

SCHILLER PARK – The NEA Foundation announced that Louise Stompor, a fourth/fifth grade reading specialist and National Board Certified Teacher at Washington School in Schiller Park, Illinois, is one of 46 public school educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February in Washington, D.C.

The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence awardees are nominated by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity and advocacy for fellow educators.

“This is truly an honor and means so much especially because it comes from my peers. I love working with my students every single day. There’s no place I’d rather be than in my classroom with them.” Stompor said.

Next year during the 50th anniversary ceremony, the NEA foundation will be celebrating the largest number of awardees in its 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.

Of the 46 state awardees who were nominated by their National Education Association state affiliate, five finalists will be announced at the beginning of the school year and receive $10,000 at the gala. The nation’s top educator will be revealed at the gala on February 8, 2019 and receive an additional $25,000. The gala will be livestreamed at

The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards. Find more information about the awards and a gallery of this year’s awardees.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.