Jack Kinnaman was a devoted teacher for nearly three decades who served at every level of NEA. Even after he retired from the classroom in 1986, he stayed engaged with NEA, becoming Vice President of NEA-Retired. After he died in 2002, Kinnaman’s family wished to establish the NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship in his honor—thus providing needed assistance for aspiring educators.
In the first year of the program, a scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to one recipient. Today, NEA-Retired members have continued to generously donate, increasing the amount to five scholarships of $2,500 each. Let’s meet some of the 2020 winners!*
Madeline E. Burk
Spanish major; University of Oregon, in Eugene
“The Kinnaman scholarship has helped to relieve a portion of my tuition needs during this crazy fall term,” says Burk. “Especially as a future teacher, the notion of student debt sheds a cloud of doom, and every penny is counting right now!” Burk values her time with NEA’s Aspiring Educators program and says it has brought her together with “brilliantly creative and passionate people in the field of education.”
Secondary education, social studies major; Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kansas
“I am so grateful for the Jack Kinnaman Scholarship,” says Mitchell. “It allowed me to focus solely on student teaching this semester rather than trying to balance a job and school.” Mitchell, an active member, is proud of her chapter becoming more politically active and more engaged in racial and social justice.
Early childhood, special education major with STEM endorsement, Spanish minor; Edinboro University, in Pennsylvania
“This scholarship helped me … pursue my master’s degree without having to take out as many loans. I was able to put more focus on my schooling [rather] than having to worry about covering the costs.”
Johnson shares one of the benefits of belonging to the Aspiring Educators program: “ I have met and formed bonds with countless other aspiring educators through this program … . I have also been able to meet practicing teachers or even retired teachers who are always willing to provide advice that will allow me to grow into a better educator.”
Secondary education, mathematics major, chemistry minor; Ferris State University, in Michigan
“My fast-approaching semester of student teaching in the fall of 2021 looked to be a large burden to bear. … Fortunately, the Kinnaman Scholarship has lessened this financial load and promotes my personal growth for my upcoming student teaching experience.”
Roznowski is most proud of his work on his campus chapter’s executive board, which has provided members with meaningful growth and professional development experiences.
*Alyssa “Allie” Flynn, a student at UCLA, also received a Kinnaman scholarship in 2020, but could not be reached for comment.
How to Apply
Complete the NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship application. Make sure you meet all the requirements and submit a complete packet. Applications submitted by first class mail must be postmarked by April 15, 2021.