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NEA Congratulates 2014 National Teachers Hall of Fame Inductees

NEA’s Van Roekel: Inductees “are the best of the best”

WASHINGTON - June 13, 2014 -

The National Teachers Hall of Fame will induct five amazing teachers into its class of 2014 during its 23rd annual induction celebration today in Emporia, Kan. National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel commends this year’s inductees, who he said are “the best of the best.” Each year, The National Teachers Hall of Fame honors five individuals from more than 7 million great teachers in the United States.

“These teachers have a whopping 176 years of combined experience and together have won nearly every great educator award to be won,” Van Roekel said. “NEA is proud to have members among them, and we thank them for their tireless dedication to students and to the profession of teaching.”

The 2014 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductees are:

Jan Alderson: 8th-12th Grade Science - Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, Kansas -  45 years experience;

Cynthia Couchman: 9th-12th Grade Math - Buhler High School Buhler, Kansas - 23 years experience;

Marguerite Izzo: 5th Grade ELA and Social Studies- Davison Ave. Intermediate School, Malverne, New York -  34 years experience;

Gary Koppelman: 5th Grade Math, Science, Writing - Blissfield Community Schools, Blissfield, Michigan -  40 years experience;

Dr. Rebecca Palacios Dual Language Pre-K (retired) - Zavala Elementary School, Corpus Christi, Texas - 34 years experience.

Ms. Izzo and Mr. Koppelman are longtime NEA members. The story of the inductees’ careers will be on permanent display at The National Teachers Hall of Fame Museum in Emporia, Kansas.

The National Teachers Hall of Fame was founded in Emporia, Kansas, in 1989 to honor career teachers—and the teaching profession—through a recognition program and museum. Nominees must be certified public or non-public schoolteachers, active or retired, with at least 20 years of experience in teaching grades preK-12.

Since the inaugural induction ceremonies in 1992, 110 educators from 37 states and the District of Columbia have been inducted. This year’s class of inductees represents the 23rd anniversary of The National Teachers Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. For more information on the inductees and the Hall of Fame, please go to

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson



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