Jorge González was a high school Spanish teacher, coach, diversity and inclusion coordinator, husband, father, and advocate for students. In addition to teaching and coaching football, González also coordinated blood drives and trips to serve children in Latin America. It was his mission to ensure that every student in Kings Mills, Ohio had the opportunity to learn to achieve their dreams. Through his desire to better serve the students in his district, he advocated for the creation of a diversity and inclusion coordinator position. The role was approved by the school board, and he was hired to serve in that role in addition to his teaching duties. An Ohio educator for 34 years, González succumbed to the effects of a breakthrough case of COVID-19 on October 18, 2021, at the age of 56.
A passionate and committed teacher, González was a strong unionist as well. Serving for eight years on the Ohio Education Association Board of Directors, he exuded seriousness when advocating on behalf of students and educators on a variety of legislative issues. In one example, he helped lead a march to the Statehouse in Columbus protesting the high-stakes nature of standardized tests due to the stressful nature and the equity issues they create. González also wanted to ensure diversity in the union, and thus, he was one of the founding members of the OEA Hispanic Caucus. He was serving as treasurer at the time of his passing.
González went above and beyond the call of duty throughout his career cut short to ensure that all students had a fair chance at life after graduating high school. González is just one of many educators' lives cut short due to the worst possible effects of COVID-19. The Kings Mills community and the OEA Hispanic Caucus have both created scholarship funds to help continue his legacy. It is in his honor and memory that the HCR Awards committee recommends Jorge González to posthumously receive the NEA President's Award.