New London educator honored with national teaching award

New London educator Elizabeth Sked was recognized Friday as one of five recipients nationwide of the National Education Association Foundation’s prestigious 2020 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence.

The announcement came during a back-to-school convocation hosted by Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie.

Along with the award, Sked is receiving $10,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the NEA Foundation Salute to Education Gala in Washington, D.C., in February.

“Elizabeth is a shining example of the highly-qualified, skilled, dedicated teachers in Connecticut,” Connecticut Education Association President Jeff Leake said in a statement.

“She promotes excellence in teaching and service to the profession by mentoring new teachers, advocating for resources that teachers and students need, facilitating professional development presentations, and speaking to legislators about issues that impact public education.”

Sked and the other four Horace Mann Award winners also are eligible for the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence and $25,000.

Sked is a longtime New London educator who works as an instructional coach at C.B. Jennings International Elementary Magnet School. Sked, who is also a union leader, was a dual language and mainstream classroom teacher for 17 years and has worked for the New London Public Schools for more than two decades.

“I am passionate about helping teachers become the best teachers they can be and in turn positively impacting many students,” Sked said in a statement. “Every decision I make, every day, starts and ends with students.”

It’s the second time this year that Sked was honored for her work. In May, Sked received the CEA’s highest honor, the John McCormack Award, which recognizes and promotes excellence in teaching and service to the profession.

The highly competitive award examines teachers on five criteria: professional practice, community engagement, leadership in professional development, attention to diversity and advocacy for the profession.

“Elizabeth cares deeply about her students and encourages each and every one of them to succeed and fulfill their dreams. She has left a lasting impression on the hundreds of students who have entered her classroom over the past 23 years,” Leake said in a statement.

 g.smith@theday.com

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