The Christa McAuliffe Prize

For Courage and Excellence in Education

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Do You Know a Courageous Teacher?

Courage is an important quality not often recognized in teachers. The Christa McAuliffe Prize for Courage and Excellence in Education honors this special form of courage.

This prize is different than other "Teacher of the Year" awards. "Rewarding courage selects out a slightly different kind of teacher," said Dr. Gregg Wright, creator of the prize. The teachers who are recognized are all excellent educators, but they go beyond excellence by showing courage. Courage can be displayed in many different ways, but the common denominator among all the prizewinners is the lasting and positive effect they have had on their students and on their peers. As Bob Kerrey said in the introduction to the McAuliffe Prize 20 year retrospective magazine, "The trends affecting education today make courageous teachers even more important, affecting every school in Nebraska. . . . Courage is not taught by a curriculum, it is caught from the example of others."

The prize was started as a memorial for Christa McAuilffe, the teacher/astronaut who lost her life in the Challenger space shuttle accident in January, 1986. Ms. McAuliffe provided a very visible demonstration of both courage and excellence in education--qualities that are found in many Nebraska teachers to the benefit of all our children. This fund provides a way to recognize these teachers, and at the same time honor the memory of Ms. McAuliffe's courage.

The prize is awarded annually to a Nebraska teacher. The winning teacher receives a $1000 stipend and a plaque that is presented at a banquet held in his or her honor. This year the winning school will receive a $500 award to help support important school activities.

The "Courage and Excellence" Magazine

The "Courage and Excellence" magazine commemorates of the first 20 years of the Christa McAuliffe Prize for Courage and Excellence in Education. It contains profiles of the first 20 courageous and excellent prizewinners, a profile on Christa McAuliffe, and the thoughts of influential Nebraskans on why courage is an important quality in our teachers. The publication is available for $10 plus postage. All proceeds from the "Courage and Excellence" magazine go to the Christa McAuliffe Prize fund.

To order your "Courage and Excellence" magazine, please contact:

Gregg F. Wright, M.D., M.Ed
Emeritus Professor
University of Nebraska- Lincoln
402-500-0439 (please leave a message)
gwright1@unl.edu