For Immediate Release
Robin Freese

California Casualty Celebrates Public Education


California Casualty joined The NEA Foundation in celebrating the nation’s top educators and education support professionals, including those receiving one of public education’s most prestigious awards: the 2020 California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. See the entire list at

San Mateo, CA, February 13, 2020 - The NEA Foundation’s 2020 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C. on February 7 was an evening filled with inspiration, appreciation and celebration. California Casualty, a long-term sponsor of the event, was present to pay tribute to the 45 educators chosen by their peers for one of public education’s highest honors – the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.

The gala was attended live by more than 800 individuals with hundreds more watching online via live stream.

California Casualty President and CEO, Joe Volponi, helped present the awards to the deserving recipients. “Educators and support professionals make a huge impact on our communities - Each and every day you make a difference, not merely in our local communities, but throughout our world. You nurture, inspire and prepare our future leaders. We value educators, understand your dedication, and appreciate the positive impact that you make on all our lives. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to 45 of your finest Champions…”

As each awardee came to the stage, they said a few words to acknowledge the passion they feel and the support they receive as a public school educator and union member.

“This year’s awardees are fulfilling the promise of public education in classrooms, schools, and communities from coast to coast,” says Sara A. Sneed, President and CEO, The NEA Foundation. “Each awardee has met a very high standard, and together, they are celebrated for a shared commitment to educational excellence, innovative approaches to student learning, and support for their peers. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and celebration of the very best in education.”

“We are proud to honor these exceptional educators and show our appreciation for their incredible work” says Beau Brown, Chairman, California Casualty. “The awardees exemplify educators’ ability to be a positive force in their students’ lives.”

Alhassan Susso, a 12th grade social studies educator at International Community High School in the Bronx, NY, took home the top honor: the NEA Member Benefits $25,000 Award for Teaching Excellence.

California Casualty gave a $150 stipend to each Awardee to purchase items to enhance classrooms.

The NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is an annual celebration of public school educators and education support professionals. The NEA Foundation presented awards to exceptional educators and dedicated supporters of public education from across the country. Susso’s award was the evening’s finale.

The event was hosted by John W. Marshall, motivational speaker and son of Thurgood Marshall, our nation’s first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It also featured performances by the Counterpoints. .

California Casualty has been serving the insurance needs of educators for nearly 70 years and is the only auto and home insurance company to earn the trust and endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA). Learn more about the special rates and educator-specific benefits available through the NEA Auto and Home Insurance Program by visiting, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.

California Casualty at the NEA Foundation's Awards for Teaching Excellence