For Immediate Release
Mark Goldberg, 719.532.8436

California Teacher has "A Million Ideas" for Her $2,500 Academic Award


San Mateo, CA, April 27, 2015 … Tara Buford's head is still spinning after learning she's the latest recipient of a $2,500 Academic Award from California Casualty. "There are so many things we could use that my mind is whirling," she said.

Tara is a second grade teacher at Orange Glen Elementary School in Escondido, California, where she has taught all but two of her 18 years in the classroom. She has a passion for learning, and wants to use the funds to purchase something fun and lasting for her students. She is leaning towards educational games geared to help children prepare for the Common Core curriculum. "I am a life-long learner, and I know if I'm not having fun then they're not having fun."  

The $2,500 Academic Award was created to help educators, who often use their own funds, purchase classroom and other instructional material. Tara says she spent $1,000 of her own money this year on her classroom needs.

"California Casualty has a 64 year relationship with educators, and this is just one of the many ways we can say ‘thank you' for their daily dedication," said Vice President Mike McCormick.

Tara learned about the award from CTA emails and fliers reminding her to apply. She joins six previous Academic Award winners:

  • Heidi F., Ohio
  • Elaine T., California
  • Michelle R., California
  • Holly T., Ohio
  • Elizabeth T., California
  • Karen H., Nevada

You could be the next winner; just complete the easy online entry form at The deadline to enter is July 11, 2015 with a winner announced in August. Eligibility requires membership in the AEA, CTA, NEA (National Education Association), or referred by a current member of the state NEA affiliate or one of our other participating educator associations including: ACSA, CASE, COSA, KASA, NASA, UAESP or UASSP. Complete rules and information can be found at

Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty provides auto and home insurance to educators, firefighters, law enforcement and nurses across the country – American heroes who enhance their communities. Celebrating 100 years of service, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more about California Casualty, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit or call 1.800.800.9410.

Tara Buford, Winner of California Casualty's Academic Award

Tara Buford, Winner of California Casualty's Academic Award