For Immediate Release
Mark Goldberg, 719.532.8436

Ohio Educator Wins Latest California Casualty Academic Award


San Mateo, CA, May 14, 2014… Kindergarten teacher Holly Thomas has been awarded the latest California Casualty $2,500 Academic Award. She was randomly selected from 20,000 entrants.

“I want to thank California Casualty for awarding me and my amazing school the funds to improve student learning, growth and development,” Holly said. “Companies that are able to reach out and support our most valuable resources: children and education, through grants and donations, are companies that undoubtedly have high morals, values and standards.”

Holly is a fifth year educator at Holloway Elementary School in Holland, Ohio. She will use the money to partner with the Toledo Botanical Garden and Toledo Grows to create a local co-op garden. “I want to do something that can teach many children and inspire them for years to come.”

She added that winning the award is fantastic. “We are in an age where we are repeatedly told to do more with less, and it feels good to be supported by such amazing organizations like the NEA (National Education Association) and California Casualty.”

The California Casualty Academic Award was created to help defray costs that educators pay for classroom and other instructional materials. A recent survey found 99 percent of teachers spent an average of $500 of their own money on supplies and classroom projects, for a yearly total of $1.6 billion.

Michelle Ruxton, a previous Academic Award winner in California, bought a SMART Board projection system for her students. Other winners have paid for field trips or bought iPads for their classroom.

“We protect American heroes, like educators,” said California Casualty Vice President Mike McCormick. “California Casualty has a 63 year relationship with educators and we are proud to give back to those who work so hard instructing our children and making our communities better.”

The deadline to enter the next California Casualty Academic Award contest is September 19, with the winner announced in October. Eligibility requires membership in the AEA, CTA, NEA, 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.

Kindergarten Teacher Holly Thomas

Kindergarten Teacher Holly Thomas is on the left