Omaha 4th-grade teacher nabs $50,000 national teacher award

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A fourth-grade teacher in southwest Omaha has been surprised with the first National University System-Sanford Teacher Award — a national honor that comes with a $50,000 check.

Thomas Whisinnand was recognized Wednesday at an assembly at Reagan Elementary in the Millard Public Schools district. Whisinnand was selected from more than 50 finalists.

The Sanford award goes to teachers who motivate students to achieve their highest potential.

A program news release says Whisinnand was chosen for his dedication to building healthy relationships and supportive learning environments that motivate students beyond the classroom. The selection panel recognized Whisinnand as a leader in expanding social emotional learning in Nebraska schools.

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Sanford Teacher Award. The nomination deadline is Nov. 20.

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