National University and San Diego Padres Honor Local Teachers at Teacher Appreciation Night

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Event Celebrates Exceptional Teaching Through Recognition of all San Diego County District Teachers of the Year, including 13 National University Alumni

In recognition of exceptional teachers who inspire their students to greatness, National University, a leader in teacher education, joins the San Diego Padres in honoring San Diego County teachers as the presenting partner of the Padres’ Annual Teacher Appreciation Night at their May 15 game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park.

All 44 of San Diego County’s newly named 2016 District Teachers of the Year - which include 13 alumni from National University’s School of Education - as well as reigning 2015 San Diego County Teachers of the Year, will be recognized on the field by the Padres and National University, which is the second-largest private nonprofit university in California.

"We are very pleased to be recognizing the wonderful work being done by these outstanding San Diego teachers, and to celebrate their dedication and commitment to students,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, National University President and Chancellor of the National University System. "We are particularly proud that so many of these teachers are National University alumni who are part of a long legacy of award-winning principals, superintendents, and teachers.”

National University has a strong tradition in teacher education, and is leading the national adoption of innovative programs that support inspiring teaching at all levels and also positive peer interactions among children at PreK-6 levels. The programs - Sanford Inspire and Sanford Harmony – were initially developed at Arizona State University and are being disseminated through the University’s Sanford Education Center, created in 2014 through the generous support of philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford.

National University also recommends more teachers for credentials than any other single institution of higher education in California and ranks fourth nationally in terms of number of master’s degrees conferred in Teacher Education. Additionally, the University has the largest master's in special education degree program in California and the second largest in the nation.

During Friday’s game, National University will be hosting several hundred teachers and educational leaders who are alumni of its School of Education. The University’s School of Education Dean Judy Mantle, a distant cousin of baseball legend Mickey Mantle, is scheduled to throw out an Honorary First Pitch prior to the game.

Over the past 20-plus years, 22 National University alumni have been named San Diego County Teacher of the Year and more than 90 alumni in school districts throughout the state have been named district Teacher of the Year. Eight alumni have been named California Teacher of the Year, and alumna Sandra McBrayer was named 1994 National Teacher of the Year, the oldest and most prestigious teaching honor in the nation. Additionally, 25 percent of all principals within the San Diego Unified School District are National University alumni.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit http://www.nu.edu.

About the Sanford Education Center at National University
The Sanford Education Center was established at National University in 2014 through a generous gift by renowned philanthropist and businessman T. Denny Sanford, to address critical needs in education and the nonprofit sector. The two initiatives serving PreK-12 education—Sanford Harmony Program and Sanford Inspire—were developed at Arizona State University, and National University is leading their national rollout through collaborations with institutions around the country. The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, also based at the Center, is dedicated to increasing the fundraising capacity of nonprofits and cause organizations to maximize their impact on the public good through seminars, certificates and a master’s program. For more information about the Sanford Education Center at National University: http://sanfordeducationcenter.org/

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Anna Cearley
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