Lee Perez ESL '19 is selected as finalist for National Teaching Award

Published by Brooke Lange 1 year ago on Thu, Dec 22, 2022 4:36 PM

Lee Perez ESL ‘19 has been selected as one of the finalists for the Horace Mann Award this year. 

The Horace Mann teaching award is given to five public school educators each year. The recipients are selected from a panel of distinguished educators. The award is given to teachers that “demonstrate expertise in their practice, advocate for their students and the profession, manifest a commitment to equity and diversity, engage their communities, and support other educators in the learning process.”  

In 2022, Perez received the Nebraska Teacher of the Year Award. That means he was automatically qualified to be Nebraska’s candidate for the Horace Mann Award. Since he was a finalist, he had to submit an application that involved a resume, essay questions and four support letters. In May, he found that he was selected to be one of the three finalists for the award. This is the first time a Nebraska Educator has been selected as a finalist.  

Perez is an ESL teacher for 5-8th grade at Alice Buffet Magnet Middle School in Omaha. He is also an active member of many organizations including Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, the Omaha Education Association Metro Board, the Nebraska State Education Association and the English Learner Curriculum Pathway Committee for Omaha Public Schools. Perez has also been honored with several teaching awards and featured in several publications for his work as a teacher. He works hard to not only engage his students, but also his community. “It’s important to put the students first and curriculum second,” he said. “Additionally, when you get involved in your community, it has a very positive impact on your classroom.” 

In May 2023, Perez will travel to a Gala in Washington D.C. where he will view a documentary and potentially be selected as the Horace Mann Teacher of the Year. Lee Perez is grateful for the opportunity he has had to obtain his ESL endorsement at Concordia. “ I want to thank Concordia University for helping me obtain my ESL endorsement (Spring of 2019). I’m currently finishing my master's degree here in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I will complete that in August of 2023. Concordia is a wonderful institution and I’m thankful to be a part of such a prestigious university.” 

Interested in getting a graduate degree from Concordia? Learn more here.