CALEXICO â€“ When it comes to educating children, every dollar counts, especially for teachers working with a tight budget. For that reason, Eduardo Niebla, a Calexico High School forensic science teacher, was amazed and thrilled when he was announced as winner of a $2,500 Academic Award during a staff meeting Friday morning.
The academic award was given by the California Casualty Management Company (CCMC), a company that provides auto and home insurance to educators, firefighters, law enforcement and nurses across the country. Recognizing the inherent problems that result from tight school budgets, the CCMC was created in 2012 to help instructors purchase classroom supplies, materials, and fund projects.
Nieblaâ€™s name was randomly selected from a pool of over 10,000 entries from around the nation. This year, three teachers will be recipients of the award.
â€œIâ€™ve never won anything in my whole life,â€ said Niebla. â€œIâ€™m so surprised. I thought I was in trouble.â€
â€œThis is a way of giving back a little bit to our teachers who go above and beyond to have the necessary supplies for their students,â€ said Chris Renn of the field marketing department for California Casualty. â€œThis is the eleventhÂ academic award issued.â€
According to a national survey, educators spend an average of $500 each year of their own money to prepare their classrooms, with many spending much more.
Calexico High School Principal Gabrielle Williams thanked Niebla for his continual efforts to find funding for his classroom.
â€œMr. Niebla is always finding ways, resources and creativity in trying to find more ways to support what he is already doing in his classroom,â€ said Williams. â€œI know we are challenged with financial funds here and there, but Mr. Niebla goes out of his way to find resources for our kids.â€
When asked what he will do with the money, Neibla replied, â€œI plan to purchase equipment and probes for both my chemistry and forensic science classes.â€
Niebla has been teaching for the 18 years. He began as a junior high teacher at William Moreno Junior High School and now teaches Forensic Science and Chemistry at the high school.
Kindergarten through 12 public school teachers can review the complete rules for the Academic Award giveaway and enter at www.calcasacademicaward.com
Eligibility requires membership in the NEA, CTA or AEA teacher unions.
California Casualty is a 100-year-old policyholder-owned company headquartered in San Mateo with service centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas. The company offer auto and home insurance for educators, firefighters, peace officers, and nurses and the website is www.calcas.com