Twelve (12) Houston-area school teachers were honored with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award and a collective $240,000 in grants at a reception on September 26. The honorees and guests heard the heartfelt testimonials from several past recipients on how they used their award. James S., a 2012 KETA winner, said that his gift award helped him and his wife become parents to their son, Gus, through fertility treatments that they otherwise could not afford. The award also allowed him to go on “sell[ing] the importance of reading, writing, and thinking deeply about this world” to his students. Another moving testimonial came from 2014 KETA winner Naureen A., who used her gift award to pay off her hard-working mother’s mortgage—a promise she made herself eight years prior.
The annual awards were established in honor of Edna C. Kinder, who taught special education students in Cape Girardeau, MO. Her son, Rich Kinder, and his wife Nancy Kinder, wished to recognize innovative and results-oriented teaching and raise public awareness of the importance of effective and committed teachers.