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American Education Week focuses on nation’s commitment to students and educators

Leaders kick off 2014 celebration with events around the country

WASHINGTON - November 17, 2014 -

WASHINGTON—Communities across the nation will join the National Education Association (NEA) Nov. 16-22, 2014, to celebrate American Education Week, which is in its 93rd year. The annual observance honors students’ determination to learn; recognizes the professionalism and dedication of teachers, support staff, and other educators; thanks parents and members of the community who help students succeed; and rededicates the community at large to quality public education for every student.

“American Education Week serves as a tribute to the team of people who work with our students, everyone from the classroom teacher and the bus driver to the cafeteria worker and the administration staff—plus countless others,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “We honor and thank them for the work they do every day to make sure that our students are safe, and ready and able to learn.”

Monday, Nov. 17
American Education Week kicks off in Nashville, Tenn., with a visit to Schwab Elementary School where President Eskelsen García will return to the classroom for “Educator for a Day.” President Eskelsen García will be joined by education leaders, media personalities, and local politicians who will shadow educators in their classrooms to try their hands at teaching.

Tuesday, Nov. 18
On Parents Day, schools invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.

NEA Vice President Rebecca “Becky” Pringle will help students conduct an experiment in a science lab at Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School in Nashville, Tenn., a familiar role for the former science teacher. 

Wednesday, Nov. 19 
Wednesday is a national day of recognition of education support professionals (ESPs) who are integral members of the education team. Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day focuses on the importance of these school employees, who make up 40 percent of the school staff and take care of students every day, making sure they have the tools they need to succeed in school.

President Eskelsen García will return to her home state of Utah to recognize Public School Education Support Professionals (ESPs) at Odyssey Elementary School. She along with other state and national leaders will team up with an education support professional to experience a day in the life of an ESP.

Thursday, Nov. 20
On AEW’s Educator for a Day, leaders across the country will be invited to serve as educators in their local public school districts to get a glimpse at a day in the life of a school employee.

President Eskelsen García makes her final stop in San Antonio, where she and other notables will celebrate the educators and ESPs at Southwest Elementary School. The visit’s events include a performance from a local high school mariachi band and shadowing educators in their classrooms.

Friday, Nov. 21
Substitute Educators Day honors the educators who are called upon to replace regularly employed teachers. NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss will head to Virginia, where she’ll lead a group of students in a “make your own comic” activity alongside educators and special guest, Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series.

“This week, we are recognizing the important role that public education plays in the future of our students,” said Eskelsen García. “We must continue to be the champion for the teachers and staff who are working so hard on behalf of our students.”

Celebrated the week prior to Thanksgiving, American Education Week was first celebrated in 1921 with NEA and the American Legion as co-sponsors. The week-long celebration grew out of national concern about illiteracy. The original goal of American Education Week—to generate public awareness and support for education—continues today.

American Education Week’s 2014 tagline, Raise Your Hand for Student Success, is a reminder that all Americans must do their part to help create great public schools for every student. To find out more about American Education Week, visit or contact your local public school.

To help plan and promote AEW celebration days, go to for tips and ideas. Be sure to follow AEW on Facebook and Twitter with #aew2014.


The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT:  Celeste Busser


American Education Week