Photo of Steve Benson

			   Steve Benson



The 1999 Blind Educator of the Year Award

                      by Stephen O. Benson

                           **********

     From the Editor: Steve Benson is a member of the Board of

Directors of the National Federation of the Blind and President

of the NFB of Illinois. He also chairs the committee charged with

identifying each year's Blind Educator of the Year. Here is what

he has to say:

                           **********

     Several years ago the Blind Educator of the Year Award was

established by the National Association of Blind Educators (the

teachers division of the National Federation of the Blind) to pay

tribute to a blind teacher whose exceptional classroom

performance, notable community service, and uncommon commitment

to the NFB merit national recognition. Beginning with the 1991

presentation, this award became an honor bestowed by our entire

movement. This change reflects our recognition of the importance

of good teaching and the impact an outstanding blind teacher has

on students, faculty, community, and all blind Americans.
     This award is given in the spirit of the outstanding

educators who founded and have continued to nurture the National

Federation of the Blind and who, by example, have imparted

knowledge of our strengths to us and raised our expectations. We

have learned from Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, and

President Marc Maurer that a teacher not only provides a student

with information, but also provides guidance and advocacy. The

recipient of the Blind Educator of the Year Award must exhibit

all of these traits and must advance the cause of blind people in

the spirit and philosophy of the National Federation of the

Blind.
     The Blind Educator of the Year Award is presented at the

annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

Honorees must be present to receive an appropriately inscribed

plaque and a check for $500.
     Nominations should be sent to Steve Benson, 7020 North

Tahoma, Chicago, Illinois 60646. Letters of nomination must be

accompanied by a copy of the nominee's current resume and

supporting documentation of community and Federation activity.

All nomination materials must be in the hands of the committee

chairman by May 15, 1999, to be considered for this year's award.

                           **********