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Community High’s Chris Hobbs receives NEA Foundation award

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Shelbyville – The NEA Foundation announced this week that 43 public school educators from across the country will receive the prestigious NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence. Chris Hobbs, criminal justice instructor at Community High School, is one of the honorees.

According to the NEA Foundation, these educators are being recognized for their leadership, excellence in the classroom, family and community engagement, a commitment to equity and diversity and advocacy for the teaching profession and serve urban, rural and suburban school communities.

“These extraordinary awardees remind us that educators are the backbone of our communities and our democracy,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “At a time when educators and public education are under attack, these educators have been at the forefront of ensuring access to a high-quality education for all students. Building a bright future for America’s children requires that we all do our part to support educators and racial justice in public education.”

“We congratulate Mr. Hobbs for this prestigious award and are proud to have him on the staff at Community High School,” commented Principal Dr. Robert Ralston. “He is a dedicated educator who goes above and beyond every day to mentor our students and give them opportunities to be successful. We will be cheering him on in May for the awarding of the top five finalist spots and top honor, too!”

Hobbs credits several in Bedford County Schools (BCS) for mentoring him in his teaching career.

“I would not be where I am without the confidence, support and guidance of Dr. Tammy Garrett, Tim Harwell, Michael McCoin, Lori Sexton and Dr. Robert Ralston,” said Hobbs. “They believed in me and allowed me the opportunity to serve, allowing my ideas to become reality. It’s like they unleashed me!”

Further, Hobbs shares that his teaching philosophy is based on a well-known quote, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

“I just truly try to do the best for the students, and I feel they give me their best in return. I still feel very unworthy but also very thankful,” said Hobbs.

Over the past two decades, The NEA Foundation has honored hundreds of exemplary educators in every state and those serving students in American public schools around the world with the Awards for Teaching Excellence. The 2024 educator awardees will be honored at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education on May 3, 2024, at The Anthem in Washington, DC.

Five of the awardees nominated by National Education Association’s state affiliates will be chosen as finalists for the top national award and receive $10,000. The educator selected for the top honor will be revealed at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education and receive $25,000. The Salute to Excellence in Education will also be live-streamed.

Find more information about The NEA Foundation and the Awards for Teaching Excellence by visiting

This press release was provided by Carol Garrette, communication director of the Bedford County Schools, 500 Madison Street, Shelbyville.