Bobcat News

HOPE – A Hope Academy of Public Service art teacher who was named Arkansas Education Association Teacher of the Year in 2020 has been selected to receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence by the National Education Association Foundation.

Hosea Born, a fourth-year teacher who transferred from Yerger Middle School to HAPS this year, was notified of the honor Aug. 25 in conjunction with the NEA Foundation and California Casualty NEA Auto and Home Insurance Program announcement.

“At a time when our country has faced tremendous challenges, we all are more aware than ever of public-school educators’ dedication, excellence, and creativity,” NEA Foundation President/CEO Sara A. Sneed said in the announcement. “Each California Casualty awardee exemplifies a passion for their students’ learning, leadership among their peers, and the best in the teaching profession. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and support, and look forward to honoring the 2022 awardees at the Salute to Excellence in Education.”

Born is among 45 teachers nationwide to be accorded the recognition and is eligible for selection as one of five finalists for the national award to be announced at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in February, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Hope Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley commended Born’s commitment to public education.

“Mr. Born’s commitment to all students is a shining example of dedication to Hope Public Schools,” Dr. Crossley said. “His students-first mentality embodies the very best of us as educators. The district is proud of his efforts. I am looking forward to supporting his future endeavors and collaborating with him for the betterment of all of our students. Congratulations, Mr. Born. Well done.”

California Casualty President/CEO Joe Volponi expressed his company’s pride in making the award.

“To say recent times have been tough on educators is an understatement,” Volponi said. “We are humbled by the sacrifice, compassion and perseverance of the California Casualty awardees. Without a doubt, their students, colleagues and communities will continue to benefit from their efforts, and it is a privilege to honor such excellence.”

The five state finalists to be named from among the 45 national honorees will each receive a $10,000 prize while the national winner will be awarded $25,000.

“It is very exciting to see such a young educator make such a huge impact on our community,” HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke said. “Mr. Born is an advocate for his colleagues and students, and is part of the revival of the Arts in our community. He is a wonderful addition to the HAPS Family and we cannot wait for him to represent Hope Public Schools in Washington, D.C., this Spring.”

Born teaches art and sponsors the HAPS Robotics program.

Reared in Goodman, Missouri, where he graduated from high school with honors, Born studied at UA-Fayetteville after winning scholarships, which led to Arkansas Teacher Corps.

He served as Parental Involvement Coordinator for the Yerger campus, where he expanded the student needs pantry; sponsored forensic speaking and debate; and, was involved in an after-school program. Born was a co-mentor for students in the FIRST Lego Challenge to resolve a need for a safety crosswalk at the Yerger campus for which students obtained City of Hope approval and participated in its design and construction.

He is a member of the Arkansas Education Association, a Summer Leaders SPARKS program participant, and was a presenter at the 2019 AEA Professional Development Conference.


Hope Academy of Public Service Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke, left, fist bumps with HAPS art teacher Hosea Born as they read the announcement by the National Education Association Foundation of Born’s selection as one of 45 recipients of the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. Born will be recognized at an NEA Foundation gala in Washington, D.C., in February, 2022. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools