State Winners Named in Wal-Mart's Ninth Annual Teacher of the Year Program

September 28, 2004
Company Donates $4.3 Million to Winning Teachers’ Schools 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dan Fogleman
479-273-4314

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 27, 2004 - Top educators in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have been selected as the best of the best in their state in Wal-Mart’s ninth annual Teacher of the Year program.

A $10,000 educational grant was given by Wal-Mart to each state’s winning teacher’s school. Winners were selected by Phi Delta Kappa International educational association. The winners also receive a personalized Teacher of the Year jacket, a Teacher of the Year certificate and a one-year membership to Phi Delta Kappa.

The state Teachers of the Year were chosen because of their contributions to education and the positive impact they are having on their students. The 51 winners are being honored during special recognition ceremonies at their local schools. (EDITOR’S NOTE: See chart at the end of this release for list of winners.)

Members of Phi Delta Kappa combed through a total of 1,268 nominations nationwide to select the state honorees. In May, associates at every one of Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB’s 3,600 locations selected local Teacher of the Year winners. They surprised winning teachers with a $1,000 donation to their school, a certificate and a greeter’s vest in honor of National Teacher’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week. Local winners had the option to complete a comprehensive nomination form for the state winner phase. All 51 state winners, including a winner from Puerto Rico, are automatically considered for the national Teacher of the Year award to be announced in November. The national winner will receive a $25,000 educational grant from Wal-Mart for his/her school.

Through the program, which is one of the largest teacher recognition efforts in the country, Wal-Mart will give back $4.3 million this year alone to the schools of winning teachers, according to Betsy Reithemeyer, executive director of the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation. "Clearly, the positive impact of an outstanding teacher goes well beyond the one year an individual student may spend with them." said Reithemeyer. "Learning lasts a lifetime. Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB commend these state Teachers of the Year for their achievements in the classroom. Schools are the cornerstone of every community in America. We can’t think of a better investment.

Since the Teacher of the Year program began in 1995, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has honored more than 22,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $14.55 million to local schools. In total, last year the company contributed more than $40 million in support of educational initiatives.

"We are pleased to work in partnership with the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation again in this year’s Teacher of the Year recognition program," said Sandy Weith, Phi Delta Kappa interim executive director. "This program recognizes the value of teachers and represents a tangible contribution for school improvement by corporate America."

How Winners Were Selected
According to Weith, several criteria were used to evaluate the nominations and determine the winners. Applicants answered four questions with each response limited to 250 words; judges gave each answer a numerical score.1. What do you consider to be your greatest contribution to students?2. What self-initiated practices, programs or projects have you implemented to produce a high level of student achievement?3. What do you consider to be the three most critical issues in education that affect students? Address one of these issues by describing how you attempt to respond to it.4. At what level and degree are you involved in community volunteer work? Describe how your involvement has influenced your teaching.

Applicants also submitted two letters of recommendation Ð one from an immediate supervisor and one from a colleague, a community member, a student’s parent or a student.

About Phi Delta Kappa International
Phi Delta Kappa International is committed to leadership, service, and research in education. It is a professional association composed of educators at all levels. Member chapters are active throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. As an association, Phi Delta Kappa works to promote quality education, with particular emphasis on publicly supported education, as essential to the development and maintenance of a democratic way of life. In addition, the organization supports educators in their work through publications, research, and professional development opportunities. Visit www.pdkintl.org to learn more about Phi Delta Kappa International.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUBS in all fifty states. Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. Last year, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., contributed more than $150 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations. Customers and associates raised an additional $70 million at stores and clubs.

More information about Wal-Mart can be located online at and www.walmart.com. The SAM’S CLUB Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com. And more information about Wal-Mart’s Good. Works. community involvement is available online at www.walmartfoundation.org.