Christian Educators Association International Names National Christian Educator of the Year

As the honored recipient of this year’s award, a fourth-grade public school teacher in Florida was recognized the National Christian Educator of the Year for her years of service as a Christian educator with a firm foundation on Christian values.

Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) presented the annual award to Gail McGoogan of St. Cloud, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 17, during the Educator Celebration Weekend held in Kissimmee, Fla., on Sept. 16-18.

McGoogan, who teaches at the Narcoosee Community School in St. Cloud, has already received several awards during the course of her 12-year teaching career. In 2003, she was named the Disney National Elementary Teacher of the Year. In 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2003, she received the Disney Teacherific Special Judges Award. In 1997, she was honored as the Teacher of the Year for the Osceola County School District.

Before becoming a public school teacher, McGoogan worked as an entertainer and dance teacher. She commented on her journey, saying, “I realize now that God had been preparing me for this my whole life.”

“I also realize that, as much as I loved dancing and entertaining, it was teaching that He made my passion.”

As the Christian Educator of the Year, McGoogan will “raise public and professional awareness of Christian values and will represent Christian teachers at educational and religious events throughout the 2005-2006 school year,” said Finn Laursen, CEAI’s Executive Director.

“We are delighted to have such an exceptional teacher representing us,” commented Laursen.

Established in 1953, CEAI is an organization of professional Christian educators that works to support and encourage Christian educators in public and private institutions of education.

CEAI Christian Educator of the Year recipients are selected through an application and nomination process that takes into account the nominee’s experience, past honors, involvement in the community, and recommendations from nominating parties. The deadline for the 2006-2007 award is Dec. 31. Applications are available on the CEAI website: www.ceai.org.