The NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is known as the Academy Awards for educators. The 2013 awardees were also given a chance of a lifetime. As part of the Foundation’s Global Learning Fellowship program, the 38 recipients of the Award for Teaching Excellence visited Brazil over the summer for a 10-day pedagogical and competence-building tour of that nation’s education system.

In partnership with the Foundation, Rosetta Stone® provided each fellow access to Rosetta Stone TOTALe® PRO, the world’s leading-language learning program, to empower them with language skills before embarking on the tour. TOTALe® PRO helped the educators reach a new level of communication and understanding in the Portuguese language—just like it does in thousands of schools around the country—enabling them to better share and learn from their Brazilian hosts.

We hope you enjoy following these educators on their journey to Brazil!

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Watch as teachers take their new skills and explore Brazil’s education system.


Educators today face challenges and opportunities unique to our increasingly globalized world and evolving technologies. Every day educators carry the torch to ensure students are prepared to thrive in the world in which they’ll live, work, and ideally succeed. Preparing them with the skills they need is critical. We empowered them and celebrated them on their journey. And to that end, a few of these intrepid educators shared their tales with us through a series of blog posts. Hear first-hand how a global mindset impacts these teachers, their trip, and their work.

The Teachers

Federal FundingKellie Blair-Hardt
Special Education Science Teacher
Grace E. Metz Middle School
Manassas, Virginia

Federal Funding Robert (Bob) Becker
Honors Chemistry Teacher
Kirkwood High School
St. Louis, Missouri

Federal Funding Tom Young
1st and 2nd grade Teacher
Waitsfield Elementary School
Waitsfield, Vermont

The Coaches

Federal Funding Deanna LeBlanc
Instructional Coach
East Valley Elementary School
Fernley, Nevada

Federal Funding Joshua Parker
Compliance Specialist
Office of Title I
Towson, Maryland


Their Thoughts Along the Way

How does the experience you had while there impact your perspective on language programs in your district?

Federal FundingWhat I loved most about talking to the children was that they had so much patience and enthusiasm for speaking with me. READ MORE
Federal FundingUsing the Rosetta Stone® program allowed me to feel much more confident about my communication and comprehension skills while in Brazil. READ MORE
Federal FundingI have certainly gained a new appreciation for the value of having students test out their language skills by actually travelling to those countries and using those skills firsthand. READ MORE
Federal FundingThis experience impacts my perspective on language programs in my school because it made me realize the importance of being able to communicate while traveling to other countries. READ MORE
Federal FundingBy being fully immersed in their culture, I was able to experience and ultimately value their culture. This is something that will impact the way that I mentor teachers and help them to understand their unique power in elevating our most potential-rich children. READ MORE

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