NEA-Retired Announces 2016 Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Winners

Program helps to ease financial burden of future educators

In life, Jack Kinnaman was a hardworking vice president and former advisory council member of NEA-Retired. He represented the organization on NEA’s Fund for Children and Public Education, and for years he represented active and retired members in a variety of local, state, and national Association positions.

Kinnaman’s work and dedication to education continue to live through the NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship, which goes to NEA Student Program members who demonstrate that financial barriers stand between them and their aspiration to become an educator.

Yesterday, during the 2016 NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, attendees recognized Sydney Knight, a rising senior at Grand Canyon University who is studying elementary education with an emphasis in math, and Jaffa Williams, a rising junior whose major area of study is secondary education in math.

Knight, who will finish her undergraduate studies one year early, told the gathering that she was inspired to become a teacher by her mom—an elementary teacher who taught her the value of money and the value of a good education—and hardworking, caring teachers.

“Thank you for investing in me,” she said. “I can’t wait to pay it forward.”

Williams, a rising junior at Florida A&M—the alma mater of 2016 NEA-Retired Distinguished Service Award winner Ulysses Floyd—accepted her award through tears.

“When I first thought to be an educator,” she said, “I didn’t think I would have the love and support. Having you guys’ support and love me has shown me that I’m choosing the right field. Paying for college has been hard. I am honored to follow the steps of Mr. Floyd,” she said.

Both women will receive scholarships in the amount of $2,500.

For application details on the 2017 Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Award, visit