State Representative earns Missouri Horace Mann award

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


State Representative Ingrid Burnett (D-19) was awarded the 2022 Horace Mann Award Thursday evening at a reception at the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Avenue CID. The award, given to Representative Burnett by the Missouri chapter of the National Education Association (MNEA) in the Legislation category for consistently working for the passage of important legislation regarding education.


Burnett, who has over 37 years of classroom experience, was elected to the Missouri House in 2016 representing Missouri’s 19th legislative district that encompasses Historic Northeast and parts of western Independence. During the 2022 legislative session, Burnett sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills directly related to public education, including HB 2591 that would require school districts to provide “period products” at no cost in middle and high schools, as well as charter schools.


“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Burnett. “I’ve been in this career field for over 30 years now and I know that there are people out there that are working just as hard as me or even harder. They should get this award as well. It’s just a tremendous honor.”


The award was named for Horace Mann, an American educational reformer known for his commitment to promoting public education. Prior to his service on the Massachusetts Board of Education, Mann founded the Common School Journal that targeted the public school and its problems. His six main points were: the public should no longer remain ignorant;
that such education should be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public; that this education will be best provided in schools that embrace children from a variety of backgrounds; that this education must be non-sectarian; that this education must be taught using the tenets of a free society; and that education should be provided by well-trained, professional teachers.


When asked what advice she would give teachers just entering the field, Burnett was effusive with praise.


”I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who are going into teaching right now and for those who are choosing to stay in the teaching field,” Burnett said. “These are unprecedented times politically and then just the climate and culture we have in history. You’re changing lives in a really good way and it’s worthy work.”


Burnett was presented the award by MNEA President Phil Murray. Following the presentation, she was joined by her husband and former State Representative John Burnett, who praised his wife for the outstanding accomplishment and celebrated their 41 years of marriage.

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