Press Release

August 20, 2019

Twenty Teachers Across U.S. Honored during Fifth Annual The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards

Dearborn, Mich. – August 20, 2019 -- The Henry Ford is proud to announce the winners of the fifth annual The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards. In conjunction with the Emmy-winning television show The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation on CBS, the awards recognize the educators from all over the country who are using the classroom to inspire innovation, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking among their students.

“It’s imperative that all students are given the opportunity to unleash their innovative potential,” said Lucie Howell, Chief Learning Officer for The Henry Ford. “These awardees are demonstrating what innovation learning looks like in their classrooms and showing us the impact that it has on their students. At The Henry Ford, we believe it’s vital to recognize the work of these educators and provide opportunities to learn from each other, in order to empower the workforce of tomorrow together.”

This year’s winners were selected based on how they demonstrated The Henry Ford’s Model i framework, which identifies the habits and actions of an innovator, inside their classroom. Judges looked at how teachers inspired their students to challenge the rules, take risks, and how they were teaching the value of learning from staying curious and learning from failure. Candidates were asked to submit their curriculum and evidence of how it was working inside their own classroom.

Grand prize winners recently received a week long "Innovation Immersion Experience" at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich., that took place July 28th – August 1, 2019. The experience included roundtrip airfare, accommodations, behind-the-scenes tours with curators and archivists, a teaching innovation workshop and a special recognition ceremony.

Grand Prize Winners:

  • Sergio de Alba, Los Banos, Calif.
  • Robin Suda, Pasadena, Md.
  • Kyle McGrath, Farmington Hills, Mich.
  • Kerryn Henderson, Portland, Ore.
  • Rachel Terlop, Alexandria, Va.
  • Tiffany Bullman, Eureka, Calif.
  • Shaughn Thomas, Manvel, Tx.
  • Josh Webster, Pasadena, Md.
  • Kevin Crosby, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Claudine James, Malvern, Ark.

First Place Winners:

  • Joy McKarns, Dayton, Ohio
  • Dr. Todd Brown, Venice, Fla.
  • Nancy Ernstes, Marietta, Ga.
  • Rae Hughart, Normal, Ill.
  • Jennifer Mead, Scotts Valley, Calif.
  • Dawn R Haught, Cortland, Ohio
  • Roberto Gonzalez, Riverside, R.I.
  • Aaron Straus, Olean, N.Y.
  • Roshounda Ellerbe, Prosper, Tx.
  • Lauren K. Mikulak, Wallingford, Conn

Hosted by Mo Rocca, CBS' "Sunday Morning" correspondent and produced by Litton Entertainment, The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation is an award-winning half-hour program that tells the fascinating stories behind the historic innovators of the past and the forward-looking visionaries of today, showcasing the extraordinary talents and dedication required to bring their inventions life.

About The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally-recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at, its national television programs, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Did I Mention Invention? and other resources, The Henry Ford helps individuals of all kinds to unlock their potential and help shape a better future. The Henry Ford advanced its role as a catalyst for change in education with the acquisition of The STEMIE Coalition, a growing affiliation of organizations dedicated to fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in students, K-12. With this merger, The Henry Ford is now home to the Michigan Invention Convention and the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, during which thousands of students from across the United States participate.

For more information:
Melissa Foster, Media and Film Relations Manager, 313-982-6126