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Equitable Reinforces Commitment to America’s Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

Three-Year Partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers helps amplify the organization’s National Teacher of the Year Program

Equitable, a leading financial services organization and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), today announced its 3-year partnership with The Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program. The program’s 2022 cohort of State Teachers of the Year is comprised of 56 educators from across the country and U.S. territories who teach pre-K-12, including Kurt Russell of Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, who was recently selected as 2022 National Teacher of the Year.

As part of Equitable’s partnership, the company will host an experiential event at Oberlin High School on June 6 to celebrate Russell.

The company will also host events to celebrate three of the 2022 State Teachers of the Year:

“Teachers have always been America’s unsung heroes, but especially in these unprecedented times they have shown great dedication, resilience and compassion through their ability to balance keeping their loved ones safe, healthy and engaged, without losing sight of the responsibility they have to protect their students and empower them to continue learning and growing in creative ways,” said Jarian Kerekes, Head of Social Impact and Community Engagement at Equitable. “Teacher Appreciation Week is the perfect time to celebrate these educators and amplify the impact they have made on their students. We congratulate all of the 2022 honorees, including Kurt Russell on his well-deserved recognition as National Teacher of the Year.”

The educators were selected for excellence in teaching and a commitment to the profession. Each year, CCSSO provides a new cohort of State Teachers of the Year with a year-long, one-of-a-kind professional learning and development experience. The robust program was designed to increase each inspiring educator’s leadership skills while celebrating their talents and commitment as extraordinary teachers.

“As the top provider of 403(b) plans for K-12 schools, we’ve been committed to empowering the financial well-being of our nation’s teachers like Kurt and American families for more than a century,” said Fred Makonnen, Divisional Vice President at Equitable. “Our partnership with the CCSSO enables us to gather real-time insights into the areas that are of utmost importance to educators’ success, including holistic financial planning so that they can continue to thrive both personally and professionally.”

As 2022 National Teacher of the Year, Kurt Russell, who is also head varsity basketball coach and the faculty advisor of the Black Student Union at his school, will step away from classroom duties for the year to work full-time on shining a light on the critical role of teachers in this country. He will speak at more than 150 events to share his personal experiences, advocate for students, elevate issues teachers face, and encourage others to join the profession.

“I am truly humbled and honored to be selected as the National Teacher of the Year,” said Kurt Russell. “With this recognition, I hope to bring attention and awareness to the importance of diverse faculty and representative curriculums that help students feel more empowered in their education.”

For more information about the National Teacher of the Year Program and to learn more about Kurt Russell, including his biography and photos, visit

About Equitable

Equitable, a principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), has been one of America’s leading financial services providers since 1859. With the mission to help clients secure their financial well-being, Equitable provides advice, protection and retirement strategies to individuals, families and small businesses. Equitable has more than 8,000 employees and Equitable Advisors financial professionals and serves 2.8 million clients across the country. Please visit for more information. References to the top 403(b) plan provider for K-12 schools (LIMRA, Not-For-Profit Survey, participants as of September 30, 2021) and to the 1859 founding apply specifically and exclusively to Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Equitable Advisors is the brand name of Equitable Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) (Equitable Financial Advisors in MI and TN). GE-4714870.1(04/22)(exp.04/24)

About The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.


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