Thomas Knabb and Drew Beiter in front or he National Teachers Hall of Fame

Springville Middle School social studies teacher Drew Beiter will join a fellow Western New York Educator as inductees into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas this evening.

Out of the nation’s three million teachers, Williamsville Art teacher Thom Knab and Beiter were chosen to be part of the premier organization designed to recognize the most accomplished American educators. In the past thirty years that the Hall of Fame has been in operation, only 150 teachers have been chosen–a number that now includes Knab and Beiter.

An 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Springville Middle School, Beiter has used his classroom as a means for his students not only to learn about modern American history, but to also become civically-engaged citizens who take action to repair the world. The co-founder of the Academy for Human Rights and the Educators’ Institute for Human Rights, he is also credited for training thousands of teachers around the region, county and world about the lessons of the Holocaust, as well as understnding Syria, North Korea, Media Literacy, responding to racism, and now on Climate Change.  


“To me, being part of the National Teachers Hall of Fame is a reflection of the great teachers that I had at Blessed Sacrament Elementary, St. Joe’s Collegiate Institute, as well as at Michigan State where I went to college. What a society puts into its teachers is what it will get out of its future. I hope to use this recognition as a means to help train even more students and teachers about the most pressing issues of our time–and how they can take action to help solve them.”


An art teacher at Dodge Elementary for the past 32 years, Knab has been a leader in art education nationally for some time now.  He has served as president of the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA) (2013-15). Knab has also served on the Board of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) as Elementary Division Director (2015-17) and as its President (2018-20). He has been honored as both the NYSATA Art Educator of the year and NAEA National Elementary Art Educator in 2018. Knab also began a 1000 sq. foot Gallery at his elementary school called the BRAG (Brick Room Art Gallery), where he says he can brag about his students’ artwork.


“The NTHF honor reaffirms the work I do and is a reflection of those that have been an example of great teaching to me”, says Knab. I live by the example my mom lived…every person and everything you encounter in life, leave them/it better than how it came into your life.”


While the two were informed of this honor in September 2019, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Hall of Fame chose to induct now to help insure public safety.


About the National Teaches Hall of Fame:

The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF), located in Emporia, Kansas, was founded in 1989 by Emporia State University, the ESU Alumni Association, the City of Emporia, USD 253, and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce as a tribute to our nation’s most important profession: Teaching.


The NTHF is committed to drawing the public’s attention to exceptional PreK-12 teachers through a museum, teacher resource center, and recognition program which honors five of the nation’s most outstanding PreK-12 educators each year. It is the only facility of its kind dedicated to preserving and promoting education, and to serving our country by inspiring others to enter the teaching profession and it has been endorsed by practically every national education organization. You can learn more by going to