Professional OpportunitiesNBEA Award Winners


Recognizing Excellence in Business Education

Each year NBEA accepts nominations for outstanding individuals for the following award categories:

Middle School Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a middle school business educator.

Secondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a secondary business educator.

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a postsecondary business educator.

Collegiate or University Teacher of the Year [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by a senior college or university business educator.

Distinguished Service Award for an Administrator or Supervisor [nomination form]
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an administrator or supervisor of business education.

Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to business education by an institution, organization, business firm, government agency, or individual associated with any of these groups.

For more information about eligibility for this award or to obtain a nomination form, please contact NBEA at 703.860.8300 or



The 2019 NBEA Award winners:

Theresa Bynum
Secondary Teacher of the Year

Theresa Bynum, from Midway R-1 High School in Cleveland, Missouri, is NBEA's Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Theresa Bynum came to business education after a career in the insurance industry. In her encore career as a business teacher, she has used her real-world experience and her considerable leadership skills to inspire students and serve her profession. Her philosophy of education is based on approaching and modeling “learning as a continuous necessity.” She lets students see her learning right along with them, especially when it comes to technology. As an FBLA advisor, she’s received appreciative letters from students she has mentored in state and national competitions, encouraging them to rise even higher than their own expectations for success. Knowing the importance of soft skills in business, Ms. Bynum is one of the few teachers who grades for conduct, to build both the skill and the will employers seek in their employees. And she consistently receives high evaluations.

One of her most significant accomplishments was to transform the curriculum from a set of practical arts courses to a state-accredited business program. This was important because it would allow the school to offer students more courses. It would also open the door to making her small rural school eligible for grants that could pay for updated equipment. One year after her school was accredited, Ms. Bynum collaborated with the state department of education, local industry leaders, and her administration to write—and win—an enhancement grant. With the money, the school purchased new computers and added graphic design and desktop publishing to the curriculum. Courses and equipment now reflect current industry standards, allowing students access to better college and career opportunities. As one supporter wrote: "What many educators from larger districts and/or colleges may not realize is that in a small school [like ours], she is the ONLY business teacher. Therefore all advancement, program improvement, and success are a direct result of her efforts."

When she is not teaching her high school students, Ms. Bynum focuses on advancing her profession and improving life in her community. She encourages colleagues to prioritize professional development, so that they can step up their game for students. She regularly attends the NBEA annual convention, offers presentations to conference-goers, and participates in state, regional, and national student and professional organizations. She served as president of her state business education association and currently serves as Govering Council Chair of the National Business Honor Society. Active in her community, she serves on the economic improvement council and teaches adult business education courses.

Geana Mitchell
Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Geana Mitchell, from Bevill State Community Collegel in Sumiton, Alabama, is NBEA's Postsecondary Teacher of the Year.

Geana Mitchell is recognized as a gifted educator and advisor, an active leader, and a prolific researcher and author. In addition, she leads a double life. She not only teaches business; she also helps run two family-based businesses.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Dr. Mitchell began working at the age of 11 in her family’s business. There, she learned the value of a solid work ethic and the importance of “planning your work and working your plan.” Not surprisingly, she offers her students the benefit of her hands-on business experience. She also offers students “straight talk” about complex business problems that don’t have simple textbook answers. As a result, she’s built a reputation as a stellar educator. She spearheaded the redesign of her school’s business office management and technology curriculum to meet the needs of local business and industry. She led major course revisions that integrated MOS certifications into the program. Her college now has an 86% pass rate, comparied to the national average of 38%. Students say her teaching and academic advising are top-notch―and that she works with them "in any way she can to help them succeed." A colleague complimented her teaching as "inspiring" and credited her with having had "a major influence on (her) life and career."

As the lead instructor in her department and advisor to the college's Phi Beta Lambda business club, Dr. Mitchell has led students to win competitions annually. Her stature as a role model and collaborative leader earned her the state's PBL "Advisor of the Year" Award.

State, regional, and national professional organizations have benefited from Dr. Mitchell's contributions as an officer, convention chair, and editorial review board member. She has also served on several local Career and Technical Education Advisory Committees and as a regional judge in DECA competitions. In a letter of support, her department chair noted that “She always represents our college well.” Professional associations have honored her with awards for leadership, innovative instructional practices, and outstanding teaching.

Recognized also for her scholarship, Dr. Mitchell's contributions include articles in the Business Teacher Education Journal, The Journal of Research for Business Education, the Academy of Business Research Journal, the Business Education Innovation Journal, and the Delta Pi Epsilon Journal. She has also delivered presentations and workshops for state, regional, and national conferences.

JaderstromPamela Kay Scott Bracey
Collegiate Teacher of the Year

Pamela K. Scott Bracey from Mississippi State University is NBEA's Collegiate Business Teacher of the Year.


Even though she is an early career professor, Dr. Pamela Scott Bracey has emerged as a role model with a solid reputation for excellence, inclusion, and service. From the beginning. her career was marked with promise. In 2006, she received first-place honors as a future business teacher and she delivered on that promise by: winning the Academy of CTE Outstanding Research Nexus Award (2012); being named “State Business Educator of the Year” (2013 and 2014); being named a distinguished alumnus of her college (2014); achieving first place for Pi Omega Pi “Chapter of the Year” (2016); being named “Regional Business Educator Teacher of the Year” (2016); receiving four distinct awards for excellent teaching (2018); and being named one of “50 Leading Women in Business” in her state (2018).

During her tenure as a business professor, Dr. Bracey has enhanced the profession of business education through scholarship and service. She published eight articles in refereed journals, eight book chapters, and 15 conference proceedings. She delivered 45 research-based presentations and served on 25 committees. She is active in state, regional, and national associations and has been instrumental in reactivating NBEA’s social media presence.


Beyond those accomplishments, Dr. Bracey is a business educator whose “heart yearns to be a blessing to others.” She works toward inclusiveness, whether that means initiating the first-ever induction of online students to Pi Omega Pi, bridging the gap between academic business educators and CTE instructors, or recruiting a more diverse range of members to her state business education association. She also
advocates for professional development, requiring students to explore the advantages of joining professional associations. Many students have named her their favorite professor, saying she is “fair, stern, consistent, and professional.”


Dr. Bracey is creating a legacy of mentoring. She founded the “Global Academic Essentials Teaching Institute,” which received stellar ratings from the U.S. Department of Education. She also founded the nonprofit “Fannie’s Nest,” to help youth develop soft skills and professional career goals. The nonprofit is a testament to lessons from her grandmother, who stressed the importance of “doing whatever you can to help others and to expose them to things that helped you.”

KyleMarsha L. Bayless
Business Education Administrator of the Year

Marsha L. Bayless, professor, at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, is NBEA's Administrator of the Year.

Respected for her visionary and steadfast leadership, Dr. Marsha L. Bayless has consistently added value to the business education profession through publications, teaching, and service. Her doctoral dissertation won McGraw-Hill’s Robert E. Slaughter award; her most recent article on teaching methods was published in the 2018 NBEA Yearbook. Not only has she received six “Outstanding Educator” awards; she was also recognized as the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the Mountain-Plains Business Education Association. In addition she’s served as president, program chair, board member, and editor in state, regional, national, and international organizations. The Association for Business Communication named her a Fellow and Distinguished Member.


In her current role as department chair, Dr. Bayless encouraged the early adoption of online courses—and as a result, increased enrollment. Wanting to reach nontraditional students, she created an online completer program for the Business Communication and Corporate Education major. After this delivery system was approved, she encouraged the development of online courses in employment law, real estate law, and executive leadership. In addition, Dr. Bayless piloted a project that offered online courses in a half-semester format to better meet the needs of nontraditional online students.

To further benefit students and faculty, she hosted a regional business and technology education conference at her university. She encourages faculty not only to pursue and present research at such conferences, but also to award scholarships to students who excel in connecting the classroom and the business world. Concurrently she is establishing a mentoring program to connect business advisory committee members with business majors. She also established a program in which senior faculty mentor junior faculty in teaching and research-related issues. Demonstrating her commitment, she leads by example and also mentors faculty.

Her leadership, say supporters, is nothing short of exemplary. Specifically they point to challenges she faced during her first year as department chair, when two faculty members needed to take unplanned medical leave. She acted quickly to get classes covered, then provided counseling, extra administrative support, and additional compensation for those affected. As one colleague wrote, “Her verbal and emotional support during that very difficult time was invaluable.”