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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05

NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: AUGUST 24, 2004

NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATORS RECOGNIZED AS UNSUNG HEROS

Four North Carolina educators today were recognized by ING as Unsung Heroes for pioneering new methods and techniques that improve student learning. Receiving the ING Unsung Hero award were Lizbeth Alfaro, North Carolina's 2004-05 Teacher of the Year and a teacher at Lyle Creek Elementary School (Catawba County Schools); Sylvia Caldwell, principal, Pauline Jones Elementary (Cumberland County Schools); Kewanna Cigales, teacher, Northside High School (Onslow County Schools); and Bobbie Lequire, teacher, C.G. Credle Elementary School, (Granville County Schools). Each received $2,000, which they will use to fund the project outlined in their award applications.

ING initiated the ING Unsung Heroes awards program in 1995 as a reflection of its commitment to the educational community. Last spring, educators submitted applications describing projects they have initiated or would like to create. The applications were then judged on their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to make a positive influence on students. One hundred finalists were selected and awarded a $2,000 check made payable to the recipient and his or her school. From the finalists, three were selected to receive additional awards of either $25,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, or $5,000 for third place. North Carolina had more $2,000 winners than any other state.

Applications for next year's Unsung Heroes awards program are now being accepted through April 30, 2005. To receive an application, please contact Scholarship America at 800/537-4180. Winners will be announced in the fall 2005. ING Group is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to more than 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 112,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

ING is a leader in providing 403(b) plans to kindergarten through 12th grade educators and other employees of nonprofit organizations in America. In the U.S., ING offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients that includes retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, life insurance, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. Currently, ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves more than 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.