George I. Sánchez (1906–1972) was an educator and scholar who devoted his life to improving the education of Hispanic children.

He worked his way through the University of New Mexico (UNM) teaching in small rural schools. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Sánchez served as President of the New Mexico Education Association (1935–36) and led the fight to equalize school funding. This cost him a promised tenured professorship at UNM, but he went on to enjoy a distinguished career at the University of Texas.

NEA presents the George I. Sánchez Memorial Award to a nominee whose activities significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for Hispanics. To be eligible for this award, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Promote equitable educational opportunities for Hispanic children.
  • Help establish and/or fund a bilingual education program.
  • Develop bilingual instructional materials and/or multimedia bilingual programs.
  • Help public schools develop programs that enhance the educational opportunities of Hispanic students.
  • Promote, design, and coordinate training programs for counselors and educators of Hispanic students.

Awarded in even- and odd-numbered years.

2021 HCR Awards Honorees