Celebrating educators, today and every day

May 8, 2024 by PEMCO Insurance

Teachers are undoubtedly some of the most influential people we have in our lives. 

So many of us have a story of an educator that changed our lives, shaped our perspective, and helped us find our path.  


Robert J. Handy, Founder/CEO/Chair 1936-1984Educators have guided and influenced PEMCO as well. We were founded by Robert J. Handy, a math and journalism teacher at Franklin High School. In 1936, he founded PEMCO Financial Services to create an educator-owned credit union. In 1949, Handy saw the need to expand services for educators even further, and started to offer home and auto insurance, and PEMCO insurance was born, 75 years ago.   

In 1967, Hardy founded the PEMCO Foundation to support public education and community service.  

Stanley O. McNaughton, Handy’s successor, was also an educator—a professor of economics at Seattle University.  

In honor of this legacy, and in support of our commitment to youth and education, we continue our support of local educators through programs like the Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Awards (given through the WA Association of School Administrators to exceptional Principals and Superintendents), and Golden Apple Moments. Additionally, we have partnered with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to help recognize our top educators through the Washington State Teacher of the Year Program

Partner spotlight: Cascade PBS, Golden Apple Moments 

Our commitment to youth and education, one of our Mutual Good focus areas, is based on the belief that children deserve an education that will help them reach their highest potential. We know that teachers play a vital role in this outcome. 

Golden Apple Moments I Cascade PBS
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to highlight the great work our community partner, Cascade PBS, does through the Golden Apple Moments. Over the past 30 years, this program has recognized hundreds of inspiring educators for the incredible work they do for our communities’ youth. Their dedication to students is inspiring and has changed many lives, creating brighter futures for students in pre-K through 12th grade. 

You can learn more about the exceptional educators featured through Golden Apple Moments in the past and present here, and follow Cascade PBS on Facebook and Instagram to see the remaining recipients as they’re announced each month between now and October. 


During Teacher Appreciation Week, we thank all educators for their unwavering support of future generations.  

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