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Penn Graduate School of Education


The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education recognizes innovators who unleash human potential through technology, methodology, and leadership. Since its creation, nearly 100 remarkable leaders in all fields of education have been recognized and celebrated, many of whom continue to play transformative roles today.

2020 Prize Winners

“Each of these winners has dedicated their careers to creating tools and opportunities to unlock the vast potential that exists inside every learner. They serve as an inspiration for how educators can respond creatively to meet our greatest educational challenges.”

—Pam Grossman, Dean, Penn GSE


Estela Mara Bensimon

Founder & Director, Center for Urban Education
University Professor & Dean’s Professor in Educational Equity
Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Michelene T. H. Chi

Regents Professor, Dorothy Bray Endowed Professor of Science and Teaching at Arizona State University
Director of the Learning and Cognition Lab

Joseph S. Krajcik

Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University
Founder and Director of the CREATE for STEM Institute

Past Prize Winners


Arthur Graesser

Professor, Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems, University of Memphis

Reshma Saujani

​Founder​ ​and​ ​CEO​, ​Girls​ ​Who​ ​Code

Timothy Renick

Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor, Georgia State University


Chris Anderson

"Curator" of TED

Christine Cunningham

Founder and Director of Engineering is Elementary

Sandy Shugart

President of Valencia College


Alberto Carvalho

Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools

Anant Agarwal

CEO and Co-Founder of edX

Sakena Yacoobi

Founder and Director of Afghan Institute of Learning


Andreas Schleicher

Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD

Chris Lehmann

Founding Principal, Science Leadership Academy

Sara Martinez Tucker

CEO, National Math + Science Initiative


Dave Levin

Co-Founder, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)

Deborah Bial

President and Founder, The Posse Foundation

Shirley A. Reed

President, South Texas College

Mike Feinberg

Co-Founder, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)


Ariela Rozman

CEO, The New Teacher Project

John Merrow

Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour; President, Learning Matters

Sal Khan

Founder and Executive Director, Khan Academy

Timothy Daly

President, The New Teacher Project


Julie Young

President and CEO of Florida Virtual School

Mitchel Resnick

Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab

Robert Beichner

Professor Physics Department, NC State University


Christopher Cerf

Executive Producer, Between the Lions

Larry Rosenstock

CEO and Founder, High Tech High

Robert Mendenhall

President, Western Governors University


Josephe S. Renzulli

Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education

Linda Darling-Hammond

Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University

Sarita E. Brown

President, Excelencia in Education


Charles B. Reed

Chancellor, California State University (CSU) System

Judith Berry Griffin

President and Founder, Pathways to College

Richard Blais

Vice President and Co-Founder, Project Lead The Way


Lois B. DeFleur

President, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Reynauld Smith

Social Studies and Advanced Placement American History Teacher

Vivien Stewart

Vice President for Education Asia Society


Norman R. Augustine

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Retired, of Lockheed Martin Corporation

Vincent D. Murray

Principal of Henry W. Grady High School

Wendy Kopp

President and Founder, Teach For America


Barbara T. Bowman

Co-Founder, Erikson Institute

Ellen Moir

Executive Director, New Teacher Center, University Of California, Santa Cruz

Sharon Lynn Kagan

Co-director of the National Center for Children and Families


Janet E. Lieberman

Founder, The Middle College High School

Geoffrey Canada

President and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc.

Robert Moses

Founder and President, “The Algebra Project”

Cecilia Cunningham

Director, Middle College National Consortium


Carol A. Twigg

President and CEO, Center for Academic Transformation

Kati Haycock

Director, The Education Trust

Mark A. Edwards

Superintendent, Henrico County Public Schools


Dennis Littky

Co-Director, The “MET” and Big Picture Learning; Founder and President, College Unbound

Eric J. Smith

Superintendent, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Libia Socorro Gil

Superintendent, Chula Vista Elementary School District, California


Carl A. Cohn

Superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District

Freeman Hrabowski

President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Mary Catherine Swanson

Founder and Director, AVID


Nancy S. Grasmick

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools

Rod Paige

Superintendent Houston Independent School District

Sandy Weill

Chairman and CEO, Citigroup, Inc.


Gerry House

President and CEO, Institute for Student Achievement

James B. Hunt, Jr.

Governor of North Carolina

John I. Goodlad

Director, Center for Educational Renewal, University of Washington


Paul A. Elsner

Chancellor, Maricopa Community College

Arthur Greenberg

Superintendent of Schools, Community School District 25, Flushing, New York

Elliot W. Eisner

Professor of Education and Art, Stanford

Alfredo de los Santos

Vice Chancellor for Student and Educational Development, Maricopa Community College


Barbara T. Bush

Founder, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Diana Natalicio

President, The University of Texas at El Paso

JW Carmichael, Jr.

Professor, Xavier University

Vera M. White

Principal, Jefferson Junior High School


Donald W. Ingerwerson

Superintendent of Schools, Los Angeles County, California

Roy Romer

Former Governor of Colorado

Yvonne Chan

Principal, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center


Ernest L. Boyer

Former U.S. Commissioner of Education

James E. (Gene) Bottoms

Director, High Schools That Work program, Southern Regional Education Board

Mary E. Diez

Dean of Education, Alverno College


Alicia Thomas

Principal, Jackson-Keller Elementary School, San Antonio, Texas

Harold Howe II

Former U.S. Commissioner of Education

Particia M. Bolanos

Principal, Key and Renaissance Schools, Indianapolis, Indiana


Booth Gardner

Former Governor of Washington

Sharon Darling

President and Founder, National Center for Family Literacy

Sister Mary Brian Costello

R.S.M., Chief of Staff, Archdiocese of Chicago


Edward Zigler

Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Shirley A. Hill

Curators’ Professor of Education and Mathematics, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Thomas W. Payzant

Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education


Judith Taack Lanier

Dean of Education, Michigan State University; President, Michigan Partnership for New Education

Robert H. McCabe

President, Miami-Dade Community College District

Theodore R. Sizer

Professor of Education, Brown University; Chairman Emeritus, Coalition of Essential Schools


Clark Kerr

President Emeritus, University of California

James P. Comer

Associate Dean, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Child Study Center

Richard C. Wallace, Jr.

Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania


Kathleen A. Ross

President, Heritage College

Kenneth B. Clark

Distinguished Professor of Psychology Emeritus, CUNY

Richard W. Riley

Former Governor of South Carolina


Claiborne Pell

Former United States Senator (D-RI)

Helen Crouch

President, Literacy Volunteers of America

Terrel H. Bell

Former U.S. Secretary of Education