The McGraw Prize was established in 1988 by the Board of Directors of McGraw-Hill to honor Harold W. McGraw, Jr., the former Chairman and CEO, to honor his lifelong commitment to education, literacy and learning. 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.
*There was no Prize awarded in 2015 or 2019.
Art Graesser is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, as well as an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Oxford. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at San Diego. His research interests question asking and answering, tutoring, text comprehension, inference generation, conversation, reading, problem solving, memory, emotions, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and human-computer interaction. He served as editor of the journal Discourse Processes (1996–2005) and Journal of Educational Psychology (2009-2014), as well as presidents of 4 societies, including Society for Text and Discourse (2007-2010), the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education (2007-2009), and the Federation of Associations in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2012-13). He and his colleagues have developed and tested software in learning, language, and discourse technologies, including those that hold a conversation in natural language and interact with multimedia (such as AutoTutor) and those that analyze text on multiple levels of language and discourse (Coh-Metrix and Question Understanding Aid -- QUAID). He has served on OECD expert panels on problem solving, namely PIAAC 2011 Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments, PISA 2012 Complex Problem Solving, PISA 2015 Collaborative Problem Solving (chair), and PIAAC Complex Problem Solving 2021. He has received lifetime achievement awards for research from the Society for Text and Discourse (2010), the American Psychological Association (2011), and the University of Memphis (2012, the first Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement).
Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. By the end of the 2018 academic year, Girls Who Code will have reached over 50 thousand girls in all 50 states and several US territories. The results speak for themselves: 88% of alumni have declared a CS major/minor or are more interested in CS because of Girls Who Code.
Reshma began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code. She has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.
Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than three million views and has sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. She is the author of two books, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World , the first in a 13-book series about girls and coding which debuted as a New York Times bestseller, and Women Who Don’t Wait In Line , in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally.
Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School.
Timothy Renick is Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. At Georgia State, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program. Since 2008, he has directed the student success and enrollment efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students' race, ethnicity or income level. Dr. Renick has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the United States Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House. His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and CNN and cited by President Obama. He was named one of 2016’s Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly and was the recipient of the 2015-16 Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation from the University Innovation Alliance. He currently is principal investigator for a $9 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study the impact of predictive-analytics-based advisement on ten-thousand low-income and first-generation students nationally. A summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.
Chris Anderson is "Curator" of TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Anderson helped turn what was once a closed-door conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design into a global platform for spreading ideas across a wide variety of disciplines. Founded in 1984, the first TED conferences were held in Monterey, California. In 2006, Chris and his team experimented with putting TED Talk videos online for free – a decision that opened the doors to a radically new model for sharing ideas: today there are more than 2,100 TED Talks available for free on TED.com, which are viewed about a billion times a year. Thanks to the support of thousands of volunteer translators, there are more than 86,000 published translations of TED Talks in over 110 languages. TED’s youth and education initiative TED-Ed aims to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. TED-Ed includes a growing library of original animated videos , an international platform for teachers to create their own interactive lessons, a curriculum for presentation literacy skills and a global network of over 250,000 teachers.
Christine Cunningham, founder and director of Engineering is Elementary (EiE) at the Museum of Science in Boston, pioneered an engaging elementary engineering curriculum that bridges the research world and the realities that teachers face day to day. Her highly innovative project is transforming education by introducing engineering concepts and practices to elementary children. She believes schools should “Innovate for the future—but design for the classrooms of today.” Since 2004, her curriculum has been implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with access to populations underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields. Cunningham's curriculum has reached 12.8 million children and an estimated 1.25 million educators.
Cunningham has received awards for her work from the American Society for Engineering Education and the International Society for Design and Development in Education, among others. In 2015, the American Association of School Librarians awarded EiE the "Best Website for Teaching & Learning Award." She has given keynote addresses at a number of national conferences and testified before Congress on "Harnessing the Power of Engineering to Improve K-12 STEM Education.” Cunningham has elevated elementary engineering instruction through inquiry-based learning as a subject of national importance.
Sandy Shugart is President of Valencia College, a public college in Orlando, FL, with 65,000 students on five campuses. He has transformed his institution by focusing on best practices of student success. Valencia enrolls and advances large numbers of Hispanic students and is cited as a stellar model in community college change, with proven results. From 2006 to 2014, Valencia has witnessed an 83 percent increase in the number of students who earn an A.A. degree each year.
In fact, Valencia ranks fourth in the country among colleges and universities in the number of associate degrees awarded. Its associate degree graduates now gain automatic entry into the University of Central Florida and one quarter of UCF’s graduates are now transfers from Valencia. Valencia has received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and ¡Excelencia in Education! for its promotion of academic success for Latino students.
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of the fourth largest school system in the United States, was recognized for his work in changing the digital landscape of learning in the classroom, improving student outcomes and guiding his district back to financial health.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida face unique challenges. The district is a melting pot of students from 160 countries who speak 56 different languages and 72 percent of the 340,000 students live in poverty.
Carvalho knows firsthand the importance education plays in improving lives. As an immigrant to the US at 17 and speaking no English, he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school. Carvalho enrolled in a community college and worked as a day laborer and busboy to support himself. Initially wanting to pursue medicine, he decided he preferred helping people improve their minds and earned a bachelor’s degree in education.
Since Carvalho was named superintendent in 2008, he has devoted his career to improving PreK-12 education by finding an education solution for minority and disadvantaged students. In 2010, the district launched three new and specialized senior high schools: iPrep Academy, the International Studies Preparatory Academy at Gables and the Medical Academy for Science and Technology (MAST) at Homestead. These programs have seen dramatic improvements in graduation rates. iPrep and MAST were recognized in Newsweek’s 2015 “Beating the Odds” list, which identifies schools that do an excellent job of preparing students for college while overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage.
In the beginning of the 2012 – 2013 school year, Carvalho raised $7 million, which was matched ten-to-one by the federal government to make all county schools wireless. His goal was to provide technology-rich school environments that mimic the work environments that students will one day enter. Carvalho has said “eliminating the digital divide is the moral imperative of our generation.”
Prior to Carvalho’s leadership, the school district was near bankruptcy. The state was threatening to permanently close nine high schools and the graduation rates were lagging behind the state average. Today, under his leadership, the district’s $4.8 billion budget is balanced.
In 2014, Carvalho was named National Superintendent of the Year for these efforts. You can see Carvalho’s speech at the White House here.
Anant Agarwal, PhD, a pioneer in computer architecture, was recognized for changing the future of online learning — democratizing and reimagining education so that anyone, anywhere can access education. Agarwal is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the driving innovators behind the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement. He is also one of the four founders, and current CEO, of edX.
Agarwal’s vision is to continue to work with universities, faculty, learning scientists and students to innovate and transform education, making it accessible on a global level to everyone regardless of social status or income and revolutionizing on-campus learning, while improving quality.
MIT and Harvard launched edX in 2012 with $60 million, and today, it is a worldwide destination for online learning courses at more than 70 universities and institutions, from the University of California at Berkeley and Arizona State University to the Sorbonne in Paris, Tsinghua University in China and Australian National University.
Under Agarwal’s leadership, edX has continued to increase its partnerships and reach. Most recently, edX partnered with Queen Rania Foundation to launch its first Arabic-language courses — changing the landscape of online learning in the Middle East.
In 2012, Agarwal was named one of the top 15 education innovators by Forbes and, The Boston Globe concluded that his “work could alter the academic landscape more dramatically than almost any pedagogic innovation since the lecture.”
His current work is focused on incorporating edX course materials into the high school classroom. You can see Agarwal’s TED talk here.
Known as the “mother of education” in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi is the founder and director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Over the last two decades, Yacoobi has worked tirelessly to rebuild her nation’s war-scarred education system.
During the 1990s, she worked in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan with the goal of helping to “counteract ignorance” and provide thousands of girls, women and underprivileged children with a better chance in life. In 1996, Yacoobi founded AIL to train teachers through intensive instruction in the basics of teaching.
As the first organization to open learning centers in Afghanistan, AIL has delivered health and education services to an estimated 12 million people, mostly in rural Afghanistan. Working in defiance of the Taliban regime’s ban on the education for girls, Yacoobi helped to educate 3,000 girls in underground home schools. Today, AIL runs 44 learning centers for women and children and provides training to teachers in order to boost the quality of schooling in Afghanistan.
Yacoobi is also co-founder and vice president of Creating Hope International and has established private facilities in Afghanistan: four schools, a hospital and a radio station. The mission of CHI is to empower grassroots community development through support for quality education, health, social and economic programming.
In addition to her work with AIL, Yacoobi has been a panelist, TEDWomen speaker and speaker on education for women and children at a number of international conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative and the Brookings US-Islamic World Forum. You can see Yacoobi’s TED talk here.
She is the recipient of five honorary doctorates from institutions including Princeton University. In 2015, Yacoobi was named the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Prize laureate in front of an audience that included Michelle Obama and a host of education experts from around the world.
Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
As a key member of the OECD Senior Management team, Mr. Schleicher supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. He promotes the work of the Directorate for Education and Skills on a global stage and fosters co-operation both within and outside the OECD. In addition to policy and country reviews, the work of the Directorate includes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).
Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”. He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.
Chris Lehmann is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia, PA. The Science Leadership Academy is an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement nationally and internationally. Science Leadership Academy is the Dell Computing Center of Excellence for Technology in Education. The school was recognized by Ladies Home Journal as one of the Ten Most Amazing Schools in the US, has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School from 2009 through 2013 and has been written about in many publications including Edutopia Magazine, EdWeek and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In September 2013, Chris opened Science Leadership Academy @ Beeber campus, the second campus in the SLA model. In 2013, Chris co-founded the non-profit Inquiry Schools with Diana Laufenberg to help more schools create more empowering, modern learning experiences for students, and he serves as Superintendent and Chair of the Board. Chris returned to his native Philadelphia after nine years as an English Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Girls Basketball Coach and Ultimate Frisbee coach at the Beacon School in New York City, one of the leading urban public schools for technology integration.
In June 2013, Chris was named Outstanding Leader of the Year by the International Society of Technology in Education. In November of 2012, Chris was named one of Dell’s #Inspire100 – one of the 100 people changing the world using Social Media. In April of 2012, Chris won the Lindback Award for Excellence in Principal Leadership in the School District of Philadelphia. In September of 2011, Chris was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work in education reform. In June 2010, Chris was named as one of the “30 Most Influential People in EdTech” by Technology & Learning Magazine. In 2009, Chris was a honoree for the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Outstanding Young Educator Award. Chris was named as one of “40 Under 40” by Philadelphia Business Journal in 2009. In 2006, the National School Board Association named Chris one of “20 to Watch” among American administrators. In 2001, Chris was honored by MOUSE as a Champion of Technology and Education for his work on building the portal at the Beacon School.
Chris received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Chris is co-author of Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need, co-editor of What School Leaders Need to Know about Digital Technologies and Social Media, the author of the education blog this blog Practical Theory and is father to Jakob and Theo.
Sara Martinez Tucker is the CEO of the National Math + Science Initiative. NMSI’s mission is to improve student performance in the critical subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Its programs transform teaching, transform schools and are transforming education in the U.S.
She most recently served as the under the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. As under secretary, she oversaw all policies, programs and activities related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid. Tucker’s personal accomplishments included the development and implementation of two signature programs to increase access to college: a joint initiative with the U.S. Treasury Department to make nearly $70 billion in 2008-09 federal student loans available during the nation’s financial crisis, and an innovative new website, college.gov, which helps students and families prepare for college. Among her many awards and honors, in 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States.
Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, she earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in journal¬ism at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for two years as a reporter for the San Antonio Express before returning to the University of Texas to earn her master’s in business administration with high honors. She and her husband, Greg, a management consultant, live in Dallas.
Dave Levin co-founded KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, with Mike Feinberg in Houston in 1994. KIPP has grown from one classroom serving 45 students to a nationwide network of 200 public charter schools serving 80,000 students in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Dave currently works with KIPP leaders on instructional innovation, leadership development, and teacher training.
After graduating from Yale University in 1992, Levin joined Teach for America and taught fifth grade in Houston, Texas. In 1994, Dave won Teacher of the Year honors from his school in Houston, the Jefferson Award for outstanding community service in the city of Houston, and an outstanding teaching award from Teach for America.
In the spring of 2000, Levin and Feinberg were approached by Doris and Don Fisher, founders of Gap, Inc., to replicate KIPP's success nationwide. Together they co-founded the KIPP Foundation which supports the opening, growth, and evaluation of KIPP schools around the country. KIPP alumni are graduating college at more than four times the national average for kids from underserved communities and above the national average for all demographic groups.
In 2007, Dave, along with Norman Atkins from Uncommon Schools and Dacia Toll at Achievement First, co-founded Teacher U which has grown into the Relay Graduate School of Education, a master's program designed to prepare teachers with the best of both theory and practice so that their students can develop the transformative academic and character skills needed to succeed in college and life. Relay currently serves 2,000 teachers and 400 school leaders on nine campuses across the country.
In 2012, Dave partnered with Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dominic Randolph, head of the Riverdale Country School, to launch the Character Lab. The Character Lab’s mission is to develop, disseminate, and support the implementation of research based approaches to character. Its goal is to bridge the world of scientific research and educational practice. In partnership with the Character Lab and Relay, Dave designed and taught on on-line Coursera course entitled “Teaching Character.” To date, over 100,000 people have taken this course.
Also in 2012, Dave partnered with Norman Atkins, David Saltzman, Evan Rudall, and Shalinee Sharma to launch Zearn – a digital learning non-profit dedicated to maximizing the joy and rigor of how and what kids learn on-line. Zearn’s first project is the building of a kid-facing K-8 digital math experience.
Deborah Bial formed The Posse Foundation in 1989 with “the simple idea of sending a group of students to college together to act as a support system for one another.” The Foundation is a youth leadership development and college access organization that sends teams (Posses) of students from diverse backgrounds to selective colleges and universities.
The Posse Foundation has identified more than 4,800 Posse Scholars. Posse Scholars have a 90 percent graduation rate, and have won $575 million in leadership scholarships from Posse’s 44 partner colleges and universities. The Foundation supports programs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington D.C.
In 1999, Bial received a $1.9 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for her dissertation, which focused on the design and assessment of a new college admissions tool that could be used in addition to traditional measures. In October 2007, Bial received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Bial earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in education with a focus on higher education administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. Bial is also a distinguished, visiting fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Mike Feinberg is Co-Founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation and Executive Vice Chair of KIPP Houston, which includes 26 public charter schools: 10 primary schools, 12 middle schools, and 4 high schools serving nearly 14,000 children. To date, 90% of the KIPPsters who have left the KIPP Houston middle schools have gone on to college, and 51% of those former middle school KIPPsters have graduated from college (compared with a national college graduation rate for low-income children of 8%).
Mike received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and a Masters of Education from National-Louis University in 2005. He received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Yale University in 2010 and from Duke University in 2015.
After graduating from Penn, Mike joined Teach For America and taught bilingual fifth grade in Houston, Texas. In 1994, he co-founded KIPP with Dave Levin and established KIPP Academy Houston a year later. In 2000, he co-founded the KIPP Foundation to help take KIPP to scale. Today, KIPP is a network of 200 high-performing public schools around the nation serving 80,000 children, with 10,000+ alumni in college.
In 2005, he led the effort to start a public K-8 school in Houston for Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. The school, NOW College Prep (New Orleans West), opened in 10 days.
Dr. Feinberg has received several honors including being named an Ashoka Fellow, receiving the Thomas B. Fordham Prize for Excellence in Education, the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, the Charles Bronfman Prize, the Manhattan Institute’s William E. Simon Prize, the Guardian of the Human Spirit award, and the Brock Prize. He has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of “America’s Best Leaders,” and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mike and Dave’s efforts became the story told by Washington Post reporter, Jay Mathews, in his book “Work hard. Be nice.” KIPP has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS 60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, and in The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, and more.
Dr. Reed serves as the founding president of South Texas College, formerly South Texas Community College. She continues her distinguished 43 year career as a community college administrator with experience in three states. Her commitment to the greater good is demonstrated by her choice of fighting structural barriers in higher education and committing to serve low-income, first-generation, students. She has devoted her career to facilitating access to quality education for African-American, Native American, and Hispanic students. As the founding President of South Texas College, she has led the establishment and development of the College that now serves almost 35,000 credit students this fall 2015 and over 13,000 continuing education students annually, in Deep South Texas. She led the successful creation of a taxing district for the operation of the College and three bond issue elections providing $277.7 million in funding for new facilities.
Dr. Reed’s leadership has led to state and national recognitions for South Texas College including: Excelencia in Education has ranked South Texas College first in the nation for awarding Associate degrees to Hispanics in STEM Fields, and #2 in the nation for Hispanic student enrollment, Community College Times Top 100 Producers has ranked the College as #3 in the nation in awarding Associate degrees to Hispanics, and 27th in the nation in awarding Associate degrees in all disciplines, the Early College High Schools Program was selected as an Example of Excelencia! 2015 by Excelencia in Education, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics selected the College’s Early College High Schools Program as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education, one of 150 nominees for the highly competitive Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Achieving the Dream Leader College designation, the McGraw Prize in Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Award for the Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy, MetLife Foundation Community College Excellence Award, and the Leah Meyer Austin Award.
Dr. Reed has a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Western International University and a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Hawaii. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of South Florida in English Education. Dr. Reed also has an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. Petersburg Junior College.
Ariela Rozman is a Founding Partner of EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization that helps working families give their children a great education. Currently operating in New Orleans, EdNavigator partners with leading businesses to provide hands-on, personalized educational support as a benefit to their employees—particularly those working in hourly jobs.
Before founding EdNavigator, Ariela Rozman served for eight years as Chief Executive Officer of TNTP, a leading education nonprofit organization that partners with school systems and states to ensure that all students get excellent teachers. Under Ariela's tenure as CEO, TNTP tripled in size, growing to a staff of 370 full-time employees across 41 states and an annual budget of more than $60 million. Today, TNTP has a presence in more than 50 cities and states, including most of the country's largest urban areas. In 2012, she and TNTP President Tim Daly received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for their leadership.
Ariela began her tenure with TNTP in 2001. Prior to TNTP, she worked in consulting for Bain & Company and helped launch and grow the e-commerce site PlanetRx.com. She holds a BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.
John Merrow, who began his career as an education reporter with National Public Radio with the weekly series, “Options in Education,” retired in 2015 after 41 years of covering public education, the last 30 as Education Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and host of his own series of PBS documentaries, “The Merrow Report.”
During his career he received the George Polk Award, two George Foster Peabody Awards, three Emmy nominations and dozens of awards from the Education Writers Association, Ciné and other organizations.
An occasional contributor to the opinion pages of USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Education Week, he is the author of The Influence of Teachers (2011) and Choosing Excellence (2001) and co-editor of Declining by Degrees (2005). He blogs weekly at Themerrowreport.com.
His new book, Addicted to Reform: A 12-Step Program for Public Education, will be published by The New Press in 2017.
Before becoming a journalist, Merrow was an English teacher in junior high school, high school, a Black college, and federal prison.
John earned an A.B. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in American Studies from Indiana University, and a doctorate in Education and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Richard Stockton State College and Paul Smith’s College. He received the James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education from CASE in 2000, the HGSE Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education in 2006, and the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal in 2009.
John Merrow lives in New York City with his wife, Joan Lonergan, who spent her career leading schools for girls in California and New York City before retiring in 2015.
Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education for “anyone, anywhere” in the world. Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 with three degrees: two B.S. degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering/computer science; and an M.S. degree in electrical engineering. He worked in technology in Silicon Valley until the first bubble burst, after which he attended Harvard Business School. After earning an M.B.A. in 2003, Khan became an analyst at a Boston-based hedge fund.
In 2004 as a side project, Khan began tutoring his young cousin in math, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and in 2009 he quit his day job to commit himself fully to the not-for-profit Khan Academy. The Khan Academy website now provides self-pacing software and unlimited access to over 3,000 instructional videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to college level science and economics. It’s the most-used library of educational videos on the web, with over 5 million unique students per month, over 150 million lessons delivered, and over half a billion exercises completed. Over 15,000 classrooms around the world are also using Khan Academy to help build student mastery of topics and to free up class time for dynamic project based learning.
Khan was recently profiled by 60 Minutes and recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Timothy Daly co-founded the nonprofit organization EdNavigator with Ariela Rozman in 2015. He brings 16 years of experience in public education to EdNavigator, including service as an urban school teacher, organizational leader, and policy expert.
Prior to founding EdNavigator, he served alongside Ariela Rozman as President of TNTP. During his eight years in that role, TNTP became a leading source of innovative research and a respected independent voice on teacher quality issues. Tim is a 2008 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and was awarded the 2010 Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership from Teach For America. He shared the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education with TNTP CEO Ariela Rozman in 2012.
Before joining TNTP in 2001, Tim taught social studies at Northeast Middle School in Baltimore. He holds a MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in American Studies from Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.
Julie Young is a visionary CEO, educator, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and former President and CEO of Florida Virtual School, the world’s first virtual statewide school district, the nation’s largest and most influential K-12 online education provider, and the worldwide innovator of online K-12 education services. Under her leadership, the organization grew from 77 students in Florida to more than 2 million students worldwide. Young and her team grew FLVS into a diversified, worldwide organization serving students in 50 states and 68 countries worldwide.
Julie’s interest in combining technology and learning began when she served as a teacher trainer for a partnership between the Lee County school district and IBM. That experience inspired her to apply proven business principles to education as she designed an online learning system built around the student. One illustration of her success is that test scores of FLVS students on AP exams, end of course exams, and state reading and math assessments are the benchmark for virtual learning and sets the standard for all other online providers.
As the world’s leading authority on virtual and online K-12 education, Young is a sought after speaker and presenter at the events and programs that define and establish the direction and architecture for how education will be conducted. Julie brings a unique leadership ability of leveraging and implementing industry and education best practices in the areas of strategic planning, performance management, operational excellence and continuous innovation that achieved year over year double-digit growth. This included a model for developing and sustaining global strategic partnerships in the areas of business development, technology, and curriculum development.
Julie continues to pursue her passion for technology and education and has recently been named the Chief Executive Officer of a newly formed educational organization, Global Personalized Academics (GPA). In this role, she will transform, innovate and lead, nationally and internationally, paving the way to richer opportunities for student success.
Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group collaborated with the LEGO Company on the development of the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, and it developed the Scratch programming software and online community used by millions of young people around the world. He also co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers for youth from low-income communities. Resnick earned a BS in physics from Princeton, and an MS and PhD in computer science from MIT. He was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011 and the AACE EdMedia Pioneer Award in 2013. For more information about his research and publications, click here.
Professor Beichner received his PhD in 1989 from the State University of New York at Buffalo and joined the NC State Physics Department in 1992 as an Assistant Professor. He advanced through the professorial ranks and was named an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor in 2003. He is a member of our Physics Education Research and Development Group.
He invented the now-popular Video-Based Lab pedagogy, where students examine video clips of motion and watch synchronized kinematics graphs. As part of that effort he created the Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics, used by numerous teachers and researchers and a serving as a model for similar conceptual assessment instruments. Dr. Beichner and his students have written and evaluated a series of these tests that are in use around the globe.
For much of his career he has focused his attention on redesigning introductory physics education. His work laid the foundation for research done on active learning spaces. He initiated the SCALE-UP (Student Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies) project in the mid 1990s. This approach has led to changes in classrooms around the world, at institutions ranging from middle schools and high schools to MIT. SCALE-UP has been adopted at more than 250 universities and had spread to content areas ranging from archeology to zoology.
Christopher Cerf has been a key creative force behind Sesame Street since its first season on public television, most notably as a regular contributor of music and lyrics, for which he has won two Grammy and three Emmy Awards. Cerf was also involved in the founding of Sesame Workshop’s books, records, and toys divisions where he served as the original editor-in-chief.
Through his music and lyrics, Cerf has, for over forty years, been creatively employing many of Sesame Street’s hallmark educational techniques such as frequent repetition of core messages and lessons, the use of motion and graphic elements to direct viewers’ attention to key content, and the blending of live action, puppetry, and animation.
In 2000, Cerf and his company Sirius Thinking Ltd., debuted the highly acclaimed children’s daily literacy series Between the Lions, which has appeared on PBS for nine seasons, received two Television Critics’ Award for Outstanding Children’s TV Program and 10 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Preschool Show and Best Writing in a Children’s Series.
A variety of independent academic studies have demonstrated Between the Lions’ success in helping kids learn to read, particularly those at high risk of literacy failure. The show and its related literacy instruction resources including print materials, web-based content and classroom activities have repeatedly been found to have powerful effects on learning with especially strong results in phonics, vocabulary, and reading fluency.
Prior to joining Sesame Street, Cerf spent eight years as a senior editor at Random House, where he worked with such diverse authors as George Plimpton, Andy Warhol, Abbie Hoffman, Ray Bradbury, and Dr. Seuss. Cerf is also well known as a prolific satirist and author. He helped launch National Lampoon magazine and has written or contributed to more than a dozen books including The Experts Speak and The Pentagon Catalog: Ordinary Products at Extraordinary Prices. Among Cerf’s current projects is another television series, Lomax, the Hound of Music, which aims to develop young children’s musical awareness.
A graduate of Harvard University, Cerf is currently a member of the board of directors of Reading Is Fundamental, First Book and the We Are Family Foundation. He is also a governor of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Larry Rosenstock is CEO and founding principal of High Tech High (www.hightechhigh.org), a network of thirteen K-12 public charter schools in California, and President of the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. Larry taught carpentry in urban high schools in Boston and Cambridge and was principal of the Rindge School of Technical Arts, and of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. A member of the Massachusetts and U.S. Supreme Court Bars, he served as an attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education, and was an instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He directed the federal New Urban High School Project, and was President of the Price Charitable Fund.
Larry and his work have been featured on Oprah, Lehrer, Newsweek, and Forbes. He is a winner of the Ford Foundation Innovations in State and Local Government Award, is an Ashoka Fellow, and won the McGraw Prize in Education.
Dr. Robert W. Mendenhall has more than 30 years of experience in the development, marketing, and delivery of technology-based education. He served as President of Western Governors University, the pioneer and leader in online competency-based education, from 1999 until April of 2016. Recognized by President Obama as an innovative university that “awards credits based on learning, not seat time,” WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at scale. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for 2013, WGU has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN’s “Schools of Thought,” and in The New York Times. Private and nonprofit, WGU was founded by 19 governors as well as over 20 leading corporations and foundations and is the only university to receive regional accreditation from four accrediting commissions at the same time. WGU currently offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and healthcare, including nursing. The university has more than 47,000 students and 36,000 graduates living in all 50 states.
In 2010, he received the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning, and in 2011 received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Utah Region. In 2012, Dr. Mendenhall was selected to receive the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
Dr. Mendenhall served on the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. He has also served on the NGA/ASTD Commission on Technology & Adult Learning, on IBM’s Education Advisory Council, on the National Forum on 21st Century Skills Education Advisory Board, and on the Technology Working Group for the California Postsecondary Education Commission. He is a former member of the Board of the Department of Business and Economic Development for the State of Utah. Dr. Mendenhall has received the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning, and he was named Utah CEO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine. In December 2011, Dr. Mendenhall was one of a select group of university presidents invited to the White House to participate in a roundtable discussion on college affordability with President Obama.
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli is a professor of educational psychology at UConn, where he holds an endowed position as the Neag Chair of Gifted Education and Talent Development and serves as director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. His research has focused on the identification and development of creativity and giftedness in young people, and on organizational models and curricular strategies for differentiated learning environments that contribute to total school improvement.
Renzulli is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, a former president of the Association for the Gifted, and has served on the editorial boards of Learning Magazine, the Journal of Law and Education, Exceptionality, and most of the national and international journals dealing with gifted education. He was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented, and has worked with numerous schools and ministries of education throughout the U. S. and abroad. His most recent work is a computer-based assessment of student interests, learning styles, academic strengths and preferred modes of expression, which is integrated with an Internet based search engine that matches enrichment activities and high-engagement resources with individual student profiles www.renzullilearning.com
In 2009, Renzulli was among the first to be designated as a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. The American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology named Renzulli among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world, and he was one of the first to receive UConn’s highest honor, the designation as a distinguished professor. He lists as his proudest professional accomplishment being the founder of Confratute, the longest running professional development program of its kind.
His most recent books include the second editions of The Schoolwide Enrichment Model and Enriching Curriculum for All Student, The Multiple Menu Model for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, The Parallel Curriculum Model, and Light Up Your Child’s Mind. His 1978 article “What Makes Giftedness” has been cited as the most frequently referenced article in the field. Renzulli is the author of more than 380 articles in professional journals, books, chapters in books and numerous technical reports.
Renzulli received a B.A. from Glassboro State College in New Jersey, a M.Ed. from Rutgers University and his Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. He also holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign.
Darling-Hammond is past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its awards for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Lifetime Achievement, and Research-to-Policy. She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education. From 1994–2001, she was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, whose 1996 report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education in that decade. In 2006, Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy. In 2008, she served as the leader of President Barack Obama’s education policy transition team.
Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded both a preschool and a public high school. She served as Director of the RAND Corporation’s education program and as an endowed professor at Columbia University, Teachers College. She has consulted widely with federal, state and local officials and educators on strategies for improving education policies and practices. Among her more than 500 publications are a number of award-winning books, including The Right to Learn, Teaching as the Learning Profession, Preparing Teachers for a Changing World and The Flat World and Education. She received an Ed.D. from Temple University (with highest distinction) and a B.A. from Yale University (magna cum laude).
Sarita E. Brown is President of Excelencia in Education, a national not for profit organization dedicated to accelerating Latino success in higher education by linking research, policy, and practice to serve Latino students. She has spent more than three decades at prominent educational institutions and at the highest levels of government working to implement effective strategies to raise academic achievement and opportunity for low-income and minority students. She started her career at The University of Texas at Austin by building a national model promoting minority success in graduate education. Coming to the nation’s capital to work for educational associations, Ms. Brown served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans under President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. She later applied her talents and experience to the not-for-profit sector and in 2004, co-founded Excelencia in Education in Washington, DC.
Her efforts have been recognized by many including, the Harold G. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education for “innovative thinking, strong leadership and accomplishment by example”, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators education and the American Association of University Women. She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from North Carolina State University, Carlos Albizu University and the University of Saint Joseph.
An advocate for educational equity, Ms. Brown currently serves on the Board of Directors for ACT, Inc., Editorial Projects in Education, Catch the Next and Excelencia in Education.
Dr. Charles B. Reed was chancellor emeritus of the California State University system, the country’s largest senior system of public higher education. As the chief executive of the system, he provided leadership to some 46,000 faculty and staff and 450,000 students on 23 campuses and seven off-campus centers. The CSU spans the entire state of California and its budget exceeds $5 billion.
Dr. Reed received his bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education, his master's degree in Secondary Education, and doctorate degree in Education (with a major in Teacher Education) from George Washington University.
Prior to joining the CSU, Dr. Reed was for 13 years chancellor of the State University System of Florida. He began his career in higher education as a graduate assistant at George Washington University, where he later served as a tenured professor in Education. Following this, Dr. Reed served for a decade in various capacities in the Florida Department of Education. Dr. Reed also served as a consultant to the Virginia Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas A&M Board of Regents as well as chaired the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' National Commission on College and University Tenure.
Although much of his career had been devoted to the academic community, Dr. Reed was equally at home in the political realm, where he served for six years in the executive office of the Governor of Florida, beginning as Education Policy Coordinator and ending as Chief of Staff.
Dr. Reed's policy priorities included improving the link between K-12 and higher education, creating partnerships between business and higher education, and reaching poor and traditionally under-represented student populations. Active on several civic and corporate boards, Dr. Reed also wrote and spoke widely on education, finance, management, governance, and the politics of education. His public and professional commitments included serving on the boards of the National Center for Educational Accountability, the National Business-Higher Education Forum, and the College Board.
Judith Berry Griffin’s combined experience as an educational administrator and leader, consultant, author and lecturer led her to establish The Ophelia J. Berry Fund in 2003. She is founding president of the Fund’s first program, Pathways to College. The program is a national after-school initiative to help high-potential students of color develop the critical thinking skills and habits of mind to make achieving a college education an attainable goal, thereby encouraging school-wide improvement and reform.
Since its founding in 1992, Pathways to College has served more than 2,100 students. Many of its graduates go on to selective four-year colleges such as Brown, Smith, Stanford, Hampshire and the University of Chicago.
Prior to her current role, Griffin served as national president of A Better Chance from 1983 to 2003. There she led efforts that secured Oprah Winfrey as the organization’s national spokesperson, and established its multi-million dollar endowment. Under Griffin’s direction A Better Chance was recognized by Worth magazine as one of America’s top 100 charities.
Previously, Griffin served in the U.S. Department of Education, first as executive assistant to the assistant secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education and then as head of the Department’s Teacher Centers program. She has been a school principal and a visiting lecturer or faculty member at Manhattanville College, the Bank Street College of Education, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served two terms on the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Board of Directors and after three terms of service was named a trustee emerita of Hampshire College. She also served as a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Griffin has written a number of articles and other publications on the education of disadvantaged students of color. She is also the author of several books for children, the most recent of which, Phoebe and the General, was a nominee for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.
Griffin earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago, which in 2001 awarded her its Professional Achievement Citation for her work in education. She holds an additional graduate degree from Columbia University.
Richard Blais, now vice president of Project Lead The Way® (PLTW), first developed the idea of a pre-engineering curriculum in 1986 when he was director of occupational education at the Shenendehowa Central School District in Clifton Park, New York. Blais, who began his career as a secondary school teacher and who also has worked as an engineer, recognized the need to build a homegrown talent pool to meet the increasing demand for engineering professionals in the United States.
Working with the New York State Education Department, Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Blais and his staff began a process of reviewing, developing and implementing a series of courses—called the Shenendehowa Program–that incorporated the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in engineering. Believing that students learn best when they are engaged in real-world problem based learning, the program curriculum required the support of the latest high-technology equipment and software. To achieve this goal, Blais established an engineering advisory board of key stakeholders to garner support from leaders in industry and higher education.
Leaders at HVCC recognized that students completing the Shenendehowa Program were enrolling into HVCC’s engineering technology programs in greater numbers and the students were better prepared. HVCC received funding from the Charitable Venture Foundation to create an outreach initiative that would make it possible for other schools to implement the Shenendehowa Program. Blais was hired by HVCC, and through his knowledge of teaching and learning as well as the culture of K-12 schools, he was able to create the systems needed to adopt the program. Focusing on contemporary contextual curriculum and the protocols for rigorous professional development, Blais lead the creation of the PLTW curriculum program.
PLTW’s mission “to create dynamic partnerships with our nation’s schools to prepare an increasing and more diverse group of students to be successful in science, engineering and engineering technology” has proven to be exactly what the country needed. Over the past decade, under Blais’s leadership, PLTW has expanded across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to almost 3,000 schools sites and nearly 300,000 students. PLTW is expecting to reach 10,000 school sites, producing 1,000,000 students in the not too distant future, which will help to solve the nation’s shortfall of engineers.
Blais graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego with a B.S. degree in industrial arts education. He also received an M.S. and certificate of advanced graduate study in curriculum and instruction from the same university.
Lois B. DeFleur, fifth president of Binghamton University, State University of New York, is a preeminent sociologist and an experienced administrator. As president, DeFleur oversees a public research university with more than 14,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Binghamton University includes the liberal arts programs in Harpur College, five professional schools, and associated masters and doctoral programs.
DeFleur, who took office in 1990, has enhanced planning processes and developed innovative programs. Binghamton University continues to recruit outstanding undergraduate students and their graduation rates are among the highest for public universities. It is consistently well-ranked nationally for its quality and value. Binghamton University has implemented an innovative general education program for all undergraduates, which has been recognized nationwide for its comprehensive internationalization. This includes many opportunities for studying other cultures either on campus or in other countries. Binghamton University also offers ground-breaking programs that encourage language education across the curriculum and dual-diploma programs with universities in several countries.
For this international focus, Binghamton University has been named by the American Council on Education and NAFSA: Association of International Educators as a model institution for ground-breaking programs which include languages across the curriculum and dual-diploma programs with universities in several countries. DeFleur has received the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges’ Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award.
DeFleur has significantly enhanced Binghamton University relationships with external groups and has made fund raising a priority. During her tenure as president, external support has increased significantly and Binghamton University completed its first-ever comprehensive gifts campaign. Faculty research awards have increased 60%. Binghamton University has also developed partnerships and programs that contribute to state and regional economic development including a New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging. Other programs include the Watson School’s Integrated Electronics Engineering Center, the federally funded Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, and the High Technology Commercialization Center.
DeFleur had been provost at University of Missouri-Columbia and was a professor of sociology at both Missouri and Washington State University where she was also dean of the College of Liberal Arts. DeFleur is an authority on juvenile delinquency in Latin America and has done extensive work in the fields of deviant behavior and occupational socialization. She is a graduate of Blackburn College in Illinois and received an M.A. from Indiana University and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
DeFleur has chaired the board of directors of both the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the American Council on Education, as well as serving on several non-profit and corporate boards of directors. DeFleur was recently honored with the Council for the Support and Advancement of Education’s Chief Executive Leadership Award and the Civic Leadership Award from the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.
Reynauld Smith teaches social studies and Advanced Placement (AP) American History at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C. His interest in working in an inner city high school led him to Eastern in 1986. Previously, Smith taught in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he helped start a diversity club for U.S. and international students. Smith decided that while he could not control the many challenges facing his students at home and in their neighborhoods, he could expose them to the world. He embarked on a mission to incorporate global education into the Eastern High curriculum.
Smith became involved in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “Bringing the Lessons Home” education program and regularly brought classes of students to the museum. In 1997, he was one of three area educators to attend a conference in Israel on reconciliation.
In 1999, Smith took over Eastern High School’s fledgling Model United Nations program and wove it into his Advanced Placement American History class. Structured discussions of world events led to animated debates and gave way to simulated United Nations deliberations. Smith went beyond the Model U.N. curriculum and brought in officials from the U.S. Department of State at least once a week to talk about their work and lead discussions on world events. He has worked with 500 students in this Model UN program.
Smith has taken dozens of students to Ecuador, Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. His students are also frequent participants in international crisis simulation conferences at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, as well as citywide Model U.N. conferences. In 2006, Eastern High School’s teams were picked as “best delegation” at each event.
Smith is also involved in LearnServe Ethiopia, a program sponsored by the Center for International Education at the Washington International School.
Smith grew up in Dallas, TX. He graduated from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1970, where he earned his B.A. and was a standout basketball player. He played for the American Basketball Association’s Carolina Cougars before beginning a career in education that has spanned more than 30 years.
Vivien Stewart is vice president for education at Asia Society. She is responsible for Asia Society’s programs to promote the study of Asia and other world regions, cultures, languages, and global issues in America’s schools, and for building connections between U.S. and Asian education leaders.
In the United States, Stewart’s initiatives include working with a network of state and national education leaders and creating a national initiative to expand the teaching of Chinese. She is also responsible for managing a prize program to recognize excellence in international education, providing professional development and award-winning Web resources for teachers and students, and developing a model network of internationally oriented schools in cities around the United States.
Stewart has developed a series of international exchanges to share expertise between American and Asian education leaders on improving education to meet the demands of globalization. This includes bringing delegations of educators to each others’ schools; producing publications such as Math and Science Education in a Global Age; and hosting expert meetings such as the Asia-Pacific Education Forum held in Beijing in 2006.
Stewart has had a long involvement with education and youth affairs. Over the course of a distinguished career at Carnegie Corporation of New York, she was a leader in shaping reform agendas in early childhood education, urban school reform, science education, teaching as a profession, and healthy adolescent development. In addition to grantmaking, she was responsible for the management of a number of Carnegie task forces, which produced influential reports such as Turning Points, A Matter of Time, and Starting Points. She was also instrumental in the creation of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Stewart serves as a board member of the National Center on Education and the Economy and the Longview Foundation for Education in International Understanding and World Affairs. She is senior education advisor to the Refugee Education Trust in Geneva and on the advisory board of the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. She has also been senior policy advisor to the UN special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict and a visiting scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She received her B.A. and M. Phil. degrees from Oxford University.
Norman R. Augustine was raised in Colorado and attended Princeton University where he graduated with a BSE in Aeronautical Engineering, magna cum laude, and an MSE. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi.
In 1958 he joined the Douglas Aircraft Company in California where he worked as a Research Engineer, Program Manager and Chief Engineer. Beginning in 1965, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering. He joined LTV Missiles and Space Company in 1970, serving as Vice President, Advanced Programs and Marketing. In 1973 he returned to the government as Assistant Secretary of the Army and in 1975 became Under Secretary of the Army, and later Acting Secretary of the Army. Joining Martin Marietta Corporation in 1977 as Vice President of Technical Operations, he was elected as CEO in 1987 and chairman in 1988, having previously been President and COO. He served as president of Lockheed Martin Corporation upon the formation of that company in 1995, and became CEO later that year. He retired as chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin in 1997, at which time he became a Lecturer with the Rank of Professor on the faculty of Princeton University where he served until 1999.
Mr. Augustine was Chairman and Principal Officer of the American Red Cross for nine years, Chairman of the Council of the National Academy of Engineering, President and Chairman of the Association of the United States Army, Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association, and Chairman of the Defense Science Board. He is a former President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. Augustine has been presented the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States and received the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Public Service Award. He has five times received the Department of Defense's highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal. He is co-author of The Defense Revolution and Shakespeare In Charge and author of Augustine's Laws and Augustine’s Travels. He holds 34 honorary degrees and was selected by Who’s Who in America and the Library of Congress as one of “Fifty Great Americans” on the occasion of Who’s Who’s fiftieth anniversary. He has traveled in 124 countries and stood on both the North and South Poles of the earth.
Vincent D. Murray has been principal of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, GA since 1991. Under Dr. Murray’s leadership this inner-city public school has been transformed into a higher achieving institution in which graduation and college-going rates consistently have risen above the district and state averages.
Sixty-six percent of Grady High students are African American and 44 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. When Murray joined Grady High, more than a third of all freshmen were held back and repeated their freshmen year. The student body’s passing rate on the Georgia graduation test was far below the statewide average.
Murray has been consistent in his efforts and focused on innovative reform. The result is that today, four out of every five graduates go directly on to college or university, including Ivy League institutions. Average scores on the graduation test, SAT and Advanced Placement exams exceed district, state and national averages. Graduation rates have risen 38 percentage points for African-American students (to 84 percent), 26 points for economically disadvantaged students (to 86 percent) and 25 points for white students (to 97 percent). As a result of Murray’s success in transforming Grady High, the U.S. Department of Education recognized him in 2000 with the Department’s Title I Distinguished School Award. In 2006, the governor of Georgia named him a High Performance Principal, a top honor in the state.
Murray is on the board of directors at the Grady Foundation and is adjunct professor at Central Michigan University, Atlanta. Prior to his appointment as principal of Grady High, Murray was principal of Herndon Elementary School and a behavior disorders teacher at Grove Park Elementary School, both in Atlanta. He also held the positions of assistant professor and director of the counseling center at Morehouse College.
Murray has a bachelors of arts degree in history and English from Morehouse College, a masters of arts degree in early childhood education from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in psychology/learning disabilities from Boston University. He has pursued post-doctoral studies at Clark-Atlanta University and Georgia State University.
Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential.
Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, more than 8,000 Teach For America corps members—outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines—are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in 52 urban and rural regions, and Teach For America has proven to be an unparalleled source of long-term leadership for expanding opportunity for children. After leading Teach For America’s growth and development for 24 years, in 2013, Wendy transitioned out of the role of CEO. Today, she remains an active member of Teach For America's board.
Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Now in its ninth year, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in in 40 countries on six continents, including its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.’s Teach First.
Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She serves on the Board of New Profit and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All (2011) and One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way (2000). She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where she participated in the undergraduate program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Wendy resides in New York City with her husband Richard Barth and their four children.
Barbara Taylor Bowman is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development at Erikson Institute, which she co-founded with three other individuals in 1966. She also served as Erikson’s president from 1994 to 2001.
She has more than 50 publications, including articles, book chapters, and edited volumes, and her specialty areas are early education, cultural diversity, and education of children at risk. From 2004 to 2012, she served as chief officer for early childhood education at the Chicago Public Schools.
Bowman has worked on many research and training projects, including those on Native American reservations, in the St. Louis Public Schools, and in Chicago Child Parent Centers. She has served on numerous professional boards and committees, including the boards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, of which she was president from (1980 to 1982); the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (1997 to 2002); panels for the National Research Council, of which she chaired the Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy; and committees for Black Child Development Institute.
She consults frequently on early care and education, speaks at conferences and at universities in the United States, and has served on editorial boards. Her honors include six honorary doctorates, the McGraw-Hill Prize in Education, the Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice, the Chicago Historical Society Jane Addams award, and a Golden Apple for Community Service.
In addition to teaching and supervising students at Erikson, Bowman is a member of the President’s Commission for Educational Excellence for African Americans and the Illinois Early Learning Council; commissioner of the Chicago Public Library; board trustee for the Great Books Foundation, Business People in the Public Interest, and Erikson Institute; and advisory committee member for the Fred Roger’s Center and Frank Porter Graham Institute.
Ellen Moir is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of New Teacher Center (NTC), a national organization dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers, experienced teachers and school leaders. She is recognized as a passionate advocate for our nation’s newest teachers and for the students they teach.
Ellen founded NTC in 1998 to scale high quality teacher induction services to a national audience. NTC strengthens school communities through proven mentoring and professional development programs, online learning environments, policy advocacy, and research. Today NTC has a staff of over 150 who work closely with educators and policymakers across the country. NTC seeks to work in high-poverty schools in underserved communities to ensure that the nation’s low-income, minority, and English language learners, those students most often taught by inexperienced teachers, have the opportunity to receive an excellent education.
Ellen is widely recognized for her work in beginning teacher development and school reform. She has extensive experience in public education, having previously served as Director of Teacher Education at the University of California at Santa Cruz and worked as a bilingual teacher. Ellen has been named as a recipient of the 2015 Mary Utne O’Brien Awards for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning, the 2015 California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD) Outstanding Instructional Leader award, the 2014 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate, and is a recipient of the 2011 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Other major awards include the 2013 NewSchools Venture Fund Organization of the Year Award, 2010 Civic Ventures Purpose Prize Fellow, 2008 National Staff Development Council Contribution to the Field award; the 2008 Full Circle Fund Impact Award; the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. 2005 Prize in Education; and the 2003 California Council on Teacher Education Distinguished Teacher Educator Award. Ellen has also co-authored many publications, including Keys to the Classroom and Keys to the Secondary Classroom, New Teacher Mentoring: Hopes and Promise for Improving Teacher Effectiveness, and Blended Coaching: Skills and Strategies to Support Principal Development.
Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, co-director of the National Center for Children and Families, and associate dean for policy at Teachers College, Columbia University and also serves as professor adjunct at Yale University’s Child Study Center. Kagan, recognized nationally and internationally for her unique ability to produce and convert first-rate scholarship to the construction of child and family policy, is a frequent consultant to the White House, U.S. Congress, the National Governors’ Association, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, numerous states, foundations, corporations, and professional associations, and serves on over 40 national boards or panels, including those sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences.
Augmenting her scholarship and policy work with practice in the field, Kagan has been a Head Start teacher and director, a fellow in the U.S. Senate, an administrator in the public schools, and director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood Education.
Kagan received a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and an Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching from Teachers College. She is from Detroit, MI.
Kagan is a prolific author, having written over 200 publications including the authorship or editorship of 12 volumes and the guest editorship of numerous journals. In her writings, Kagan has introduced path-breaking concepts to the field that have guided inventive policy and practice throughout the U.S. and other nations. Specifically, she has investigated issues including the development of an early childhood system, strategies for collaboration and service integration, mechanisms to enhance the quality, quantity, and financing of early childhood and other social programs. Her analytic and evaluative work has been supported by research grants from ten leading national foundations, along with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
Kagan has received numerous awards, among them an honorary doctoral degree from Wheelock College, a Distinguished Alumna Award from Teachers College, Columbia University, the 2004 Distinguished Service in American Education Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and most recently the internationally prestigious James Bryant Conant Award.
Geoffrey Canada has dedicated his life to helping disadvantaged children who grew up in conditions similar to those he and his family faced in the South Bronx. In 1990, Canada became President and CEO of the Harlem Children Zone, Inc. (then Rheedlen), where he works to help the members of the community secure both educational and economic opportunities. His newest initiative is the Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which provides education and social services to children and their families in a 60-block area in Central Harlem.
Canada is a tireless advocate for children in need and enjoys a national reputation for his work to counter violence, redevelop communities and provide assistance to children and families. Other prominent efforts of Canada’s include the Harlem Children Zone’s Beacon School, Harlem Peacemakers Program, and Community Pride Initiative. The Beacon School programs, for example, provide support 12 hours a day, 365 days a year to children and families in Central Harlem.
In 1983, Mr. Canada founded the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School. As the school’s Chief Instructor, Canada—a Third Degree Black Belt—teaches the principles of Tae Kwon Do to community youth along with antiviolence and conflict resolution techniques. Now in its 13th year, the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School is a nationally recognized model for violence prevention efforts.
Canada holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bowdoin College and a Master’s Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Canada is also an acclaimed author of two books: Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and Reaching Up for Manhood. Canada received several college and university honorary doctorate degrees and other honors, including the Robin Hood Foundation’s Heroes of the Year Award, the Spirit of the City Award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York University’s Brennan Legacy Award and Bowdoin College’s Common Good Award.
For the past thirty years, Dr. Janet Lieberman has believed that you should never underestimate the power of an idea. This belief, combined with the faith that all students can achieve, led her to originate new solutions to old problems resulting in expanded academic opportunities for minority and under privileged students.
In 1974, Dr. Lieberman designed the first public high school college collaborative model to help underserved students graduate from high school and go to college. Her vision of placing a high school on a college campus with smaller classes, committed teachers, intensive counseling and high expectations would keep students in school and encourage them to go on to college. Starting with 100 high school sophomores, Dr. Lieberman proved that students who were placed in a college environment could achieve academically.
Thirty years later, the Middle College High School was serving more than 500 students a year. According to recent studies, 80 percent of Middle College High School seniors graduated with high school degrees and 65 percent were expected to attend college.
In 2000, the power of an idea expanded as Dr. Lieberman, collaborating with Cecilia Cunningham, then principal of Middle College High School, created the Early College High School model. This program enables previously underachieving students in grades 11 and 12 to take college courses and complete an A.A. degree in a shortened time frame.
Dr. Lieberman SERVED AS a special assistant to the President for Educational Collaboratives at LaGuardia Community College. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard College after attending Vassar, her M.A. from City College of NY, and her Ph.D. from New York University. Dr. Lieberman has written several books on creating educational pathways, and is most recently the author with Julie Hungar of "The Wisdom Trail: In the Footsteps of Remarkable Women" (Penguin, 2009). She is the winner of the Charles A. Dana Award for Innovation in Higher Education in 1989 and the New York University Distinguished Award in 2003.
Born Harlem, NY; B.A., Hamilton College 1956; M.A., Philosophy, Harvard University, 1957. Directed the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s Mississippi Voter Registration Project 1961-1964; was co-Director of the Council of Federated Organizations 1962-1964, and lead organizer for the 1964 Mississippi “Freedom” Summer Project, parachuting Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to 1964 National Democratic Convention in Atlantic City. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow 1982-1987, he used his fellowship to begin the Algebra Project, which uses mathematics as organizing tool for quality education for all children in America. With support of the National Science Foundation the Algebra Project works with middle and high school students who previously performed in the lowest quartile on standardized exams, proposing that they attain a high school math benchmark: graduate on time in four years, ready to do college math for college credit. Moses is co-author of Radical Equations—Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project (Beacon, 2001) and co-editor of Quality Education as a Constitutional Right-creating a grassroots movement to transform public schools (Beacon, 2010). Moses was the Distinguished Visitor for the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University 2011-2012, and a visiting lecturer at NYU School of Law 2012 - 2015. He has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees, has delivered keynote speeches and workshops nationwide, and has served as principal investigator on six National Science Foundation mathematics education research awards to date.
Susan Young Photography, 2015
Dr. Carol A. Twigg, President and CEO of the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), is an internationally recognized expert in using information technology to transform teaching and learning in higher education. NCAT provides leadership to colleges and universities in how effective use of information technology can improve student learning while reducing instructional costs.
During the course of her career, Dr. Twigg has become known as a strong advocate for the benefits of using technology in higher education. A widely published writer and a sought-after speaker, she is seen as an authority on how information technology can be used to transform teaching and learning. In 1995, Newsweek named her one of the 50 most influential thinkers in the information revolution, and in 2010, she was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company magazine. She is the recipient of the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education (2003), the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award (2007) and the O’Banion Prize for Excellence in Education (2009).
From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Twigg served as Vice President of Educom (now EDUCAUSE), a national association of colleges and universities dedicated to the effective use of information technology in higher education. At Educom, she advanced the need for new models of student-centered, online teaching and learning, now commonly accepted in higher education. Before joining Educom, Dr. Twigg was Associate Vice Chancellor for Learning Technologies for the State University of New York (SUNY) and held a number of senior academic administrative positions at SUNY Empire State College, SUNY’s college without a campus. She has taught at SUNY/Buffalo, the State University College at Buffalo and Empire State College.
Dr. Twigg received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Kati Haycock serves as one of the nation’s leading advocates for children and high achievement in the world of education. In 1990, she founded The Education Trust, a national organization dedicated to “the high academic achievement of all students at all levels-kindergarten through college.” Under Haycock’s leadership, The Trust is known as an authority in the world of education reform and Haycock is regarded as a powerful voice in driving education policy at the local, state and national level. The Washington-based organization is devoted especially to public elementary and secondary schools and colleges that serve students of color and those from low-income families, striving to provide a voice for those most likely to be left out of mainstream educational improvement efforts.
In addition to its efforts to promote education reform among policymakers, The Trust is also committed to equipping the education community, from teachers to parents to local officials, with the tools needed to improve education for all students at all levels. Currently The Trust works with school districts and K-16 Councils in more than 40 communities and 22 states, assisting in improving the quality of instruction provided in high-poverty schools, and helping teachers to implement higher standards for students. The Trust is dedicated to the notion that even students from impoverished neighborhoods can achieve at high levels when they are taught at high levels and provided with extra support.
The Education Trust also maintains two interactive Web tools for easier access to and analysis of education data, Education Watch and Dispelling the Myth Online. Education Watch provides achievement data on students in kindergarten through college, based on a variety of criteria, including ethnicity and family income. Dispelling the Myth Online allows users to conduct searches for high performing public elementary and secondary schools in almost every state, according to ethnic breakdown, family income, grade and subject matter.
Before founding The Education Trust, Haycock was Executive Vice President of the Children’s Defense Fund, the nation’s largest child advocacy organization, where she served as the national spokeswoman, advocating for children. A native Californian, Haycock founded and served as President of The Achievement Council, a statewide organization that assists teachers and principals in improving student achievement in predominantly minority schools. Before that, she served as Director of the Outreach and Student Affirmative Action programs for the University of California system.
Haycock was educated in the Los Angeles City Schools and received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her M.A. in Education Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. She serves on the Boards of the Hunt Institute for Education Leadership and Policy, the New Teacher Project, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
A visionary educator acknowledged worldwide for his innovative digital conversion model, Dr. Mark A. Edwards serves as Discovery Education’s Senior Vice President of Digital Learning. In this capacity, Dr. Edwards works with school systems around the globe to successfully implement similar digital transitions supporting the success of each learner. He also leads the continued evolution, expansion, and implementation of Discovery Education’s strategic vision for transforming teaching and learning through its unique combination of professional development, award-winning digital content, and educator community. Discovery Education serves 3 million educators and over 30 million students around the world, and is transforming teaching and learning in half of U.S. classrooms, approximately 50 percent of primary schools in the UK, and in more than 50 countries.
Dr. Edwards also provides strategic guidance and support across all aspects of the organization including, educational partnerships, state outreach, product development, partner success, and corporate partnerships. His deep expertise in managing district-wide digital transitions, implementing successful 1-to-1 programs, designing effective professional development initiatives, and purposefully integrating digital content into classroom instruction enhances Discovery Education’s efforts to support educators and students worldwide.
A 38-year veteran of public education, Dr. Edwards previously served for nine years as North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) Superintendent, where he oversaw the creation of authentic digital learning environments that engage all students and improve academic outcomes. Under his leadership, MGSD was an early adopter of digital content as a core instructional resource, which helped drive dramatic increases in test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.
Dr. Edwards has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career. A former Virginia State Superintendent of the Year and eSchool News Tech Savvy Superintendent, in 2013 he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and in 2014, Dr. Edwards received the North Carolina Public School Forum’s 2014 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award.
Before coming to Mooresville, Dr. Edwards served as Dean at the University of Northern Alabama’s School of Education, and Superintendent of Virginia’s Henrico Public Schools and Danville Public Schools. Edwards is also an accomplished author whose works include Every Child, Every Day: A Digital Conversion Model for Student Achievement.
Dr. Edwards holds a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Tennessee Technical University, and a B.S. in education from the University of Tennessee. He is based in Discovery Education’s office in Charlotte, N.C.
Dennis Littky is the co-founder and co-director of The Met School, Big Picture Learning and founder and President of College Unbound. He is nationally known for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban, and rural settings, spanning over 40 years. As an educator, Dennis has a reputation for working up against the edge of convention and out of the box, turning tradition on its head and delivering concrete results. From 2000-2010 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Big Picture Learning 20 million dollars to replicate The Met School nationally and internationally. Currently, there is a network of 113 schools, 52 across the country, 40 in Australia and 21 in the Netherlands.
Presently, Dennis’s focus has been to expand the Big Picture Learning design to include a college, College Unbound, for adults, that allows them to earn a Bachelors Degree while creating a project around their interest and working full time. The innovative college is rethinking how we educate the 37 million adults who started college but didn’t finish.
Dr. Littky holds a double Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. His work as a principal at Thayer Junior/Senior High School in Winchester, N.H. is featured in an NBC movie, A Town Torn Apart based on the book Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky and His Fight for a Better School. In 2004, he wrote (along with Samantha Grabelle) The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business, which went on to win the Association of Educational Publishers’ top award for nonfiction in 2005. Fast Company ranked Littky #4 among the top 50 Innovators of 2004, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation recently selected Dennis as part of their Daring Dozen. Locally, Dennis was awarded the Local Hero Award by Bank of America in 2008 and College Unbound was awarded The Innovative and Creative Program Award by UPCEA, New England. Most recently, Dennis was awarded the New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2011.
During his tenure as superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) between 1995 and 2002, Eric Smith’s focus on raising academic standards for all students and providing equal access to rigorous courses paid off. He is credited with turning this school district into a place where all children are able to realize their potential. Under his leadership, student scores on statewide reading and mathematics assessments rose dramatically throughout the district across all race and income levels and the achievement gap between minority and majority students decreased.
Smith’s accomplishments in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools also include innovative programs in early childhood education. His “Bright Beginnings” program, a literacy-based preschool program, is enabling at-risk four-year olds to enter CMS kindergarten classes ready to learn on par with their more affluent peers. Smith is now bringing the same leadership and results-oriented approach to the Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland.
As Superintendent of the largest K-6 school district in California, Libia Socorro Gil has worked hard to transform the Chula Vista Elementary School District into a place where high standards are set for instructional staff and students, and where schools are given the support they need to succeed. In Chula Vista, a district with an incredibly fast-growing and increasing multicultural student population, Dr. Gil has maintained a steady focus on improving student performance and has achieved consistently positive results.
Gil has wisely used the knowledge she acquired during her years as a teacher and administrator to restructure the administrative office to better serve schools within the district. She has emphasized accountability in addition to high standards and has overseen development of a district-wide system for data collection. Under her leadership, student achievement in Chula Vista has steadily increased. Gil has also placed an emphasis on recruiting high-quality educators, including hundreds of new bilingual teachers and principals.
As America’s longest serving urban superintendent, Dr. Carl A. Cohn has made the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) a model for high academic standards and accountability. In Long Beach, with the most diverse population of any large city in America, Dr. Cohn has focused his efforts on transforming the district into a place where high expectations are set and students and teachers are given the resources to succeed in meeting them.
Under Cohn’s leadership, the Long Beach district has achieved record attendance, the lowest rate of student suspensions in a decade, a decrease in both the student failure and dropout rates, an end to social promotion, an increase in the number of students taking college preparatory courses, higher student achievement and significantly safer schools.
Key to Dr. Cohn’s success is his belief that all students can achieve when given adequate structure, encouragement and resources. He has also shown courageous leadership in implementing meaningful education reforms.
Cohn’s committed approach has placed his district on the cutting edge of school reform. LBUSD became the first public school system in the nation to require school uniforms in grades K-8; the first to require third graders reading below grade level to attend mandatory summer school; and the first to require under-performing eighth graders to attend a prep school for a year before starting high school. His school district was the first in the nation to create a public middle school of single gender classes. The district is now piloting an extended middle school day and year, and many other innovations.
In 1969, Cohn began his career as a high school history teacher in the Compton (CA) Unified School District. He has taught education courses at Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Long Beach, USC and the University of Pittsburgh, where he also worked as a consultant for the Tri-State School Study Council and the Race Desegregation Assistance Center. In Long Beach, he worked as a high school counselor, administrative assistant, district attendance director and area superintendent before accepting his current position.
Dr. Cohn holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from St. John’s College in Camarillo, CA, a master’s degree in Counseling from Chapman University in Orange, CA and a doctorate from UCLA in Urban and Educational Policy and Planning.
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He also was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
In 2008, he was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked UMBC the nation’s #1 “Up and Coming” university for six years (2009-14). In 2015, U.S. News ranked UMBC fourth on a newly created list of the nation’s “most innovative” national universities. For the past seven years, U.S. News also consistently ranked UMBC among the nation’s leading institutions for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” – in 2015, other universities on the list included Princeton, Brown, Stanford, and Yale. TIME magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents in 2009, and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012. In 2011, he received both the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence and theCarnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, recognized by many as the nation’s highest awards among higher education leaders. Also in 2011, he was named one of seven Top American Leaders by The Washington Post and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. In 2012, he received the Heinz Award for his contributions to improving the “Human Condition” and was among the inaugural inductees into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame.
A child-leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Hrabowski was prominently featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, Four Little Girls, on the racially motivated bombing in 1963 of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Hrabowski graduated from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics. He received his M.A. (mathematics) and Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
As founder of the secondary school program AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Mary Catherine Swanson has touched the lives of thousands of young people around the world, especially low-income and underserved students.
A high school English teacher for 20 years, Swanson created the AVID program in 1980 to help prepare underachieving students for four-year college entry. Through rigorous curriculum, study skills, tutoring support, study groups and role models, AVID classes provide underserved middle and high school students with the academic and motivational support they need to succeed.
In 1992, Swanson founded the nonprofit AVID Center to disseminate the AVID program. She is the only K-12 teacher to have founded and led a national education reform movement. From its beginnings with 32 students in a single high school, AVID has grown to serve students more than 65,000 students in more than 1,200 schools in 21 states and 14 foreign countries. Over 92 percent of AVID students enroll in college, a figure nearly one-third higher than national averages. Moreover, AVID graduates are returning to their communities to serve as mentors and tutors for the next generation of AVID students.
Swanson’s program draws on the lessons she learned in the classroom. The program helps students develop good study habits and strong test-taking skills and forge strong bonds with at least one caring educator. Underlying it all is a belief in and commitment to hard work-a concept that Swanson herself has modeled throughout her distinguished career.
The San Diego-based Swanson has long been recognized as a champion for students. A much-admired educator and innovator, Swanson has served as an inspiration and advisor to educational leaders across the nation.
Swanson received her B.A. degree in English from San Francisco State University in 1966 and her M.A. in Education from the University of Redlands in 1974. She and her husband, Tom Swanson, have been married for 35 years, and her son, Tom, an Advanced Placement history teacher at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, will be founding the first AVID program at his school next year.
Dr. Gerry House began her career as a teacher, counselor, principal and assistant superintendent and spent 15 years as school superintendent in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Memphis, Tennessee. While superintendent in Memphis, Dr. House led the district through a comprehensive change process, engaging all 160 schools in whole school reform, with a focus on standards and accountability, teaching and learning, school organization, resource allocation, student support and leadership development. The whole school reform process resulted in higher student achievement outcomes. In both districts, Dr. House’s leadership resulted in greater equity and excellence for all students. In 1999, Dr. House was recognized as the National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) for her vision and success in leading our nation’s public schools.
Dr. House now serves as president of The Institute for Student Achievement (ISA), a division of ETS, whose mission is to partner with schools and districts to transform public high schools so that students who are traditionally underserved and underperforming graduate prepared for success in college.
In 2015, ISA served over 25,000 students in some of our country’s most challenging public high schools where nearly three-quarters of students are eligible for free lunch and two-thirds start ninth grade performing two or more years below grade level in mathematics and reading. Two independent studies validate the positive effects of ISA’s research and evidence-based model, including attendance, credit accumulation, grade promotion, graduation, high college enrollment and persistence rates. In addition, the evaluation studies show that African American males in ISA high schools outperform matched comparison students on these same outcome measures. ISA’s model has also been endorsed by the US Department of Education as an approved high school evidence-based whole school reform model, which requires that there is at least one study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse standards. In recognition of her leadership, Dr. House was invited to the Obama Administration’s first-ever summit on high schools which highlighted students, educators, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who are reinventing the high school experience to better prepare students for success in college and career.
Dr. House serves on numerous national education boards, has been the recipient of several education awards, and is widely published in the field.
Former Gov. Jim Hunt (1977-1985, 1993-2001) served four historic terms as governor of North Carolina. Under his leadership, North Carolina public schools improved test scores more than any other state in the 1990s according to the Rand Corporation. In 1999, Hunt called for the state to be first in America by 2010. To further this mission, he chairs the board of The Hunt Institute. Part of the University of North Carolina, The Institute was established in 2001 to work with current and emerging political, business, and education leaders on a national level to improve public education.
Hunt focused on early childhood development and the improvement of quality of teaching. His Smart Start program received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1985, he co-chaired the “Committee of 50,” which led to the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy and eventually to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He has also provided education leadership as chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, chaired the National Education Goals Panel, served as board vice chair of Achieve, Inc., and chairman of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
JOHN I. GOODLAD is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education and co-founder of the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington as well as President of the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle. While he has previously held faculty positions at Emory University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Los Angeles, Goodlad first taught in a one-room, eight-grade school house in British Columbia, Canada. His experiences as a classroom teacher encouraged his later educational research examining grading procedures, curriculum inquiry, the functions of schooling, and teacher education.
Recognized for his distinguished contributions to educational renewal, Goodlad drew national attention and spurred research efforts on school improvement through his award-winning book, A Place Called School (1984). Honored for his lifelong commitment to universal education as a mainstay of democracy, Goodlad has received numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education (1999), the first Brock International Prize in Education (2002), and the John Dewey Society Outstanding Achievement Award (2009). Goodlad has authored or edited more than three dozen books, 200 articles in scholarly publications, and 80 book chapters and encyclopedia entries. His more recent publications include: In Praise of Education (1997), Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy (2004), and Romances with Schools: A Life of Education (2009).
For more information, visit John Goodlad’s Website. To learn more about John Goodlad from his family and friends, visit his Reflections. To view photographs from John Goodlad’s personal collection, visit his Photo Gallery.
From 1978 through 1999, Dr. de los Santos served as Vice Chancellor for Student and Educational Development at the Maricopa Community Colleges. In that capacity, he was responsible for articulation, curriculum, faculty and student development, business and workforce development, international education, external resource development, institutional research, instructional/technology development, and facilities planning and construction management. He was also principal investigator for the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Dr. de los Santos later served as a research professor at Arizona State University from 200 to 2011. He was responsible for research and development at the Hispanic Research Center within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and for teaching and advising in the Division of Leadership and Innovation at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Over the years, he has served as a member of numerous boards, commissions and councils, including the board of trustees of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; the Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy, Inc.; Jobs for the Future, Inc.; and National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
As well, Dr. de los Santos served on the Board of Directors for the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association for Higher Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the United States Open University and the Partnership for Service-Learning. He also was a member of the Board of Trustees for The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Educational Testing Service, the College Board, and the American College Testing. In addition, he served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity and the Advisory Committee to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's initiative with Hispanic Serving Institutions, ENLACE.
Dr. de los Santos has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in higher education, including The National Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges in 2004, The Reginald Wilson Award from the American Council on Education in October 2001, the l998 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education in September l998, Special Recognition Award for Scholarly Research in Bilingual Education from the National Association for Bilingual Education in l994, and Education Achievement Award from the National Science Foundation in l993.
Dr. de los Santos earned the Associate in Arts degree (1955) from Laredo Community College, Texas, and three degrees from The University of Texas at Austin: BA (English), 1957; MLS (Library Science), 1959, and PhD, Educational Administration, 1965.
Barbara Bush often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. Her husband’s service as Vice President and President of the United States provided her a unique opportunity to make a wonderful difference in the public eye. Since leaving the White House in 1993, she continues to serve others with the same energy, goodwill and humor that endear her to so many people around the world.
Born in 1925 to Pauline and Marvin Pierce, she grew up in Rye, New York, where she met and later married George H.W. Bush on January 6, 1945. They have four sons, George W., Jeb, Marvin, and Neil; one daughter, Doro; four daughters-in- law; one son-in- law; 17 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. The Bush’s first daughter Robin died in 1953 at the age of four after fighting Leukemia. Public service is a common thread in the Bush family. Their son George W. served as the Governor of Texas and the nation’s 43 rd President, and their son Jeb was the Governor of Florida for two terms.
A tireless advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush helped countless charities and humanitarian causes during her years in public life. Today she enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation. Mrs. Bush’s primary cause through the years has been promoting literacy. In 1989, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and over the years, the Barbara Bush Foundation has awarded $50 million to create or expand family literacy programs in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.
She authored two children’s books, C. Fred’s Story and the best-selling Millie’s Book, whose profits benefited literacy. She also wrote the best-selling Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House.
Diana Natalicio was named president of UTEP in 1988. During her long and distinguished career with the University, Dr. Natalicio has also served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of liberal arts, chair of the modern languages department and professor of linguistics. Her sustained commitment to provide all residents of the Paso del Norte region access to outstanding higher education opportunities has helped make UTEP a national success story.
During Dr. Natalicio’s tenure as president, UTEP’s enrollment has grown from nearly 15,000 to more than 23,000 students, who reflect the demographics of the Paso del Norte region from which 90% of them come. More than 80% are Mexican American, and another 5% commute to the campus from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Since 1988, UTEP’s annual budget has increased from $65 million to nearly $450 million. UTEP is designated as a research/doctoral university, recognized nationally for both the excellence and breadth of its academic and research programs. UTEP’s annual research expenditures have grown from $6 million to over $90 million per year, and doctoral programs from one to 21 during this same period. To accommodate steady growth in enrollment, academic programs and research, the university has recently completed nearly $300 million in new and renovated facilities expansion in science, engineering, health sciences, and other student quality-of-life related infrastructure.
Dr. Natalicio has served on numerous boards including Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), ACT, the Rockefeller Foundation, Trinity Industries, Sandia Corporation, U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC), American Council on Education (chair), National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Internet 2. She was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to membership on the Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and by President Bill Clinton to the National Science Board, where she served two six-year terms, including three two-year terms as NSB vice-chair.
Dr. Natalicio was recently named to the 2016 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2015, The Carnegie Corporation of New York honored Dr. Natalicio with its prestigious Academic Leadership Award in recognition of her exceptional achievements during the transformation of UTEP into a national public research university. In 2011, the President of Mexico presented her the Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca, the highest recognition bestowed on foreign nationals. She also received the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at The University of Texas at Austin, and awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Georgetown University, Smith College and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon.
A graduate of St. Louis University, Dr. Natalicio earned a master’s degree in Portuguese and a doctorate in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Yvonne Chan won the 1997 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for her extraordinary work in public education, civic engagement and positive community change. For the past 26 years, as Principal of Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (“Vaughn”), Yvonne has pushed the limits of education and social reform by transforming the “throw-away” school to a National Blue Ribbon School, creating jobs, and stimulating economic growth in the high-poverty neighborhood of Pacoima. She is a life-time volunteer. Since 1970 when she first moved to the San Fernando Valley to teach, she has been highly effective in strengthening the fabric of the community through education and family engagement. With a reputation for generating “out-of-the-box” ideas, her innovative achievements include turning crack house to school houses, elevating teacher professionalism, graduating students who are career/college prepared, globally and digitally competent. Widely known as the “Matriarch of the Charter Movement”; she mortgaged her house to convert her failing school to the first independent charter school in the nation. Her work in making part of Pacoima an educational and economic corridor improves quality of life. As Hillary Clinton said of Vaughn during her 1996 visit “It Takes a Village”, Yvonne fosters teamwork and self-empowerment. Armed with a doctoral degree from UCLA in Education, MA from CSUN in Special Education, post-doctoral in computer science at UCLA, BA from UCLA in French and Spanish, eight teaching credentials and proficiency in four world languages, she turned risks into opportunities for thousands who live in poverty through her tenacity, dedication, forward-thinking skills, energy and enthusiasm to do the impossible. Arriving in the U.S. alone at age 17, Yvonne set out to pursue the American Dream, a dream she realized and a dream to which she now teachers countless others to inspire!
Edward Zigler received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1958. He served a one-year internship at Worcester State Hospital and taught at the University of Missouri for one year before moving to Yale in 1959. During his 52 years at Yale, he has served as Director of the Child Development Program, Chairman of the Psychology Department, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Child Study Center. He founded and is Director Emeritus of Yale’s Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. He is currently a Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus.
He is the author, coauthor, and editor of hundreds of scholarly articles and 40 books and has conducted extensive investigations on topics related to normal child development and to adult psychopathology and mental retardation. He is the founder of the School of the 21st Century, which has been adopted by more than 1300 schools in 20 states.
He was one of the planners of both Projects Head Start and Follow Through, as well as the network of Parent and Child Centers (the forerunner of the more recent Early Head Start program, which he also helped plan). From l970 to 1972, Dr. Zigler was appointed by President Nixon as the first Director of the U.S. Office of Child Development (now the Administration on Children and Families) and Chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau. While in Washington, he created the first Office of Child Care and conceptualized and implemented the Healthy Start program, the Home Start program (currently Head Start’s home-based services program), the national Child Development Associates (CDA) certification program, and the national Education for Parenthood program (the first parenting education program provided to adolescents in schools). He developed Head Start’s first Performance Standards (which were revised during the Clinton administration). He formalized parental involvement in Head Start by establishing the Head Start Policy Councils, which still exist, and prepared the final federal interagency day care regulations. Dr. Zigler established the first family support programs in the network of Child and Family Resource programs. President Carter asked him to chair the committee to develop the 15th anniversary forward plan for Head Start. He was asked by President Ford to chair the committee on resettling children from the Vietnamese Baby Lift. Dr. Zigler served on the Head Start Quality and Expansion committee and was Honorary Chair of the National Advisory Panel for the Head Start 2010 Project.
James Comer, MD, MPH is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University Child Study Center. Dr. Comer has concentrated his career on promoting a focus on child and adolescent development as a way of improving schools. In 1968 he founded the Comer School Development Program that promotes the collaboration of parents, educators, and community to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for children that, in turn, help them achieve greater school success. He has improved the educational environment in more than 1,000 schools throughout the U.S. He has authored numerous publications and received many awards for his work, including 48 honorary degrees. In 2014 President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Comer to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Dr. Comer received an M.D. from Howard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Ross is nationally known as a leader in higher education, especially in the field of cross-cultural communication. Her career in higher education spans more than four decades. In the 1970s she served as provost of Fort Wright College in Spokane where she oversaw the creation of outreach programs in Toppenish and Omak that extended the opportunity for four-year college degrees to rural, minority and low-income populations typically not served by higher education institutions. In 1982, she became the founding president of Heritage University, where she oversaw its growth from 85 students to more than 1200, stepping down in 2010. Today, she maintains her ties to Heritage through the Institute for Student Identity and Success. That work has resulted in on-line three-minute videos featuring successful faculty talking about how they foster student success. In December 2016 the Harvard Education Press published her book based on this work, Breakthrough Strategies: Classroom-Based Practices to Support New Majority Students, sharing the success of the Heritage model with colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Dr. Ross has received numerous awards, including the 1989 Harold McGraw Prize in education, the 1991 John Carroll Award from Georgetown University, the 1995 Washington State Medal of Merit, and in 1997 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, the so-called "Genius Award." She has received honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities including Dartmouth, Alverno, Pomona, Whitworth, Notre Dame, Gonzaga, Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound and Seattle University. Dr. Ross holds a B.A. degree from Fort Wright College (the predecessor to Heritage University), an M.A. from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University. At Claremont, she did her dissertation on cultural factors affecting the success of American Indian students in higher education.
Dick Riley is the first two-term Governor of South Carolina (1979-87) and the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of Education (1993-2001). As Governor of South Carolina, he initiated the Education Improvement Act, heralded by the RAND Corporation to be the "most comprehensive education reform measure in the United States" at that time. As U. S. Secretary of Education, he helped President Clinton launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards, improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged, increase parent and business involvement in education, provide after-school academic enrichment, expand grant and loan programs to help more Americans go to college, prepare young people for the world of work, and improve teaching.
After leaving public office, Riley returned to his law firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he counsels clients on corporate and government matters. He also established EducationCounsel, a mission-based consulting team within Nelson Mullins that combines knowledge and experience in policy, strategy, law and advocacy to drive significant improvements in America's education systems at the local, state and national levels.
At the same time, Riley has remained a public ambassador for education improvement in South Carolina and at the national level, as well as abroad. He co-chairs the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) and he serves on the boards of several other education entities, including his alma mater, Furman University. He is a Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of South Carolina and Advisory Chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership, which is housed at Furman. The College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name, as does the College of Education and Leadership at Walden University.
The Christian Science Monitor has said that many Americans regard Secretary Riley as "one of the great statesmen of education in this (20th) century.” Highly-acclaimed national columnist David Broder called Riley one of the “most decent and honorable people in public life.” In addition to hundreds of local, state and national awards for his education and other public leadership, Riley has been inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame and TIME Magazine named him one of our nation's Top 10 Best Cabinet Members.