The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members (NHC) has awarded NSBA Past President Earl C. Rickman III the 2014 NHC Abrazo Award for his work as a leader and advocate on behalf of children as well as an advocate of NHC along with National Black Caucus of School Board and National Caucus of American Indian and Alaska Native School Board. Rickman served as NSBA President for the 2010-2011 term.
First presented in 1998, the Abrazo Award is given annually by the NHC to honor individuals who have committed their time, energy and resources to improving educational opportunities for Latino children. The term “Abrazo” in English translates to “hug” or “embrace,” a common gesture used to greet and say goodbye.
Rickman is Michigan’s Mount Clemens Community School District’s Board of Education President. Rickman has been working with NHC for the last 20 years.
In an interview with The Macomb Daily about receiving the Abrazo Award, Rickman noted, “Being a minority, I realize the immense difficulty and challenges facing our Latino and Hispanic kids in schools throughout the country. Speaking a different language is an incredible barrier that so many of these youngsters have to work through. At the national level, I represent all kids and all school boards, not just those who look like my district. I feel we all should do whatever we can do to help the 50 million children we have in public schools across the country.”