Articles in the NSBA Recognition Programs category

Sen. Inhofe receives NSBA’s Congressional Special Recognition Award

Sen. Inhofe

NSBA’s President Anne M. Byrne along with members of the Executive Committee of NSBA’s Board of Directors presented the award at a special event in Sen. Inhofe’s Capitol Hill office

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) honored U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) today with the Congressional Special Recognition Award. Inhofe received the NSBA’s top Congressional award for his leadership to advance public education.

“We are proud to honor Sen. Inhofe with NSBA’s Congressional Special Recognition Award for his ongoing efforts to advance public education and his commitment to local school board leadership,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “In recent years local school board members and educators have become increasingly concerned that the local governance of our nation’s school districts is being unnecessarily eroded through over reaching federal policies and requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education. We thank Sen. Inhofe for his leadership on public education as we must ensure that public education decisions made at the federal level must support the needs and goals of local school districts and the communities they serve.”

NSBA’s President Anne M. Byrne along with members of the Executive Committee of NSBA’s Board of Directors presented the award at a special event in Inhofe’s Capitol Hill office.

Alexis Rice|June 5th, 2014|Categories: NSBA Recognition Programs, School Boards, Student Achievement|Tags: , , , |

Oklahoma legislature lauds record-setting school board member

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has honored Frances M. Percival for her work as the longest-serving school board member in Oklahoma’s history. She also is the longest-serving female elected official in the United States, according to state Rep. Mike Shelton.

Frances Percival with Oklahoma Rep. Mike Shelton

Frances Percival with Oklahoma Rep. Mike Shelton

Leaders of the Oklahoma House of Representatives surprised Percival with a resolution “for her many contributions to the Millwood School District and the State of Oklahoma,” which was adopted by unanimous consent and three standing ovations. The resolution was then delivered to the Senate for consideration.

Percival, 86, was recognized for 44 consecutive years as a member of the Millwood school board and more than half a century of service as a Millwood School District volunteer. The resolution states that Percival began her service in the Millwood district as a volunteer in 1958: “She served selflessly as a classroom assistant office aide, cafeteria monitor, patron telephone book editor, and held a PTA office.” She was instrumental in the first Oklahoma City public school uniform dress code implemented at Millwood, and was active in the development of the Millwood Arts Academy and the Freshmen Academy, according to the resolution sponsored by Rep. Shelton.

Percival represents the Millwood school board on the Oklahoma State School Boards Association as a District 6 director, and has served on three of the OSSBA’s committees. Shawn Hime, executive director of the OSSBA, noted that her fellow board members “have elected her to the board for over 25 years.”

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recognized Percival in 1997 for “outstanding commitment to public education through proven school board leadership,” and she received NSBA’s Award for Distinguished Service. She also has participated in NSBA’s Federal Relations Network and the State Legislative Network.

Joetta Sack-Min|May 14th, 2014|Categories: NSBA Recognition Programs, School Boards, State School Boards Associations|

School board member blasts fed’s rescission of NCLB waiver for Washington state

In a strong and incisive letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Washington school board member David Iseminger has decried the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to rescind the state’s waiver of some of the more onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind, a move that will cause nearly all state schools to fail to reach the law’s student achievement benchmarks and require school districts to send “failure letters” to parents if they want to receive critical federal funds.

Last week, the department said it was rescinding the wavier because the state has not moved fast enough on its promise to use student test data to evaluate teachers and principals. The waivers allow states to escape from the law’s requirements that all schools educate 100 percent of their students to proficiency and math and language arts by this year–a provision widely criticized by educators and researchers as nearly impossible to meet.

In his letter, which was published on the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog, Iseminger characterized Duncan’s action as arbitrary and detrimental to schools and students.

“Your reason for revoking our waiver: we didn’t pass legislation you wanted,” wrote Iseminger, a board member for both the Lake Stevens School District and the Washington State School Directors’ Association. “More precisely, we passed legislation, but it didn’t have the wording (actually, one specific word) you wanted.”

Noting that Washington, D.C., is nearly 3,000 miles from his state, Iseminger offered to tell Duncan about “this other Washington” where “we have strong leadership in our board rooms, schools, and classrooms” and students who “are capable, confident, and work extremely hard.”

“In Lake Stevens — and in school districts across America — we lead by example,” Iseminger said. “We create confidence, capacity, knowledge, and opportunity for everyone in our community. There is a palpable and ubiquitous culture of excellence in Lake Stevens, where it’s common knowledge that each individual is supported, challenged, engaged, and empowered. Such things don’t appear overnight, they’re not accidental, and I have no intention of having our work undermined by distant labels and bracketed explanations.”

Among the schools that the education department would have the state call “failing” are “Schools of distinction one of them four years running,” Iseminger said, as well as Washington Achievement Awards schools and a Reward School. He said Lake Stevens has won a Magna Award from the National School Boards Association (NSBA)’s American School Board Journal and is a recognized Board of Distinction.

With NCLB reauthorization languishing six years in Congress, the law “has been subverted into a name-calling, label-applying bully pulpit,” Iseminger said.

“We tried to help,” Iseminger said. “With input and work from many education advocates, Congress was provided an extensive list of fixes that would make NCLB workable and forward-thinking, and keep us all accountable. I was there too — as a member of the (NSBA’s) Federal Relations Network (FRN), I made the trek to Washington D.C., multiple times to ask our members to reauthorize, year after year. While there, many of us from Washington also met with people from your Department of Education, in your building, trying to create relationships and press for a change in policy and tone: ‘Stop telling our students and educators they’re failing,’ I said.”

Iseminger works for Microsoft in its Business Intelligence Group, part of the Cloud + Enterprise Division. He said if the Education Department follows up the rescinding of its waiver by withholding Title I money and other key funds, disadvantaged students will suffer.

“If you pull our funding, you’ll be forsaking Washington’s most needy students — the very students for whom the original ESEA legislation was passed 50 years ago,” Iseminger wrote. “You’ll be abandoning those students, but we won’t. In Lake Stevens — and in every district across America – we’ll do whatever we must to ensure no child is left behind, waiver or not.”

Joetta Sack-Min|May 6th, 2014|Categories: American School Board Journal, Assessment, Board governance, Budgeting, Educational Finance, Educational Legislation, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Federal Programs, NSBA Recognition Programs, School Reform, Teachers|Tags: , , , , |

Author tells of immigrant children’s journey at Best Practices for School Leaders luncheon

Magna Awards 2014

Sonia Nazario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Enrique’s Journey told the audience at the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon Saturday about her own journey, and the journeys of undocumented and immigrant children.

Nazario chronicled her childhood as the daughter of two immigrants, whose father died when she was 13 and whose mother moved the family back to their native Argentina after his death.

She compared her determination – to do well in college and become a journalist against all odds – to the determination of the children in her book. Those children took perilous, heart-breaking trips thousands of miles from their homes in Central America north to the United States – to be reunited with the mothers who’d left them behind so they could find work and feed their families.

“One in four children in the U.S. is an immigrant or the child of immigrants,” she said. “Those children are in your classrooms and in your districts.”

Nazario suggested ways that schools could help immigrant children, especially the ones who have traveled alone to find their parents and may be scarred emotionally or physically from the journey. In addition to having depression and trauma issues, many have never been to school or only in school for a short time. “They don’t know how to hold a pencil or scissors,” she said.

Their parents may be illiterate, hold several jobs, or live in crowded conditions where the children can’t find quiet places to do their homework.

Newcomer schools, where students are taught bilingually and are eased into school during a transition period can help, she says. Also, these schools help parents acclimate and understand their roles in helping their students in schools.

More after-school programs for immigrant students and their parents would help, she says. “And pass the Dream Act,” which gives citizenship to children of undocumented parents, she said. “They didn’t break the law. They should have a pathway to legalization.”

Also at the luncheon, the 2014 Magna Award winning districts were honored. For more information about the Magna winners and the awards program to www.asbj.com/magna. The Magna Awards are sponsored Sodexo.

Kathleen Vail|April 5th, 2014|Categories: Food Service, Immigrants, NSBA Annual Conference 2014, NSBA Publications, NSBA Recognition Programs|Tags: , , , , |

NSBA honors House members for work on ESEA, federal overreach

U.S. House of Representatives members, Aaron Schock of Illinois, Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, and Ron Kind of Wisconsin, were honored this week with the Congressional Special Recognition Award, given by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) for their strong support for public education.

Schock, Meehan, and Kind worked together to introduce and promote the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act, HR 1386, which would better establish local school boards’ authority and curb overreach by the U.S. Department of Education on issues that impact local school districts unless specifically authorized in federal legislation. Provisions of the bill were approved as an amendment to the House version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), HR 5, which passed the House last summer.

“We are proud to honor Reps. Schock, Meehan, and Kind with NSBA’s Congressional Special Recognition Award for their tireless efforts to help improve school boards’ abilities to lead our public schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Their leadership on the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act and the ESEA reauthorization amendment are extremely important to public school leaders across the country who deal daily with federal regulations that hinder their abilities to improve student achievement. We appreciate their support for local school boards.”

The awards were announced at NSBA’s Advocacy Institute in Washington, which focuses on building year-round advocates for public education and local school governance in public, legal, and legislative arenas. More than 750 school board members are attending the three-day conference, which includes visits to their members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|February 5th, 2014|Categories: Assessment, Conferences and Events, Educational Legislation, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, Governance, Legislative advocacy, National School Boards Action Center, NSBA Recognition Programs|Tags: , , , |

Advocacy Institute shows school boards how to be year-round advocates

More than 750 school board members are learning about national education issues and public engagement at the National School Boards Association’s Advocacy Institute, a three-day conference in Washington that includes visits to their Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

The event focuses on building year-round advocates for public education and local school governance in public, legal, and legislative arenas. Advocacy Institute is the successor to NSBA’s popular Federal Relations Network conference and covers a wider array of topics.

Speakers at the Feb. 2-4 event include Bob Woodward, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author; Rev. Bernice King, the orator and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., and members of Congress. NSBA President David A. Pickler, a school board member from Shelby County, Tenn., welcomed the group and underscored the urgency of becoming year-round advocates.

“We must make sure that all public schools have the funding, resources, and support that is needed to educate all students in this rapidly changing world economy,” he said. “This is nothing less than a national security interest.”

NSBA also is honoring U.S. House of Representatives members Aaron Schock of Illinois, Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, and Ron Kind of Wisconsin with the organization’s Congressional Special Recognition Award for their strong support for public education.

Schock, Meehan, and Kind worked together to introduce and promote the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act, HR 1386, which would better establish local school boards’ authority and curb overreach by the U.S. Department of Education on issues that impact local school districts unless specifically authorized in federal legislation. Provisions of the bill were approved as an amendment to the House version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), HR 5, which passed the House last summer.

“We are proud to honor Reps. Schock, Meehan, and Kind with NSBA’s Congressional Special Recognition Award for their tireless efforts to help improve school boards’ abilities to lead our public schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel.  “Their leadership on the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act and the ESEA reauthorization amendment are extremely important to public school leaders across the country who deal daily with federal regulations that hinder their abilities to improve student achievement. We appreciate their support for local school boards.”

Other Congressional speakers include Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, a member of the House Education & the Workforce Committee; and Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions of the House Education & the Workforce Committee.

On Feb. 2, NSBA also unveiled its new advertising campaign promoting public education and discussed polling and public advocacy strategies for school board members.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 3rd, 2014|Categories: Board governance, Educational Legislation, Federal Advocacy, Federal Programs, FRN Conference 2013, Governance, Legislative advocacy, National School Boards Action Center, NSBA Recognition Programs|

NSBA honors Illinois Association of School Boards leader for 50-year career

Patricia Culler of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) received the 2014 Thomas Shannon Award for Excellence from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) at its Leadership Conference in Washington on Feb. 2, 2014.

Culler is IASB’s Assistant to the Executive Director and the Director of Meetings Management. She began working at IASB in 1964, when the organization had five employees. Today it has more than 70.

“In her remarkable career, Pat has become an extremely valuable asset to our Illinois affiliate,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Her work and the relationships she has cultivated over the past 50 years have helped build the organization, which in turn improves public schools for the children in Illinois.”

The Shannon Award, established in 1997 in honor of former NSBA Executive Director Thomas A. Shannon, is given annually to recognize extraordinary efforts performed on behalf of NSBA, local school board constituencies, and school communities.

“Pat Culler has demonstrated that one person can make a difference, not only to one state school board association, but to a national mission,” said Roger Eddy, IASB Executive Director. “When she started, IASB was a small organization working out of a few offices.  Now, largely due to Pat’s efforts over the years, it is among the national leaders in fulfilling the mission of excellence in local school governance in support of quality public education. She is retiring after 50 years of dedicated service to IASB and this award is a fitting capstone to an amazing career.”

Culler is responsible for managing IASB’s annual conference, which draws more than 10,000 attendees, and other organization events. She also works closely with IASB’s Executive Director and Board of Directors to facilitate information and communications. Most recently she helped organize events surrounding IASB’s 100th anniversary in 2013.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 2nd, 2014|Categories: Board governance, Conferences and Events, NSBA Recognition Programs, State School Boards Associations|Tags: |

Digital School Districts Survey seeks districts with exemplary technology practices

The Center for Digital Education (CDE), in partnership with the National School Boards Association (NSBA), invites all U.S. public school districts to participate in the 2013-14 Digital School Districts Survey.

The survey recognizes exemplary school boards and districts’ use of technology to govern the district, communicate with students, parents, and the community, and to improve district operations.

Information and an entry form is available at CDE’s website. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

Top-ranked school districts will receive the Digital School Districts Survey award and will be honored at a reception during NSBA’s annual conference in New Orleans, April 5-7, 2014. Winners also will be featured on the Center for Digital Education’s websites.

The Center for Digital Education, a Division of e.Republic, is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. For past winners and articles, visit CDE’s website. For more information about the survey, please contact Janet Grenslitt, Surveys and Awards Director.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|January 28th, 2014|Categories: Educational Research, Educational Technology, NSBA Recognition Programs, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , , |

NSBA’s 2014 Annual Conference offers new site visits, workshop opportunities

As you make your plans for the National School Boards Association’s 74th Annual Conference, be sure to carve out time for a pre-conference workshop, site visit or special luncheon event as part of your experience.

Preconference workshops will cover topics such as school law, school safety, curriculum and assessment, leadership skills, and other topics critical for school board members. These half-day and full-day workshops are a great opportunity to learn about an issue in depth.

The site visits show firsthand some of the latest education technology innovations, and you can interact with experts to find ways to replicate successful programs in your schools.

Listen to an inspiring speaker and meet colleagues from around the country at the luncheons and other meal events. Each of NSBA’s three caucuses, which examine issues facing African-American, Hispanic and Native American children, host meal events with premier speakers and information about their work.

Keep in mind that most of the site visits sell out—some months in advance–so be sure to book your optional tours and meal events now.

Here is a list of some of the offerings for site visits and meal events at the 2014 conference, to be held April 5 to 7 in New Orleans. Check the registration website for more information on pricing and details of each event.

Friday, April 4

  • Preconference workshops: Check the 2014 Annual Conference website for a comprehensive list.
  • Site visit: Louisiana Lagniappe (lan-yap)–Lagniappe means a little something extra, which is exactly what you’ll experience during your day in St. Charles Parish Public Schools, one of the state’s top districts. Visit a newly renovated, technology rich, community-oriented elementary school and immerse yourself in the Wetland Watcher experience, a nationally recognized service learning program for wetlands conservation managed by middle school students. After a taste of south Louisiana cuisine, conclude your visit at the district’s unique Satellite Center, where cutting-edge technologies create an authentic learning environment for students to work alongside actual clients as they explore future careers.

Saturday, April 5

  • Site visit: National World War II Museum–Much of today’s technology had origins in World War II. Learn how the National World War II Museum staff created education resources available to districts across the country that bring the science and technology of War II to life for students. Plus, hear the latest about the museum’s photo and oral history digitization project and efforts to involve students in the collection of oral histories in their hometowns.
  • Best Practices for School Leaders luncheon–Learn about leadership and district best practices with the winners of the 2014 Magna Awards, the American School Board Journal’s annual awards for school districts’ most innovative programs. Sponsored by Sodexo, the Magna luncheon celebrates the spirit of innovation and excellence in public education. Attend this special event and be inspired to take what you hear and learn back to your districts.

Sunday, April 6

  • National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members Breakfast–Speaker Maria Hinojosa, anchor and managing editor of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, and anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One, has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing demographic in our country. Throughout her career, she has helped define the conversation about our times and our society with one of the most authentic voices in broadcast.
  • National Black Caucus of School Board Members Luncheon–Speaker Wil Haygood , an acclaimed Washington Post reporter, journalist, and biographer, has explored the social and historical dynamics of this country as few modern chroniclers have done, in books, magazine articles, and award-winning newspaper coverage. His most recent project, The Butler, which stars eight Oscar-winning actors, is the story of White House butler Eugene Allen, who had served no less than eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan.
  • Education Technology Luncheon, School 2.0: Building the Schools We Need–Chris Lehmann, Founding Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Pennsylvania, will share his insights.
  • Site visit: STEM in Action — Pumping Up the Students! After Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the world’s largest pumping station. Tour this amazing structure and hear how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is investing in science technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum materials to engage your students and support the emerging field of Geomatics that combines high tech tools with remote sensing.
  • Site visit: Southeastern Louisiana University–Explore the wetlands by boat with the Southeastern’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station that provides educators and students with problem-based, real-world science learning opportunities. Experience firsthand how instruction must change to support next-generation science standards.

Monday, April 7

  • Site visit: Building for the Future: Going Green–After the devastation of Katrina, Global Green, in partnership with Brad Pitt, made a commitment to sustainable building as the city recovered. Tour the Holy Cross Project Visitor Center, a home in the lower Ninth Ward, to learn about its green elements and systems. Get ideas for your own district with a school visit that incorporates “green” strategies to support healthier classrooms, protect the environment, reduce carbon emissions, and save the district money.
  • Site visit: NOAA Tour–Tour the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere, and discover the multitude of resources they have developed to support K–12 education. Plus, hear a presentation by school leaders about the technology policies and practices they put in place to successfully weather storms that have struck their districts.

 

 

 

Joetta Sack-Min|November 20th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Conferences and Events, Data Driven Decision Making, Educational Technology, NSBA Annual Conference 2014, NSBA Recognition Programs, STEM Education|Tags: , |

NSBA board member Kevin Ciak honored by New Jersey school boards

The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) has announced Kevin E. Ciak the New Jersey Board of Education Member of the Year for 2013. Ciak is a 19-year member of the Sayreville Board of Education, who was elected to his first term the year after he graduated from the district’s high school.Ciak_ 2013-2014_Ciak

Ciak is also a Northeast Region delegate to the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Board of Directors and an appointee to the NSBA Executive Committee.

“Kevin has been an incredible school board member in the state of New Jersey for almost two decades,” said John Bulina, NJSBA president. “His dedication to students has been recognized at the regional and national levels. He has been a mentor and a good friend to me and to many of the officers of the New Jersey School Boards Association.”

Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director, echoed Bulina’s sentiments. “Kevin embodies all the best qualities of school board members; he has devoted himself to the students in his district, while also advocating for public education at the county, state and federal levels. Without doubt, Kevin Ciak is the quintessential advocate for educational excellence. He truly cares about the quality of the education that our young people receive. I offer my sincere congratulations on this honor.”

Ciak, who was characterized by school board officials in Sayreville and Middlesex County as the “voice of reason,” will be presented with the award at Workshop 2013 in Atlantic City.

“He is that leader who garners respect, as Kevin gives respect and appreciation to others. He builds consensus,” said Middlesex County School Boards Association President Catherine Sucher Greeley, a school board member in nearby Piscataway, who nominated Ciak. “He is a problem solver: The calm in a storm, whether a heated discussion or a stalemate.”

Sayreville Board President Michael Macagnone described Ciak as a board member who steps forward to lead discussion on issues ranging from elementary re-districting to policy updating.

“Kevin has continually been the one who keeps the board focused on the issue,” Macagnone said. “(He) exudes confidence and is the perfect example of what a board member should be –intelligent, dedicated, honest and a team player.”

Ciak was elected to the Sayreville board in 1994, the year after graduating from Sayreville War Memorial High School. Elected seven times, Ciak is currently vice president of Sayreville’s board, and previously spent six years as board president. As well as serving as NJSBA president from 2006 to 2008, he has been on the NJSBA Legislative, Nominating, Finance, Executive, and numerous other committees, and is actively involved in the Middlesex County School Boards Association.

Ciak said he first got interested in public service as a high school junior, when he was selected for American Legion Jersey Boy’s State, a weeklong program on government and politics, where students run for elected office. “I had a great time and learned a lot. I thought, ‘what can I do with this?’ I decided that August to attend my first school board meeting,” Ciak recalled.

A year later, while a freshman at Rutgers University, he ran for the Sayreville board and won.

Ciak has published articles and been interviewed on television about school board leadership. He is president of the Middlesex County Arts and Education Council, and a past member of the Sayreville Human Relations Commission.

Earlier this year he traveled to Finland with the National School Boards Association, at his own expense, to study that nation’s well-regarded public schools.

Ciak, who holds a degree in electrical engineering and works in global-supply-chain finance, called the School Board Member of the Year award a “huge honor.”

“To have my own peers select me is truly an honor,” he said.

While Ciak said public schools face many more demands than when he began nearly 20 years ago, he said he plans to continue serving.

“I really love the profession. I love working with kids, working with my fellow board members,” he said. “Every day, you never know what new problem you’re going to be dealt. Even after 20 years on the board, I can’t say I’ve seen it all.

“It’s a challenge every single day,” he said.

Given annually since 2005, the School Board Member of the Year award honors an individual board member who makes significant contributions; exemplifies leadership in the field of education with a strong commitment to the children of New Jersey; demonstrates a strong commitment to his or her personal and professional development as a board member; and shows active involvement in school governance at the local, county and state levels.

Nominations for the honor were judged by an independent panel from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Staff|October 23rd, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Board governance, NSBA Recognition Programs, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , |
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