Friend of Education Award
At the February 12, 2002 meeting of the NTHF Board of Directors, approval was granted for the creation of a special award of recognition to be presented annually during NTHF induction activities.
The Friend of Education Award was created for individuals who have not made a career in education but who, by their deeds, dollars, actions, etc. have supported PreK-12 teachers and the teaching profession.
M. Christine DeVita - 2006
THE WALLACE FOUNDATION
M. Christine DeVita
President Since 1989, Christine DeVita has been president of The Wallace Foundation, an independent national foundation that supports fundamental improvements in public education leadership, appreciation and demand for the arts, and afterschool programs for children, by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices.
The Foundation works with innovative organizations and researchers, to help find effective solutions to public problems. It seeks to broadly share what it's learned with grantees, policymakers, practitioners and concerned citizens. The philanthropic legacy of DeWitt and Lila Wallace, The Wallace Foundation currently has $1.4 billion in assets.
The Foundation's current work to strengthen public education leadership grew out of its longstanding support for public education and recognition of the importance of effective teaching. In the past, the Foundation helped fund the creation of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; the development of a model to help paraprofessionals become effective teachers; and guidelines that define how school libraries can best support classroom teaching.
DeVita has spoken about philanthropy's role in enhancing opportunities for learning and enrichment in venues including: Grantmakers for Education, The James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, The Council on Foundations, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, the New England Museum Association, Duke University and Bates College. DeVita is Chair of the Board of Directors of The Foundation Center, and a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum. She was born in New York City and is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law.
RICHARD W. RILEY - 2005
Former U.S. Secretary of Education
Former Governor of South Carolina
Richard W. Riley is the former U. S. Secretary of Education (1993-2001) and former Governor of South Carolina (1979-1987). He currently is a senior partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, L.L.P, with more than 300 attorneys in offices throughout South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Secretary Riley counsels clients and works with partners to develop strategy on complex business, governance, financial and legal matters for local, national and international clients.
With the full support of the firm, Secretary Riley remains an ambassador for improving education in the United States and abroad. He has been appointed Distinguished Professor at his alma mater, Furman University, and serves as Advisory Board Chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership there. He also has been named Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, and the College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name. Secretary Riley is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Washington, D.C. In addition, he speaks, provides leadership and serves in an advisory and collaborative capacity with many other entities across the nation and abroad that support education improvement.
Secretary Riley earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in political science from Furman University in 1954 and received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1959. He is the recipient of numerous education and other public service awards, as well as honorary degrees from universities and colleges in the United States and abroad.
Secretary Riley and his wife, Ann Yarborough Riley but more commonly known as Tunky, have four children and 13 grandchildren.
JAMES B. HUNT JR. - 2004
Governor of North Carolina (1977-1985; 1993-2001)
Jim Hunt is a nationally recognized leader in education and has led North Carolina through twenty years of dramatic economic change. Serving a historic four terms as Governor, Hunt has been at the forefront of education reform in his state and in the nation
As Governor, Hunt focused on early childhood development and improving the quality of teaching in America. His Smart Start program is a nonprofit, public-private partnership rooted in each of the state’s one hundred counties providing quality child care, health care, and family support for each child who needs it. Smart Start has been visited and studied by early childhood leaders from all fifty states and many foreign countries.
Governor Hunt has devoted much of the last fifteen years of his life to excellence in teaching in the United States. In 1985 he co-chaired with David Hamburg 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 served in that capacity for ten years, developing standards for what accomplished teachers in America need to know and be able to do and assessments to “board certify” them. Governor Hunt also serves as the chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future at Teachers College, Columbia University. Its report in 1996,What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, is stimulating major changes in teacher education programs and public policies that advance teaching. Governor Hunt also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
A strong supporter of high standards in public schools, Governor Hunt has served as chairman of the National Education Goals Panel and vice chairman of the board of Achieve, Inc. He has put into place in North Carolina one of the nation’s most rigorous approaches to measuring student performance, requiring mastery of promotion and graduation and providing assistance to turn around failing schools.
His work has been recognized with numerous national awards:
- Committee for Economic Development’s “Excellence in Public Policy Award”
- American Educational Research Association’s “Distinguished Public Service Award”
- The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina’s 2002 “University Award”
- The Education Commission of the States “James B. Conant Award”
- The Horace Mann League’s “Friend of Education Award”
- The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
- The National Mentoring Partnership “Award for Public Leadership”
- The Children’s Defense Fund Award
- The Columbia University Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service
- The Women Executives in State Government’s “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award”
- The American Academy of Pediatrics “Child Health Advocate Award”
- The National Secondary Schools “Distinguished Service Award”
- The National State Boards of Education “Policy Leader of the Year Award”
- The Council of Chief State School Officers “Distinguished Service Award”
- The National Education Association “Friend of Education Award”
- The National 4-H “Outstanding Alumnus Award”
- The National Wildlife Federation’s “Conservation Achievement Award”
- The Honor Award from the Soil Conservation Society of America
- The National Religious Heritage Award
Hunt is currently a partner in the large Southeastern U.S. law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice practicing in the Raleigh, North Carolina office . He also chairs the board of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. Part of the University of North Carolina system, 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.
Laura Welch Bush - 2002
Laura Welch Bush shares America's concerns about the education of our children. Through her national initiative called Ready to Read, Ready to Learn, she stresses that America's children can't wait to read. In fact, they should have a book and an adult to read with long before they start school.
She urges more Americans to become teachers; discusses preparing young children for learning and school; and wants parents and other adults to have important information on child rearing and cognitive development.
On September 8, 2001 Mrs. Bush launched the first National Book Festival, which featured authors from across the nation and was attended by tens of thousands of people.
Three days later, on September 11, the nation experienced the worst terrorist attacks on American soil in history. Since then, Mrs. Bush has focused her energy on helping our nation, especially children, through the healing process. She encourages Americans to spend more time together as families and support the teachers who take care of their children every day in school.
In her speeches and public appearances, she expresses what many Americans believe: that every human being should be treated with dignity; and that no child should be left behind in school, or in life.
Her love of education and reading began in her youngest years and guided her to a career as a Texas public school teacher and librarian.
She attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1968. After college, she worked as a teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District until 1969 and then moved to Houston, Texas, where she taught at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District until 1972.
Later, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Master of Library Science degree in 1973. Afterward, she worked at the Houston Public Library, Kashmere Gardens Branch until she moved back to Austin in 1974.
She worked as a librarian at Dawson Elementary School until 1977, when she met George Walker Bush at the home of mutual friends. They married in November 1977 and made their home in Midland. In 1981, George and Laura Bush became the proud parents of twin girls, who are named Barbara and Jenna, after their grandmothers.
Today she brings her experienced viewpoints, her love of children and her interest in education to a much broader audience as the wife of the 43 rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.