Yesterday, the Horace Mann League celebrated its 101st Annual Meeting with an awards luncheon at AASA. As always, the affair was graced by the presence of sitting superintendents, professors, researchers and incredible public education leaders!
The Horace Mann League is an honorary educational association whose purpose is founded on the principals of Horace Mann- to support and advocate for public education as the cornerstone of democracy. In today's world, that very tenet is being challenged in nearly every state in the nation as charter schools and independent school tuition vouchers encroach and erode public education. More than ever, it is critical that the League exist to pull together those who believe in and are willing to promote public education for all students.
In this year's luncheon, the League awarded the Outstanding Friend of Education Award to Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield, co-directors of UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. Gándara and Orfield are presently immersed in a research initiative in collaboration with scholars across the nation to develop a civil rights research and policy agenda for the next quarter century. Along with Joshua Starr, Managing Partner at the International Center for Leadership in Education, Gándara and Orfield shared their insights and predictions for the future of public education in a world that is segregated educationally.
Recognized as Outstanding Friends of the League were Dr. David Berliner, Professor Emeritus/ Author, and Kathy Hurley, Education Consultant/Author, for their continued support of the League and its mission of advocating for public education.
The luncheon this year also recognized and said farewell to two leaders in public education who will leave a mark on public education for years to come. Dr. Dan Domenech, outgoing AASA Executive Director was recognized with the Outstanding Public Educator Award as he steps down from fifteen years of services in that role and over 54 years of service as a public school educator. Dan's legacy with AASA will be felt for decades more as the association continues to grow and make a difference.
The League also thanked Dr. Jack McKay for his 30 years of leadership of the League. As Executive Director of the Horace Mann League, Jack held the torch and moved it forward through three tumultuous decades. Bidding farewell to such legends is never easy, yet our gratitude is deep and our way forward is made easier due to their leadership.
I am honored to be chosen to step into Jack's shoes and serve as Executive Director of the Horace Mann League. I call out for help in this role by inviting you, the reader, to consider joining the League. For more information, go to www.hmleague.org.