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Horace Mann League, Marking 100th Year, Installs New Officers and Board Members for 2022

The Horace Mann League, which is marking the 100th year of its existence, installed new officers and board members for the coming year at the organization’s annual luncheon on Friday at the Omni Hotel in Nashville.

Elected as officers of the public education advocacy group were the following:

President, Ruben Alejandro, former superintendent, Weslaco, Texas

President elect, Brent Clark, executive director, Illinois Association of School Administrators and a former superintendent in Illinois.

Vice President, William Mathis, executive manager, National Education Policy Center, and a former superintendent in Vermont.

Past President, James Harvey, former executive director, National Superintendents Roundtable

Reappointed to the Board of Directors: Virginia Cardenas, education specialist consultant, Mission, Texas; Martha Bruckner, executive director, Metropolitan Omaha Education Consortium and former superintendent in Omaha, Neb.

Clockwise from upper left: Gregg Fuerstenau, Joshua Starr, Lisa Parady, Brian Schmidt

New appointments to the league’s board: Gregg Fuerstenau, superintendent of the Litchfield Community Schools in Illinois; Brian Schmidt, superintendent of the Genesee Valley Central School District In New York; Joshua Starr, executive director of PDK and former superintendent in Maryland; Jimmy Minichello, director of communications, AASA, Alexandria, Va.; Lisa Parady, executive director, Alaska Council of school Administrators, Juneau, Alaska; Andi Fourlis, superintendent, Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, Ariz.

The league’s award recipients this year were Valerie Strauss, Gloria Ladson-Billings and James Harvey.

The 2022 Outstanding Friend of Education Award was presented to Strauss, education journalist at The Washington Post. She runs the newspaper’s long-running Answer Sheet blog. She sees the education beat broadly and writes about the practice, politics, sociology and psychology of education. She led award-winning projects on the cultural revolution and the plight of women in third-world countries.

The 2022 Outstanding Public Educator Award went to Ladson-Billings, an education professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ladson-Billings’ research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates critical race theory applications to education.

The 2022 Friend of the League Award was given to James Harvey, who served in 2021 as president of the Horace Mann League. Harvey was instrumental in bringing together Christy Johnson and her company, Artemis Connection, to facilitate the strategic planning process for the league's future development. He retired in December from the executive director position with the National Superintendents Roundtable.

A special part of the annual meeting was the release of the book, Public Education: Defending the Cornerstone of Our Democracy, edited by David Berliner and Carl Hermanns.

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