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NSPRA’s Bagin Receives Horace Mann League Recognition

The Horace Mann League will honor the longtime head of the National School Public Relations Association with its Outstanding Friend of Public Education honor and present two other awards at its annual membership luncheon at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans on Friday (March 3).

The league, one of the nation’s longest-running public education advocacy organizations, uses the AASA national conference to run its annual mid-winter gathering.

Here’s a rundown of the Horace Mann League’s recognition honors for 2017.


Outstanding Friend of Public Education. Rich Bagin, NSPRA’s executive director since 1992, has more than 30 years of experience in school and private-sector public relations. Bagin started his career as a secondary school English teacher in Pennsylvania. Befgore joining NSPRA, he served as a senior vice president with two marketing communication agencies.

Bagin is the author of more than five books on all areas of public relations and has presented numerous times at the national conventions and workshops for all the major education leadership organizations. He chaired the Educational Research Service’s board of directors and is a board member of the Learning First Alliance.


Outstanding Public Educator Award. Yong Zhao is foundation distinguished professor in the School of Education at University of Kansas. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia.

Zhao previously served as the presidential chair and director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education at University of Oregon, where he was a professor in the department of educational measurement, policy and leadership.

Zhao also was university distinguished professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the U.S.-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence.

Outstanding Friend of the League. Charles Fowler is president of School Leadership Inc. He served as a superintendent for 35 years and currently serves as executive director of the Suburban Schools Superintendents Association.

An AASA member, Fowler also is an educational consultant in the areas of superintendent searches, long-range planning for diversity and school district achievement. He is immediate past president of the Horace Mann League.

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