Governors Daniels, Hunt to Receive Top Woodrow Wilson Awards

October 13, 2010

Foundation honors “two of the nation’s most thoughtful education leaders”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Governor Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. and former North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. will receive major awards from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation at a dinner tonight at the Indianapolis Roof Ballroom.

“These are two of the nation’s most thoughtful education leaders,” said Arthur Levine, Foundation president. “Governor Daniels has made education the cornerstone in Indiana’s future and a centerpiece in his administration, and especially teacher preparation, in Indiana. Governor Hunt not only led nationally heralded education reforms during his four terms in office, but is a leader among leaders who now serves as a mentor to the nation’s governors. We are proud to honor them both.”

The October 13 awards program will feature remarks from both Governor Daniels and Governor Hunt, as well as several Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows—participants in an innovative new teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention initiative now in place in several states.

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation will award Governor Daniels its first Woodrow Wilson Medal for Distinguished Service to Education. Now serving his second term in Indiana, Governor Daniels has emphasized education reform through directing more dollars to the classroom for student learning, ending social promotion, supporting charter schools, strengthening protections for teachers to maintain discipline in their classrooms, and ensuring teacher quality. He also led the way in creating the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship, making Indiana the first state to launch the Fellowship.

“Governor Daniels has taken a bold approach to education reform, focusing on efforts to improve the quality of education for Indiana’s children,” said Frederick L.A. Grauer, chair of the Woodrow Wilson Board of Trustees, who will host the awards dinner. “The Foundation is particularly grateful for his focus on and support of efforts to strengthen teacher preparation.”

Governor Hunt will receive the Foundation’s biennial Frank E. Taplin Public Intellectual Award for leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to public cultural and intellectual life. Chair of the Board of the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, Governor Hunt has been at the forefront of state and national education reform. As governor of North Carolina, his emphases included improving the quality of teaching. In 2006, he was named one of the 10 most influential people in American education. Governor Hunt was also a key senior advisor for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship.

“Governor Hunt has championed education and teaching quality across the country,” said Dr. Grauer. “Not only has he helped guide the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, he has been a national leader on issues involving teachers and teaching, and we deeply appreciate his contributions.”

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships are designed to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers for the students and schools who need them most. Fellows receive $30,000 stipends and attend enriched, specially selected master’s-level teacher education programs, complemented by intensive mentoring during the first three years of teaching at high-need urban and rural schools. The Fellowships have four goals: transforming teacher education; getting strong teachers into high-need schools; attracting the very best candidates to the teaching profession; and cutting teacher attrition by retaining top teachers.

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