James B. Hunt, Jr. Receives Inaugural Leeds Prize for Excellence in Education

June 3, 2010

New York City – The Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) named the Hunt Institute Foundation Board Chair and former four-term North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. recipient of the first annual Lilo J. and Gerard G. Leeds Prize for Excellence in Education for his accomplishments and commitment to quality education for all students.

The award ceremony, held on Tuesday, June 2, 2010, at Mutual of America in New York City, honors individuals or organizations that have made substantial contributions to the Leeds’ vision of quality education for all students.

“It was an honor to acknowledge them and pay tribute to the Leeds’ commitment to excellence and equality in education,” said Dr. Gerry House, president and CEO of ISA. “Governor Hunt and Judith Johnson are extraordinary advocates for high educational standards and equal opportunity for all students, perhaps the single greatest predictor of America’s future success.”

The Leeds Prize was also awarded to Judith Johnson, Peekskill (NY) School Superintendent, New York State’s 2008 Superintendent of the Year, and Acting Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Clinton Administration. 

The Leeds Prize is a tribute to the lifelong commitment of Lilo and Gerry Leeds and the Leeds family to excellence and equality in education. ISA was founded by the Leeds in 1990 to address inequities in high school education and help underserved students graduate prepared for college success. ISA uses a proven, research-based educational framework to transform underperforming public high schools into rigorous and supportive learning environments that prepare all students for success in college. 

Governor Hunt is a nationally recognized leader in education and has been at the forefront of state and national education reform. As governor, he focused on early childhood development and the improvement of quality of teaching. His Smart Start program received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1985, he co-chaired 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 has also provided education leadership as chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the National Education Goals Panel, and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, as well as board vice chair of Achieve, Inc. In 2006, he was named one of the 10 most influential people in American education, along with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Share This