SMU’s Simmons School honors advocates for education with 2015 Luminary Awards

SMU’s Simmons School honors advocates for education with 2015 Luminary Awards

SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development honored three outstanding advocates for students from pre-K through college with 2015 Luminary Awards on Thursday, Jan. 22.

This year’s honorees:

Michael Sorrell, president, Paul Quinn CollegeMichael Sorrell, president of Dallas’ Paul Quinn College, has brought new recognition, programs and funding to the 142-year-old historically black college. A former Dallas attorney and special assistant to President Bill Clinton’s executive staff, Sorrell and the college have received awards including the 2012 Historically Black College and Universities Male President of the Year, 2012 Top Liberal Arts HBCUs in America and 2013 HBCU Best Business Program.

Even as Sorrell develops his vision for Paul Quinn, he continues his own education: He is an Ed.D. candidate in the University of Pennsylvania’s executive doctorate in higher education management program.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children logo• The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas developed the first definition of dyslexia in 1968. Waites had established in 1965 one of the first programs in the world to identify and treat children with learning disorders, particularly dyslexia. Since then, the center’s team has demonstrated that, through research, evaluation and treatment, children with dyslexia can learn to read and be successful despite their learning differences.

The Dyslexia Training Program, a two-year intervention program, was developed at the Waites Center and is used throughout the United States. Medical Director Jeffrey Black and Administrative Director Gladys Kolenovsky lead the Waites Center, which provides diagnostic evaluations and recommendations for hundreds of children with learning disorders each year. The center also provides training for teachers and learning therapists and sponsors research on the causes and treatment of dyslexia.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America logoBig Brothers, Big Sisters of America was created in 1904 to bring role models into the lives of at-risk children. Today the mentoring program serves 300,000 children in the United States and 12 countries, providing and monitoring one-to-one volunteer mentors who develop positive relationships with children ages 6 to 18. Big Brothers, Big Sisters also sponsors African American, Native American and Hispanic mentoring programs in addition to programs for children of military parents and children of incarcerated parents.

Research shows that children in the program get along better with their families and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Participation in Big Brothers, Big Sisters also has a measurable, positive effect on education. Research shows that 87 percent of children in the program maintained or improved in their educational expectations and 84 percent maintained or improved their grades. Participants are more likely to graduate from high school and reach a higher lever of education. Pam Iorio, CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, accepted the award.

“This year’s awards show the power of individuals,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean. “We see mentors give of themselves as they become a consistent presence in the lives of boys and girls who need them. We find teachers and doctors taking extra steps and care to treat children with learning disorders. And lastly, we look to a true leader in higher education who rebuilds confidence and direction in a historically black college. Their work exemplifies what all of us can do to elevate what’s important to the development of children and youth.”

The Luminary Award was created in 2009 by the Simmons School to honor individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education. The award is given annually to a local, regional and national recipient.

January 26, 2015|For the Record, News|

2014 Simmons Luminary Awards honor advocates for children

SMU Simmons Luminary Award logoFour organizations that advocate for the education and well-being of at-risk children will be honored Thursday, Jan. 23, by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The East Dallas Community Schools, TexProtects, the Children’s Defense Fund and Stand for Children will receive 2014 Luminary Awards at 6:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

“This year’s honorees exemplify the power of collaboration and will to create movements that champion children who are poor, neglected or abused,” says David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School. “These children, like any other, deserve a healthy childhood and a good education; the recipients of the Luminary Award shine an important light on what we need to advance.”

• For 35 years, the East Dallas Community Schools (EDCS) have documented the power of high-quality early childhood education, particularly education that starts young and involves the parents. Based on the Montessori education model, staff at the three EDCS campuses provide parents of 550 students with information, encouragement and support. The schools are located in high-risk Dallas areas and open to children ages nine or younger, regardless of income. School founder and director Terry Nelson Ford, a 1974 SMU graduate, will accept the Luminary Award for local excellence.

• The Texas Association for the Protection of Children (TexProtects) was created in 2004 to advocate for reform and better funding of Child Protective Services in Dallas and across the state. The research and advocacy organization is dedicated to representing the needs of Texas children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect by educating decision-makers and the public about child abuse. Founder and director Madeline McClure will accept the Luminary Award for regional achievement.

• The Children’s Defense Fund and Stand for Children work with state, local and national child advocates to improve the lives of children. Marian Wright Edelman created the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973 after observing poverty’s devastating effects on children while working with Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign in the 1960s. The organization advocates for better health care, child care and nutrition, equal educational opportunities and leadership training for children, particularly disadvantaged children. Jonah Edelman will accept the national Luminary Award for the Children’s Defense Fund and Stand for Children.

The Luminary Award was created in 2009 by the Simmons School to honor individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education. The award is given annually to a local, regional and national recipient.

Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

January 23, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

Three education innovators receive 2013 Simmons Luminary Awards

Educators dedicated to promoting evidence-based change for the betterment of students were honored Thursday, Jan. 24 by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Dallas Arboretum; Daniel P. King, superintendent of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District in South Texas; and America’s Promise Alliance received 2013 Luminary Awards during ceremonies at the University.

  • The educational programs at the Dallas Arboretum introduce more effective instruction to more than 100,000 children in life and earth science each year.
  • Under Superintendent Daniel P. King’s leadership, several Texas school districts have been transformed from among the poorest performing to national models of success.
  • America’s Promise Alliance brings together more than 400 organizations dedicated to stemming the nation’s high dropout rate.

“The 2013 Luminary recipients are driven by the same level of dedication to do whatever it takes to impact students and get them engaged in learning,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean in the Simmons School. “America’s Promise Alliance, The Dallas Arboretum and Superintendent King deeply understand their mission, and with data have designed innovative approaches that work. Once students can understand that their community, region and nation are behind them, their aspirations become real.”

Click the YouTube screen to see a video about this year’s winners, or click here to open the 2013 Simmons Luminary Award video in a new windowvideo

> Read the full story from SMU News

January 30, 2013|News|

Outstanding educators to be honored at 2012 Luminary Awards

The Luminary Award statuetteThree organizations that created new ways of enhancing children’s education will be honored Jan. 26, 2012, by SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The Luminary Awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. at the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The honorees are cited for creating research-based and innovative programs, which have served as longtime models for improving education:

“Our three Luminary recipients exemplify a superlative commitment to families and children. In setting the bar high to obtain strong educational outcomes, each one demonstrates the impact of using research to improve lives, from our youngest ones to their parents,” says David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “At a time when education is buffeted by winds of dissatisfaction, this year’s recipients offer solutions and hope.”

> Get the full story with video of the Luminary Award recipients at SMU News

January 26, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News|

2009 Luminary Awards honor education leaders

SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development honored three outstanding education leaders with its first annual Simmons Luminary Awards – former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, longtime Texas State Board of Education member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller and St. Philip’s School headmaster Dr. Terry J. Flowers. All three received their awards at a reception and dinner on the SMU campus Nov. 19.

“The Simmons Luminary Awards honor women and men who are real education reformers – people willing to step outside the status quo and follow evidence, rather than tradition, to improve outcomes for our students,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School. “This year’s three recipients serve as beacons on the education landscape.”

“People are frequently satisfied with great ideas,” Chard said. “But ideas aren’t enough. What we don’t often have are people like Terry Flowers, with 25 years of proven results; Tincy Miller, who realized that her focus on her son’s dyslexia needed to be expanded to all dyslexic children; and Margaret Spellings, who had the opportunity and the courage to move an accountability system from concept to national priority.”

All three Luminary Award winners have demonstrated a willingness to make bold changes in policy and practice to improve students’ lives, Chard said.

Terry FlowersFlowers is headmaster and executive director of St. Philip’s School and Community Center in south Dallas. Under his leadership, St. Philip’s has developed a curriculum that emphasizes academic excellence and a positive self-image in a community that struggles with poverty and low graduation rates. St. Philip’s records a 97 percent high school graduation rate and an 88 percent college attendance rate for alumni of the school’s Pre-K through 6th grade program.

Tincy MillerMiller, who graduated from SMU in 1956, has served on the Texas State Board of Education since 1984. She has distinguished herself by promoting better curricula and programs for dyslexic children, helping to pass the Texas State Dyslexia Law for public schools, facilitating the creation of the Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders and helping establish the first statewide dyslexia academies.

Margaret SpellingsSpellings is president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, and a leading expert in national public policy. Spellings was U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005-09, the first mother of school-age children to serve in that position. She directed the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, which commits U.S. schools to bringing all students up to grade level or better in reading and math.

Read more from SMU News
Hear Margaret Spellings’ interview on KERA’s “Think” with Krys Boyd audio

December 1, 2009|News|
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