Los Angeles, CA. (PRWEB) -- On September 15, some 350 prominent educators, thought leaders, and national officials, together with the education Twitterati, came to Washington, D.C., from around the nation to be part of the inaugural annual Bammy Awards recognizing excellence across the education village. The honors, held at the land mark Arena Stage at the Mead Theater and presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, attracted support from a wide swath of the education community, including teachers, principals, government officials, school nurses, education journalists, school board members, school facilities managers, education policy wonks, superintendents, PTA leaders, education school professors, child care directors and many of the nation’s top education bloggers. Among the presenters and honorees were professor Linda Darling-Hammond, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, award-winning education reporter John Merrow, AFT president Randi Weingarten, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Early Learning Jacqueline Jones, USA Today national education reporter Greg Toppo, and the executive directors of the nation’s leading education associations. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who is on a national bus tour, made a video presentation at the event.
The distinctive Bammy Award statuette was presented to 15 educators and education professionals as standard bearers for the part of the education community they represent. In recognition of parents’ role as the earliest educators in a child’s life, the first Bammy Award ever presented was given by Betsy Landers, president of the National PTA, to Lesley Kowalski, president of Mantua Elementary School PTA in Fairfax, Virginia. The fourteen other educators and education professionals to receive Bammy Awards were:
Jo-Ann Spence, Lowell Day Nursery School - Child Care Center Director
Sam Chaltain - Education Commentator/ Blogger
Daniel Willingham, University of Virginia - Education Policy/Researcher
Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post – Education Reporter
Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University - Education School Professor
Anna Allenbrook , Brooklyn New School, P.S. 146 - Elementary School Principal
Debra Palmer, Waldo County Head Start - Head Start Staff Member
Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute - Innovator of the Year
Jose Gerardo Gomez, Alamo Colleges - Maintenance Manager
Malikah N. Jenkins, School District of Philadelphia - Secondary School Teacher
Mary Broderick, Connecticut School Board Association - School Board Leader
Gail Trano, Corlears School - School Nurse
Heath Morrison, Washoe County Schools - School Superintendent
Lynne Batty, Beverly School for the Deaf - Special Needs Staff
In addition, Lifetime Achievement Bammy Awards were presented to:
Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education
John Merrow, correspondent, PBS and Learning Matters
Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education, Stanford University
Some of the nation’s most influential bloggers were also recognized that evening as part of the event. Among them were Adam Bellow, Angela Maiers, Chris Lehmann, Deven Black, Erin Klein, George Couros, Joyce Valenza, Kelly Tenkley, Joan Young, Kyle Pace, Lisa Nielsen, Mary Beth Hertz, Nicholas Provenzano, Patrick Larkin, Shannon Miller, Shelly Blake-Plock, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Shelly Terrell, Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby, Eric Sheninger and Joe Mazza. The full group, referred to as the “Twiterrati,” were presented as part of an annual Bammy initiative called the “BAM 100,” aimed at bringing the most influential new voices in education into the national spotlight.
Intended to combat the negative narrative around educators by celebrating them on par with the way our culture celebrates entertainers, the event was uncharacteristically glitzy and glamorous for the education community. The evening included red carpets, limousines, tuxes and gowns, paparazzi, radio and television crews, 25 members of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, conducted by Henry Sgrecci, the Youth Orchestra of Prince William and the presentation of a handcrafted, individually numbered award specifically designed to be on par with and the Oscar and the Emmy. Response to the unprecedented inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive:
“I’m very excited about it because it’s the first time that educators have ever gotten the attention they deserve, and this is a particular time in our history when educators are not getting the respect they need and deserve so it make this an auspicious occasion,” said Diane Ravitch.
“This matters because it’s an organization that realizes that it takes a village. Education is a cooperative effort among a whole group of forces; it doesn’t happen unless everybody works together and so it’s really an honor to be singled out by a group like this,” stated John Merrow.
Eric Sheninger, school principal and part of the Twitterati, commented, “This is just a great opportunity to share with so many important people the other important people who are behind the scenes.”
“We are very excited to be here, and I’m so glad that you gave us an opportunity to be recognized. I believe recognition is extremely important,” said Caroline Hendrie, executive director of the Education Writers Association.
“I know that all of us can agree that great teachers have an amazing power to transform the lives of children every single day. But we also know these dedicated professionals can’t do it alone. They need the support of administrators, of parents, of community leaders and of the educators and para-professionals they teach alongside of in their buildings every single day,” remarked Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
About the Bammy Awards
The Bammy Awards were created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes and the intense scrutiny that today's educators face as a result. The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can't educate children alone and don't do it alone. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition for the vital role played by every member of the education village, encourage collaboration and respect across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field every day.
The Bammy Awards are presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, made up of 164 of the nation’s most prominent and influential education leaders and professional associations.
The executive producer of the Bammy Awards was Errol St. Clair Smith with associate producers, Rae Pica, Holly Hagler, Jeannette Bernstein and Eric Sheninger. Co-hosts for the event were Dr. Mark Ginsberg and Nelson Davis.
Sponsors for the evening included School Health Corporation, Gojo-Purell, Cardiac Science, Enablemart and BAM Radio Network.
For photo galleries and video clips of the awards event and more information, please visit http://www.bammyawards.org.
Bammy Awards contact:
Academy of Education Arts and Sciences