The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize
in Education, 20th Anniversary
The splendor of glittering lights at the New York Public Library and the exotic centerpieces named for lands far away, transported guests to an enchanted place generally reserved for readers of the volumes housed in this great repository of learning. The occasion: the 20th anniversary of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education created by Mr. McGraw whose foresight and perspicacity provided the recognition that those who teach well should be rewarded. Each of the three recipients at this annual event receives $25,000 and more important, the standing ovation of leaders in education such as President Jennifer Raab, Dean David Steiner, Dr. James Comer, Dr. Paul LeClerc, Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President Dolores Fernandez, President Augusta Kappner, President Vishakha N. Desai, Gene Maeroff among many others at the black-tie gala.
Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, in his welcoming remarks underscored that teachers enable us to become better citizens and more compassionate human beings. The prize, this year, he continued, emphasized global awareness, respect and competence.
The awardees shared personal experiences preceded by a backdrop of photos and videos of their achievements throughout the years, even back to the baby photos of Dr. Lois B. DeFleur, President of Binghamton University, SUNY. DeFleur recounted her student days in Argentina and the bus ride where she got lost, symbolic, she stated, of the importance of global awareness.
Reynauld (Ray) Smith, a social studies teacher in Washington DC was eloquent and moving when he spoke of his role as more than a teacher in his inner city school, fulfilling the need for father figure, role model and mentor. His students in a video said, “He’s cool. He pushed us to know more. He is the father I never had. His emphasis is on ‘do better.’” In his 37 years as a teacher, he cited the importance of elevating the status of teachers, “showing more appreciation and love for our many great educators throughout the country.”
Vivien Stewart, VP of Education at the Asia Society, created a national initiative to expand the teaching of Chinese as well as programs to promote the study of Asia and other world regions, cultures and global issues in America’s schools. She has also built connections between the US and Asian education leaders.
Harold McGraw III particularly cited the expertise and contributions of the indefatigable Dr. Charlotte Frank, Sr. VP, Research, for her tireless efforts on behalf of education and the McGraw-Hill Companies.#