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U.S. Department of Education Names National Awards After John Stanford

Just one week after John Stanford's death in November, 1998, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley presented the Department of Education's first-ever "John Stanford Education Heroes" awards to individuals selected for their extraordinary commitment to improving schools and communities and increasing learning opportunities for students.

"This award is a fitting tribute to John Stanford, whose spirit and dedication led children, parents, teachers, businesses and the entire community to rally around their schools," Riley said. "It is this tireless commitment to improving education and believing in our children and our schools that we celebrate with these awards."

"The remarkable contributions of these citizens exemplify what Americans can do when they are committed to our children and their education. Whether it is their work supporting students in the face of adversity, leadership in bringing together parents, schools and communities to make positive change, or devoting time and talents to increase learning opportunities, I am proud to work with these citizens on behalf of American education. Their efforts prove that all caring adults, including parents, educators, business people and community leaders can and do play a significant role in improving education."

Riley said these heroes have used creative and innovative approaches to support students, such as: engaging students in science, technology, the arts or nature to inspire them to learn; involving parents and the community in establishing equitable and respectful learning environments for diverse student populations; mobilizing parents to better communicate with and get involved in schools; and making their message for better education heard by the larger community.

The first annual John Stanford Education Heroes competition was designed to honor parents, teachers, principals, members of community or religious organizations and employers from around the country who have undertaken exceptional activities to help children learn and to improve schools. Individuals who have excelled in their communities were nominated by the secretary's 10 regional representatives.

For more about the awards or biographies of the award winners, visit the U.S. Department of Education website, or contact the Department at: 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-0498; 1-800-USA-LEARN.

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