Two Respected Educators Receive 2011 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award

Contact: Kitty Porterfield,, 703-774-6953

Arlington, Va., Feb. 18, 2011 – Two veteran educators and members of the American Association of School Administrators will be honored with the 2011 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award during the 2011 AASA National Conference on Education, Feb. 17-19 in Denver.

The award honors Jones’ effort and commitment to elevate the status of minorities and women in education and her legacy of justice, humanity and promise for all children. She was associate executive director and organizer of the Office of Minority Affairs at AASA and was profiled in the film “Women at the Top” for her work with women who aspired to the superintendency. Prior to coming to AASA, Jones was a school administrator, teacher and counselor.

The recipients were selected by an external panel of judges based on evidence of their advocacy, mentorship and advancement of women and minorities and/or their commitment to address social justice issues among children, youth and adults in public education.

The two 2011 recipients are:

Arlene Ackerman, a lifelong urban educator, has spent her more than 40-year career in education fiercely dedicated to closing both the academic and opportunity gaps of children, minorities and women. As a school leader, she sees herself as a “warrior” on behalf of children. For example, in Washington, D.C., that meant she successfully fought to implement a funding formula that directed more funds to schools serving the neediest children, and then launched similar initiatives as superintendent in San Francisco and in the School District of Philadelphia, where she has served since June 2008.

Despite the enormous challenges of improving the futures for students whose schooling has been of poor quality for many years, Ackerman demonstrates courage, optimism and an unflagging commitment. In the October 2010 edition of the Philadelphia’s district newsletter, Core Team, Ackerman urged others to make the effort to see the glass as “half full.” She believes positive expectations generate new opportunities, and she is credited with making many such opportunities “happen” through her well-planned, comprehensive initiatives. In Philadelphia, for instance, she set up one-on-one mentoring for black and Latino males; secured funding to develop the skills and competencies of aspiring school leaders; and greatly expanded summer school programming. For the first time in 2010, more than 50 percent of Philadelphia’s children have met state standards in reading and math.

In October 2010, she was crowned with the Richard R. Green award by the Council of Great City Schools; it is considered the highest individual award in urban education.

Likewise,Diane E. Reed, a former superintendent who is co-director of the Educational Leadership Program and an associate professor at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., has made her passion to help women advance in public education and to broaden the opportunities for under-served students the focus of her life’s work.

For more than two decades, Reed has informed others about the disparities between women and men’s career paths in education through formal presentations at local, statewide, national and international conferences. Her scholarship and professional activities have centered on diversity, gender and equity issues, and she serves on a committee that collects data on women leadership in 17 countries.

Among her achievements, Reed developed a leadership resilience profile to assess women’s leadership strengths and has published research in Gender and Education-Towards New Strategies of Leadership and Power. But her scholarship is not her only strength. Her work at St. John Fisher College gives her a platform to influence the lives of current and future school leaders through its educational leadership and doctoral programs – both of which have been were recognized for candidate and professor diversity. And Rochester, N.Y., City School District Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard believes the district’s administrative leadership team is blessed with diversity because most staff receive training at the leadership program at St. John Fisher College.

Reed opens doors to aspiring women and people of color with “charm and smarts,” according to Randy Collins’s letter of recommendation, a part of her application. The former AASA president wrote “Diane has “walked her talk … [she is] a proven leader with the strength and the ability to persuade.”

About AASA

The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit Follow AASA on twitter at on Facebook at

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