Education Policy Leadership Awards Dinner: 2008

On October 22, 2008, The Education Policy and Leadership Center honored Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq with the Edward Donley Education Policy Leadership Award at the Center’s annual awards reception.

Carolyn Dumaresq recently retired from her position as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. From July 1996 to September 2008 she was responsible for supervising the activities of the association’s 260 staff employees, which represent nearly 187,000 school professionals and support employees. Throughout this period, she played a prominent role in helping to shape state policies that affect public schools.

Carolyn served as Superintendent of Schools at Central Dauphin School District from 1988 to 1996, and as Superintendent at Steelton-Highspire from 1983 to 1988.

In 1994, Carolyn was named Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA). In 1995, she served as president of PASA.

She served as Executive Director at the Pennsylvania Department of Education from 1979 to 1983. From 1976 to 1979, she served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Basic Education.

In 1969, she began her career in education as a math teacher in Upper Darby and later held administrative positions in the Interboro School District and West Chester School District.

Carolyn has taught graduate courses at Temple University’s Harrisburg campus and at Penn State Harrisburg, and also taught school law at Widener University.

Her own academic degrees include a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Villanova University, and a bachelor’s degree from Hood College.

Carolyn also has been a very active leader in numerous statewide and community organizations including recently the Governor’s Commission on Training America’s Teachers; Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board; Council for Public Education; Harrisburg Hospital; and Harrisburg Rotary.

Throughout her career, Carolyn Dumaresq has been an effective advocate for public education and Pennsylvania’s children and one of the Commonwealth’s most influential voices for effective state education policy.

The Center also recognized with the EPLC Partner Award the Education Law Center and Good Schools Pennsylvania.

The Education Law Center (ELC) and Good Schools Pennsylvania (GSPA) have been very important partners to EPLC, especially during the past several years. The collaborative work of the Education Law Center, Good Schools Pennsylvania, and EPLC during the past five years represents an unprecedented partnership working together on state policy. This collaborative effort contributed significantly to the recent progress accomplished in reforming Pennsylvania’s school finance system and remains a foundation for the work of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign that continues. This collaboration has been manifested in a broad set of activities that have included the development of advocacy goals and strategies; media outreach; the development of legislative and community-based champions; and grassroots public advocacy.

In addition to these activities, the staff of the Education Law Center and Good Schools Pennsylvania have regularly and generously participated in numerous EPLC forums, conference panels, and other events.

The Education Law Center is a non-profit legal advocacy and educational organization, dedicated to ensuring that all of Pennsylvania’s children have access to a quality public education.

For thirty years, ELC has worked to make good public education a reality for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable students: poor children, children of color, kids with disabilities, English language learners, children in foster homes and institutions, and others.

ELC is a legal advocacy organization that provides information on the legal rights of public school students, help with problem-solving, written materials, and contacts. In some cases involving large numbers of children, ELC provides legal representation. Their achievements include significant legal victories for public school families.

Good Schools Pennsylvania was launched in 2001 to advocate for equal educational opportunity across the Commonwealth. The organization works to create a public education system in which all children can succeed at high levels, including students who we have historically failed.

GSPA’s goals are to inform citizens and public officials about the educational needs of Pennsylvania’s children, the components of effective education (including accountability), and the consequences of an inadequate education. GSPA educates citizens and public officials about the need for adequate and equitable school funding and the wise expenditure of funds to ensure a quality education for all Pennsylvania children. Lastly, GSPA organizes citizens, giving them a way to inform and educate public officials about public education in Pennsylvania and how it can be improved.

In addition, the Center presented the EPLC Leadership Program Alumni Award to Laura E. Cowburn and Dr. A. Lee Williams.

Laura Cowburn graduated with the 2000-2001 class of EPLC’s nationally-recognized Education Policy Fellowship Program, with the support of the Columbia Borough School District Board of Education and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO). She attended the program to broaden her knowledge of education policy and realized that as a school business official, leadership in educational policy is part of her job. She credits the program for showing her how to partner with Senator Wenger and effect change to the PA Educational Assistance Tutoring Program SB652 2005 which allows for tutoring instruction during the school day, not just after school and weekends.

Laura currently serves as Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Services/Board Secretary at the Columbia Borough School District in Lancaster County. She has also served previously as business manager of East Stroudsburg Area School District and the Monroe County Career and Technology Center (AVTS).

Laura has been a member of PASBO for more than 25 years and is currently President-Elect. She has held leadership positions in regional chapters, participated in a variety of committees, and written various articles and presented programs for the statewide organization. She also serves the Association of School Business Officials, International as a Co-Chair of the School Finance Committee, and she serves the community of Columbia Borough as Treasurer of the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Laura earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from DeSales University and will soon complete her Master’s in School Business Leadership from Wilkes University. She is a Pennsylvania Registered School Business Administrator.

Lee Williams graduated with the 2003-2004 class of EPLC’s Education Policy Fellowship Program and remains active in EPLC’s statewide Leadership Network. Earlier this year, Lee was nominated by Governor Rendell and confirmed by the State Senate to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.

Lee has been Chairperson of the Elementary/Early Childhood Department at Slippery Rock University for seven years. She teaches graduate-level courses in the Master’s Degree program in Reading and supervises elementary and early childhood teacher candidates in field experience or student teaching. Lee also works with elementary teachers in writing workshops for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, as part of the University’s Professional School Network.

Lee began her career as an educator as a high school and middle school English teacher. She also has taught at Thiel College and Slippery Rock University.

Lee serves on the Professional Development Committee for the PA Keys and she is the principal investigator of a grant to support articulation among five universities and five community colleges in Western Pennsylvania, for students transferring with an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

Lee holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degrees in Reading and English Education from Slippery Rock University. She earned her Doctorate from Kent State University.

Past Receptions:

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