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Press Release

Monday, March 20, 2017

CCSSO Honors Haycock for Lifetime of Service to Children

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (March 20, 2017) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today honored Kati Haycock, founder of Education Trust, with the Council's 2017 Distinguished Service Award.

The Council selected Haycock in grateful recognition of her lifetime of service to closing opportunity and achievement gaps. She was honored during the Council's 2017 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Distinguished Service Award is the Council's highest honor, and recognizes individuals whose contributions have given strength to pre-K-12 public education in the United States. This premier honor of the Council has been presented over a period of 56 years. Previous awardees include Rep. George Miller, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Marian Wright Edelman, President Lyndon Johnson and the four lead architects of the Every Student Succeeds Act: Chairman Lamar Alexander, Sen. Patty Murray, Chairman John Kline and Rep. Bobby Scott.

"I wish to express my sincere thanks for Kati's leadership and tireless efforts to advocate on behalf of all students in the United States," said South Dakota Secretary of Education and President of CCSSO's Board of Directors Melody Schopp.

"As state leaders, we are committed to improving the educational outcomes and lives of all children, regardless of background, and Kati's honest and thoughtful voice has pushed all of us to be better."   

"Kati has devoted her career to improving the lives of our most vulnerable students and advocating for all kids to have a high quality education," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. "She worked tirelessly to keep education leaders at all levels focused on this important work and this recognition honors her contribution."   

"It has been the honor of my life to do this work alongside dedicated Ed Trust staff and countless partners in states and communities around the country-each committed to ensuring that all of our young people get the high quality education they need and deserve," said Haycock.

"This award is a recognition of that collective effort, but also a reminder of the work still to be done."      


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.