Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2019) –– The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today honored Wisconsin Gov. Anthony “Tony” Evers with the Council’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award.
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 award of the Council has been presented over a period of 59 years. With this award, CCSSO recognizes extensive, long-term service and commitment to improving public education.
Evers previously served as the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction, and from 2014 to 2017 was a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors, serving as its president for one of those years. Evers was selected in recognition of his commitment to equity and serving America’s children and his lasting legacy in leading the effort to develop the foundational document, Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs, which continues to anchor CCSSO’s work today.
“CCSSO is grateful for Gov. Evers’ consistent and bold leadership and for his extraordinary dedication to educational equity as Wisconsin’s State Superintendent for Public Instruction and during his tenure as President of CCSSO’s Board of Directors. We are honored to present him with the Distinguished Service Award and to recognize his commitment to create a more equitable education system for every child,” said CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller.
Evers was presented his award at the Council’s 2019 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
“As an educator, a principal, a district administrator, a state superintendent, and now as governor, I've always said that what’s best for our kids is best for our state,” Gov. Evers said. “Our public schools are the heart and soul of our communities, but they also are essential to sustainable, innovative and long-term economic growth and workforce development. Investing in our kids and our public schools will yield dividends for our future, but we have to make sure every kid has the chance to succeed. I’m honored to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers and look forward to working together as we increase opportunities and close gaps for our kids."
Previous award recipients include former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester (posthumously), Rep. George Miller, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Marian Wright Edelman, President Lyndon Johnson and the four architects of the Every Student Succeeds Act: Chairman Lamar Alexander, Sen. Patty Murray, Chairman John Kline and Rep. Bobby Scott.
“Tony is an exceptional leader, who has taken his passion for equity, serving students and strengthening our educational system from his school system to the state house,” said Pedro Rivera, CCSSO Board President and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. “He is truly deserving of this momentous recognition as he continues to lead and advocate for what is best for students and families.”
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, Bureau of Indian Education, 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.
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