Four Longtime State Education Leaders Receive National Honor

Oct 14, 2010, 09:00 ET from National Association of State Boards of Education

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State education leaders from Colorado, Florida, Utah and West Virginia are the recipients of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). The national award is given annually to state board of education members in recognition of outstanding service to public education.

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"Randy DeHoff, T. Willard Fair, Greg Haws and Barbara Fish are the embodiment of the professionalism and dedication we so need in education leadership," said NASBE Executive Director Brenda Welburn. "State boards are the backbone of American public education, and this system is at its most effective when board members like our four honorees are involved. Every year, hundreds of citizens serve unsung as the people's voice in public education by serving on state boards of education and we honor the outstanding commitment in time, motivation and leadership these individuals have contributed to educating the students of their states."

Randy DeHoff has served on the Colorado State Board of Education from the state's 6th congressional district since 1999 and will complete his second term at the end of this year. He has served as chairman and vice chairman and has earned a reputation as a non-partisan defender of high quality public education. During his tenure on the state board, he has served as a regional representative on the NASBE board of directors, several NASBE study groups and represented NASBE on the steering committee to revise the standards for the 2004 NAEP Math Assessment. He also served as executive director of the Colorado Charter School Institute, a statewide chartering authority, for more than four years.

In Florida, T. Willard Fair has served on the state board since 2003 and as its chairman since 2006. A longtime advocate for his community as chairman and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami, he has been dedicated to education as a professor at several higher education institutions in Florida and Georgia. In addition, he is a cofounder of Liberty City Charter School in Miami, the first charter school organized in the state of Florida.

Barbara Fish, formerly of the West Virginia State Board of Education, is a well-known proponent of student health initiatives in her state. During her board service from 2000-2009, she chaired the panel's Wellness Committee, and while she was board president, the board established statewide standards for foods and beverages sold in public schools. In addition, Mrs. Fish was co-chair of the NASBE Obesity Prevention Project and served as NASBE's representative on the Institutes of Medicine panel that issued Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth in 2007. A longtime classroom teacher, she also served as a member of West Virginia's Commission for Professional Development, where she worked on improving teacher quality.

Utah's Greg Haws has served on the state board since 2000 and has been NASBE's secretary-treasurer for four years. As a member of his state board, Mr. Haws has led multiple committees, and as a member and leader of the Finance Committee, he has been active in collaborating with the governor and legislators in developing the board's annual budget. In addition, he has had significant input in the auditing procedures and rules for auditing education programs, obtaining teacher salary increases based on market needs and mentoring and training programs. He has also been the board's representative on the state Board of Regents for the last four years.

The awards are being presented at NASBE's national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 15.

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America's state and territorial boards of education. NASBE exists to strengthen State Boards as the preeminent educational policymaking bodies for citizens and students. For more, visit

SOURCE National Association of State Boards of Education