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Brock Prize Jurors for the 2014 Laureate


Marie-Heleen Coetzee

Marié-Heleen Coetzee
Professor and Head of Department, Drama Department, University of Pretoria
Nominee:  Carol Hofmeyr

Dr. Marié-Heleen Coetzee is professor and head of the Drama Department at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has been involved in drama/theatre/performance education and training in the higher education sector since 1994. She was on faculty of the drama department at the University of Zululand (UNIZUL) before joining the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2000. Her doctoral research centered on the use of Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies as a pedagogical and methodological tool in teaching Zulu stick fighting as a form of stage combat to performers in a multicultural context. The diversity of her teaching responsibilities at UNIZUL and UP allowed her to explore multi-mode methodologies and diverging pedagogical approaches in changing cultural contexts.  Her creative work explores various modalities of performance and demonstrates an interest in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary pollination, community engagement, multi-mode methodologies and diverging pedagogical approaches in changing cultural contexts.  She has presented papers and workshops at national and international conferences, contributed scholarly publications, supervised MA and DPhil candidates, and directed/choreographed productions on various platforms. She has served on the artistic advisory committee of the IOSP and currently serves on the board of the Aardklop/Clover National Arts Festival.


Mark A. Gooden

Mark A. Gooden
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration; Director of The University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program (UTAPP)
Nominee:  Vanessa Siddle Walker

Gooden's research interests include the principalship, anti-racist leadership, urban educational leadership and legal issues in education. His research has appeared in Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Education and Urban Society, The Journal of Negro Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, The Sage Handbook of African-American Education, The Principal’s Legal Handbook, Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Equity Diversity, and others. He serves on the Executive Committee for University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and is currently President-Elect of that organization. Gooden has also served on various committees for the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Before entering higher education, Gooden served as a secondary mathematics teacher and department chairperson who facilitated professional development workshops for and with teachers and educational leaders in Columbus Public Schools. He has spent 12 years in higher education developing and teaching courses in leadership, diversity, law, and research methods. During that time he has developed, designed, and facilitated professional development courses in diversity, leadership, and law. Gooden co-developed a module for UCEA that helps leaders understand how examining their beliefs, attitudes, and awareness can improve their ability to support diverse learners. Gooden earned his PhD in Policy and Leadership from The Ohio State University.


Frank Hernandez

Frank Hernandez
Associate Professor & Dean: College of Education, University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Nominee:  Ellen Moir

Frank Hernandez, Ph.D. is an associate professor and Dean in the college of Education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Before joining UTPB, he served as the associate dean of the School of Education at Hamline University. His research interests include the intersection of identity and school leadership, equity and social justice, the principalship, Latina/os, and school leadership. Dr. Hernandez’s work has been published in Educational Administrative Quarterly, Education and the Urban Review, Journal of School Leadership, and the Journal of Leadership Education. Dr. Hernandez is also one of the founding scholars of The National Latino Leadership Project (NLLP), an effort that is focused on learning about the contributions that Latina/o school leaders are making to the PK-12 public school system. During his 15 years in public education, Dr. Hernandez has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district coordinator of multicultural programming for several Midwestern urban school districts. He is the Past President of the Minnesota Network of Latinos in Higher Education and currently serves as the Secretary / Treasure of the Leadership for Social Justice Special Interest Group of the American Education Research Association (AERA).


Elaine Hutchison

Elaine Hutchison
Teacher and Instructional Coach, Fairview Public Schools
Nominees:  Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams

Elaine Hutchison is a National Board Certified mathematics teacher and instructional coach from Fairview, Oklahoma.  She has over 20 years of classroom experience, and has taught mathematics at literally every level from 6th grade math and remedial Algebra, to Trigonometry and AP Calculus BC.  She has taught for more than 14 years for Fairview Public Schools, and was a Calculus Professor for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center for four years.  Elaine has additionally coached girls basketball, softball, and track, and was the assistant coach for Fairview’s 2012 Class 2A Girls Basketball State Championship team.


Elaine earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from Oklahoma State University in 1992.  While at OSU she was recognized as a Top Ten Freshman and Outstanding Senior Woman.


Most recently Elaine was named the 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, and was presented the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award by the Fairview Chamber of Commerce.


As a passionate STEM educator, Elaine has developed a strong interest in the use of technology to facilitate differentiated instruction in the classroom.

Marie Sobers

Marie Sobers
Internship Supervisor, George Mason University; Presenter and Advocate for Non-traditional Education
Nominee:  Franklin Schargel

Dr. Sobers has followed her passion in the field of alternative/non-traditional education for over 35 years as a teacher, principal, transition coordinator, professor, and instructional coach to students, staff, and administrators. She prides herself in providing whatever service necessary for student success.  She is a facilitator of learning. Her passion lies with students who thrive in non-traditional settings, whether it is within a traditional school, special education classroom, juvenile detention center, or group home for adjudicated youth.   In an effort to bring comprehensive services to her students, she serves as education representative to a variety of community and statewide interagency task forces and has embraced leadership roles in the International Correctional Education Association and the State and National Alternative Education Associations.

In recent years, while continuing to provide direct service to staff, students and families, Dr. Sobers also serves as an internship supervisor for George Mason University and is presenter and advocate in the field of non-traditional education.  She firmly believes that research is critical but for research to be truly meaningful, it must be put into practice.  For many in her field, she is the conduit from research to practice.


Robert M. Starr

Robert M. Starr
NASA Learning Environments and Research Network Project Manager (LE&RN)
Nominee:  Laurie Ruberg

Bob Starr has logged over 42 years as an educator.  He taught high school English before teaching humanities as part of a federal grant to develop and implement a program for rural gifted students in 1974.  He then taught at James Madison University in Virginia from 1979-1998 in the discipline of media arts and design while managing the university’s television production center.  For 15 years, during that time, he also created and operated a regional video production company (Independent Video Associates) serving clients in the Shenandoah Valley of VA.  A three-month sabbatical at NASA Langley Research Center in 1998 turned into a post-retirement career lasting 15 years to the present.  He received a doctorate in instructional technology and distance learning in 2005 from Nova Southeastern University.  Bob has worked as a multimedia producer, web designer, project manager, and communications consultant during his years with NASA. He manages the NASA LE&RN Project, which consists of the NASA’s Digital Learning Network™, Classroom of the Future, and Electronic Professional Development Network.  Additionally,  he once served as acting NASA Education Program Manager for K-12/eEducation at NASA Headquarters for several months. Bob and his wife of 43 years have two children, 6 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.


Sherman Whites

Sherman Whites
Program Officer, K-12 Education Reform, The Walton Family Foundation
Nominee:  Eli Broad

Sherman Whites manages investments in the southeast region for the Walton Family Foundation’s Systemic K-12 Education Reform team.  Sherman joined the foundation after working in New Orleans as part of the Broad Foundation’s Residency in Urban Education.  Prior to working in education reform, he held brand management and operations roles at several Fortune 50 companies including Target Corporation, PepsiCo, and Ford Motor Company. He also gained experience as an adjunct instructor at North Carolina Central University.  Sherman earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University, and a MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.


Sharon J. Washington

Sharon J. Washington
Executive Director, National Writing Project, Berkeley, CA
Nominee:  P. David Pearson

Sharon J. Washington has over two decades of professional experience and scholarly work in social justice education, higher education administration, teacher preparation, outdoor recreation, sports, and the arts. Throughout her career she was been engaged in work that contributes to a greater understanding of individuals and groups and the ways in which work and learning communities can foster greater equity and inclusion. Dr. Washington’s career has included: Provost and Professor of Education at Spelman College in Atlanta; Special Assistant to the President for Diversity Initiatives at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC; and, Interim Director of Faculty Equity Programs at the University of California Office of the President in Oakland, California.

Throughout her career, Dr. Washington has demonstrated a strong commitment to the importance of high-quality literacy instruction for all students, and professional development for teachers across the K–16 spectrum. As the Founding Director of Project SPIRIT at Springfield College in Massachusetts, Dr. Washington developed an advising system that improved student retention and graduation, created a teacher preparation mentor program with K–12 teachers, and led a collaborative K–16 partnership that designed and implemented an academic enrichment program to encourage high school students of color to attend college.

“Dr. Washington was a tenured member of the faculties at both Kent State University and Springfield College, and a visiting faculty member at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. In addition, she was a Visiting Scholar in the Office of the President at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in higher education administration.”

Dr. Washington earned a Ph.D. in Education at The Ohio State University in 1988.  Her recent writings focus on multicultural alliances and coping with the emotional and intellectual challenges of teaching about social justice.


Vickie Williams

Vickie Williams
Executive Director, Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals; Associate Executive Director, Cooperative Council Oklahoma School Administrators
Nominees:  Keith Ballard, Jana Burk, and Talia Shaull

Leadership has been defined in many different ways - passion, integrity, vision, and service are just a few.  Dr. Vickie Williams’ career as an Oklahoma educator embodies these qualities.  Dr. Williams received her Bachelor of Science Degree, Elementary Education in 1975 from Oklahoma City University, her Master of Science, Secondary Education in 1978 from University of Central Oklahoma and her Doctorate of Higher Education/School Administration in 2003 from Oklahoma State University.


Dr. Williams served as a classroom teacher in Edmond Public Schools for 21 years, where she received the Distinguished Service Award for Edmond Public Schools in 1999.  Taking the lessons she learned in the classroom, Williams became an administrator in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Here she had the opportunity to serve not only as principal, but also as Director of Federal Programs and Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  While serving Guthrie Public Schools, Dr. Williams co-authored many grants, providing her district with over $8 million dollars.  She received the BRICK Award for Outstanding Guthrie Administrator in 2003.


Williams then served as Superintendent of Woodward Public Schools.  Williams led the building of the first LEED certified “green” early childhood school in the State of Oklahoma. While in Woodward, Dr. Williams led the first school team from Oklahoma to the Apple headquarters in California to develop a school-wide technology plan.


Today, Dr. Williams serves administrators across the state of Oklahoma as the Associate Director of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators.  As Director for the Association of Oklahoma Secondary School Administrators she has served on the Professional Development Committee for directors across the nation. Through her efforts, administrators in approximately 500 districts across Oklahoma have been trained in the new Teacher Leader Effectiveness model.  In addition to her work at the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators, Dr. Williams serves on several boards and participates as a member and leader of numerous professional organizations, not only in her home state of Oklahoma, but nationwide.