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2013 Brock Prize Nominees

Freda Deskin

Freda Deskin
Nominated By:  Bill White

Dr. Freda Deskin is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the award-winning Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) Schools in Oklahoma City. ASTEC was the first start-up charter school in the state and serves nearly 1,000 inner-city students in grades 6-12. Dr. Deskin has long been an innovator in education, impacting hundreds of thousands of learners. She established the “Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind,” the Oklahoma and International Aerospace Academies, “Team Quest” ropes and leadership programs at both OU and OCU, and co-founded For Youth Initiatives (FYI), a high school dropout awareness and prevention program.

 

Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin

Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin
Nominated By:  David A. Wick

Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin are cofounders of the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP. KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 125 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia that serve more than 39,000 students. KIPP builds a partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first. By providing outstanding educators, more time in school learning, and a strong culture of achievement, KIPP is helping all students climb the mountain to and through college.

 

Howard E. Gardner

Howard E. Gardner
Nominated by:  Richard K. Miller

Dr. Howard E. Gardner is an American developmental psychologist who is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero, and author of over twenty books translated into thirty languages. Since 1995, he has been the co-director of the GoodWork Project. He is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, as outlined in his book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences” (1983). He received the Prince of Asturias Award 2011 in Social Sciences for the development of this theory.

 

Marilyn M. Irving

Marilyn M. Irving
Nominated by:  Lucretia Octavia Tripp

Dr. Marilyn M. Irving is a professor at Howard University in Washington D.C. and is the Chief Executive Officer of Irving and Associates.  For the past 13 years, she has served as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and faculty of record on a variety of funded projects by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.  She has facilitated workshops and developed materials for secondary science teachers and community groups.  Dr. Irving has collaborated with actor and comedian Bill Cosby to address bullying and has developed materials to disseminate both locally and nationally to schools, community groups, and professional development organizations.

 

Reynaldo L. Martinez

Reynaldo L. Martinez
Nominated by:  H. Mark American Horse

Dr. Reynaldo L. Martinez is Department Head and Professor,
Department of Adult and Career Education, College of Education, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. His prolific career as a leader in Occupational and Adult Education spans over 34 years and has had an exponential impact on students, educators, policy makers, educational systems, and national infrastructures. Through his encouragement and personal example, he has impacted education in a variety of ways on national and international levels. Perhaps most notably, after the devastating effects of Hurricane Mitch, Dr. Martinez lead a two-year project in Honduras to help that country rebuild and strengthen its entire educational infrastructure.

 

Robert C. Pianta

Robert C. Pianta
Nominated by:  Andrea K. Rorrer

Dr. Robert C. Pianta is Dean at Curry School of Education and Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. Dr. Pianta’s contributions to education have shed light specifically on “what is effective, quality teaching.” His work is simultaneously designed to be accessible to and applicable for practitioners, policy makers, and other scholars alike. His scholarship exemplifies the thoughtful, intellectually focused, and rigorous empirical research that ensures a solid foundation of knowledge, illuminates the fundamental importance of teacher-student interactions, and both the “what” and the “how” of effective teaching.

 

Thomas M. Skrtic

Thomas M. Skrtic
Nominated by:  Michael Riendeau

Dr. Thomas M. Skrtic is professor of education in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. His academic interests are classical pragmatism, institutional theory, and democratic social reform. He was recognized in the Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership as one of the two most influential figures in reconceptualizing the philosophy and practice of special education. Professor Skrtic’s pioneering work in disabilities education has formed the basis for a fundamental critique of contemporary special education theory and practice. According to Skrtic’s critique, we must recognize disability as the outcome of our institutional practices rather than as a simple fact of neurobiology.

 

Linda M. Thor

Linda M. Thor
Nominated by:  Vernon C. Smith

Dr. Linda M. Thor is Chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District. Dr. Thor is an innovator and leader in Community Colleges, the largest sector in higher education. Her efforts to reshape education have become a “proof point” that access, quality, and the cost of education need not be limited to current thinking. Specifically, she has pioneered significant reform efforts in continuous quality improvement for colleges, online and Internet education, dual enrollment, and making resources readily accessible to all students. Her ideas and innovative approaches generate new ideas and thinking that will continue to help students and educators now and in the future.

 

Mark D. Williams

Mark D. Williams
Nominated by:  Lori L. Lamb

Mark D. Williams is an English, Speech and Multimedia teacher at North Heights Alternative School in Amarillo, Texas. Williams began teaching at age 40 after a career as both a sportswriter and business owner. His students have produced award-winning documentaries and Public Service
Announcements. This year, he successfully guided the first high school class in America to create a professional app for iTunes.  Williams loves working with at-risk students and believes that by integrating sound educational philosophies (many of which were created by former Brock nominees) with realistic, rigorous, organic and relevant practices, alternative education can be a working example of how schools can and must meet the needs of all students.