The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.



Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Education recognizes distinguished leaders for their contributions to improving education for all children. Up to three “Distinguished Service” awards are given to state board members from across the country for their outstanding contributions to education. Two awards are given to individuals: the “Policy Leader of the Year” and  “Friend of Education” awards. The Awards Committee or Board of Directors may also designate a “David A. Kysilko Award” winner, an individual who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to NASBE values and service to state boards of education. The award is named after David Kysilko who was a longtime employee at NASBE as director of publications and editor. Winners are nationally recognized at NASBE’s Annual Conference each year.

The Awards Committee appreciates having a wide variety of excellent candidates from which to choose in making their recommendations. We urge all NASBE member states to nominate at least one person or organization in each award category. The mere nomination is a great honor for those so recognized.

The deadline for all award submissions is May 31, 2022. Please contact Sharon Cannon with questions about award nominations.

Distinguished Service Award(s):

This award provides an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions to education made by state board of education members from across the country. NASBE members may nominate for national recognition current or recently retired board members whose efforts on behalf of education are deemed to be of outstanding benefit to the quality of American education and the shaping of its future.

Policy Leader of the Year Award:

This award provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions to education made by national or state policymakers and education leaders. NASBE members may nominate individuals (other than members of state boards of education) who have specifically had an impact on education policy and the education system, either in their role as national policymakers and administrators, or as citizens who have contributed to the improvement of education through venues such as national commissions, task forces, or other significant boards and organizations. Past award recipients have included included: governors; mayors; state legislators, members of congress; national advocates or champions of children’s issues or learning; significant authors of education books or other writings; and state education chiefs.

Friend of Education Award:

This award provides an opportunity to recognize citizens or organizations whose primary work may be outside the realm of education policy and education systems, but whose contributions to education are significant and enduring. NASBE members may nominate a person or organization (for example, individuals or organizations from the fields of business, the arts, entertainment, or sports), whose past or current efforts on behalf of education are deemed to be of outstanding benefit to the students in our nation’s schools, to the people who work in the field of education, and to the quality of American education overall. Past award recipients have included include: state or national philanthropy (as organizations); state or national philanthropic leaders; education research institutes; state or national education initiatives; national association leaders; and businesses.

 

Distinguished Service Nomination Form
Policy Leader of the Year Nomination Form
Friend of Education Nomination Form
David Kysilko Award Nomination Form



Featured Items

Portrait of a happy young teacher holding a tablet with her students in the background. Image Credit: iStock i

Equipping Teachers

Teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention tops the priorities among state board members for better information to guide policymaking.
School Building Interior, Drinking Fountain; Image Credit: iStock i

Investing Equitably in School Facilities

With newly available federal infrastructure funding, states can direct resources toward school facilities with the most need.
Photo of Phoenix skyline i

Annual Conference 2022

This October 26-29, join us in Phoenix, Arizona for NASBE's Annual Conference, the only conference designed specifically for state board members. Register now!

Upcoming Events

From the States