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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. One additional distinguished service award is given to a student board member or member of a board’s student advisory council. Three awards awards are given to non-board member individuals: the “Policy Leader of the Year”,  “Friend of Education,” and the “David A. Kysilko Award.” Criteria for each award can be found here. 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 June 10, 2024. Please contact Celina Pierrottet with questions about award nominations.

Distinguished Service Award(s):

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions to education made by state board of education members from across the country. NASBE members may nominate 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. Up to three awards may be given each year.

Distinguished Service Nomination Form

Distinguished Student Service Award:

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions made by a student member of a state board of education or student member of a state board student advisory council. This award is not required to be awarded if a candidate of sufficient merit is not among those recommended. A nominee for the Distinguished Student Service Award must be a current student member or a student member who has recently concluded their service.

Distinguished Student Service Nomination Form

Policy Leader of the Year Award:

This award recognizes 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 a broad and substantial 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. Additionally, members of the Awards Committee may identify individuals for consideration for this award based on their awareness of the national education landscape and in consultation with NASBE staff, members, and leadership.

Policy Leader of the Year Nomination Form

Friend of Education Award:

This award recognizes citizens whose primary work may be outside the realm of education policy and education systems, but whose contributions to education are of national significance 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. Additionally, members of the Awards Committee may identify individuals for consideration for this award based on their awareness of the national education landscape and in consultation with NASBE staff, members and leadership.

Friend of Education Nomination Form

David A. Kysilko Award:

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to NASBE values and service of state boards of education. Current or former state board members are not eligible for this award. The focus of this award is on “unsung heroes”—service-oriented individuals who have often worked outside the spotlight and made significant contributions through their commitment, dedication, and service to the specific work of state boards of education, state education systems, or NASBE. This award is named after David Kysilko who was a longtime employee at NASBE in the position of editorial director. This award is not required to be awarded if a candidate of sufficient merit is not among those recommended.

David Kysilko Award Nomination Form



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