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Alumni Excellence in Education Award

Our alumni are changing the world. Each year the Alumni Excellence in Education Award honors GSE alumni for their contributions to the field.

The GSE welcomes nominations for the award. Recipients are honored at a ceremony during reunion weekend in the fall.

Submit a nomination

2020 Recipients

Photo of Ronald Herring, ’58,  MA ’73, PHD ’73
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ronald Herring, ’58, MA ’73, PHD ’73

Stanford International Development Education Center
Founder and Director, California
International Studies Project, Equity and Access Project

HERRING initiated and managed a California network of university-school partnerships to strengthen global studies teaching and learning in K-12 schools. His work focused on the use of academically engaging instructional processes, with an emphasis on responding to the challenges and skills of learners facing marginalization. He is recognized for his lifetime commitment to cross-cultural understanding and his knowledge of how to launch and sustain initiatives within complex organizational structures.

Photo of Maricela Montoy-Wilson, ’08, MA ’09
Maricela Montoy-Wilson, ’08, MA ’09

Stanford Teacher Education Program
Principal, Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School

MONTOY-WILSON is known for building and empowering a community of self-directed learners and instructional staff who flourish under her leadership. Her entire professional life has focused on lifting the voices of underserved students, families, and her community. She builds structures that support excellence and sustainability, while ensuring that every child and teacher can thrive and cultivate their curiosities and passions.

Photo of Kelley M. Skeff, MD, PhD ’81
Kelley M. Skeff, MD, PhD ’81

Curriculum Studies & Teacher Education
George DeForest Barnett Professor of Medicine
Stanford University Medical Center

SKEFF helps medical faculty at Stanford and all over the world improve their teaching effectiveness. He and Georgette Stratos, PhD, created the Stanford Faculty Development Center, resulting in the training of over 30,000 faculty and residents. He regards education and medicine as synergistic helping professions. His work has driven interest in medical education research and has emphasized the importance and nobility of both fields.

Photo of Laura Wentworth, MA ’06, PhD ’10
Early Career Award
Laura Wentworth, MA ’06, PhD ’10

Social Sciences Education, Administration & Policy Analysis
Director of Research Practice Partnerships
San Francisco Unified School District

WENTWORTH is known as a passionate advocate for public education. Her contributions to construct and sustain a model of social innovation through a long-term and generative collaboration between a major urban district and a university have emerged as a model for other districts and universities. In doing so, she is transforming research-practice partnerships.

Photo of Dan Schwartz

“GSE alumni are leading the way in efforts to elevate the promise of education for children, families and nations. This award marks a critical step in our drive to highlight the transformative work of our alumni.”

Daniel L. Schwartz

I. James Quillen Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Educational Technology

2019 Recipients

Photo of Alexandra Bernadotte, MA '07

Founder & CEO, Beyond 12

Bernadotte and Beyond 12 support first-generation students in the transition to college via virtual human coaches and predictive analytics that connect K-12 and higher-ed student data. By demonstrating that all students can graduate from college, Bernadotte is altering the definition of student success in the United States.

Photo of Irene Castillon, MA '10

Teacher and Assistant Principal, Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School

Castillon is known for cultivating teachers through coaching and instruction, and for designing research on best practices for teaching first-generation, low-income students. A dynamic and passionate educator, Castillon helps her students and colleagues find their voices as learners and leaders.

Early Career Award
Photo of Larry Cuban, PhD '74

Professor Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Cuban's scholarship has illuminated the relationship among school structure, culture, and change for more than a generation. Named GSE Teacher of the Year seven times, he models the best of what a teacher can be for his students and colleagues, and has shaped discourse across multiple sub-fields of education.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Photo of Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD '84

Professor emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education

Ladson-Billings, an early proponent of critical race theory and culturally relevant pedagogy, exemplifies what it means to be both a scholar and an activist. She is recognized for her significant contributions to our understanding of the obstacles confronting all students of color.

2018 Recipients

Photo of Kimberly Gordon Biddle, EdS ’90, PhD ’93

Kimberly Gordon Biddle’s work sheds light on the role poverty and racism play in shaping a child’s future

Photo of Joyce E. King, ’69, PhD ’74

Joyce E. King is recognized for her work on issues around racial equity and justice in American education

Photo of Bernardo H. Naranjo, PhD ’02

Bernardo H. Naranjo designs and implements strategies to improve public school systems in Latin America

2017 Recipients

Photo of David Berliner, PhD ’68

David Berliner, PhD ’68, brings psychological advances to his study of teaching and impassioned rigor to his ongoing defense of public schools

Photo of Jeff Gilbert, ’89, MA ’90

Principal Jeff Gilbert, ’89, MA ’90, leads community and change in San Mateo, Calif.

Photo of Kirstin Milks, PhD ’09, MA ’10

Bloomington High School South’s Kirstin Milks teaches with inquiry, empathy and a constant drive to improve.

Photo of Gary Mukai, MA ’81

Gary Mukai, MA ’81, enriches classrooms in America and beyond as head of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education

2016 Recipients

Photo of Joseph Castro, PhD ’98

Alum Joseph Castro has boosted academic achievement by meeting the everyday challenges of his students.

Photo of Haydee Rodriguez, MA ’02

Haydee Rodriguez is recognized for her commitment to her students, high standards and creating powerful learning experiences.

Photo of Piya Sorcar, MA ’06, PhD ’09

Piya Sorcar reaches across disciplines and around the world to prevent disease and educate youth.

2015 Recipients

Photo of Jonathan Jansen, PhD ’91

Jonathan Jansen has been inspiring students throughout South Africa with a lesson he learned at Stanford: Aim high and think big.

Photo of Helen Kim, ’92, MA ’93

Helen Kim oversees daily miracles at Eastside College Preparatory School where students defy the odds and go on to college.

Photo of Carla Pugh, PhD ’01

Carla Pugh’s frustrations with medical training led her to Stanford Graduate School of Education. She graduated four years later with a plan.

Submit a nomination

2019 GSE Alumni Awards and Recognition Committee

This award program is led by a group of dedicated Stanford GSE alumni who are partnering with the school to strengthen and engage the GSE alumni community by recognizing the outstanding contributions of GSE trained teachers, principals, scholars, innovators, and education leaders.

Photo of committee of people.

Alumni committee members

Gabriel Adauto, MA ’10, Rebecca Altamirano, MA ’01, Derrick Bolton, MA/MBA ’98, Paul Chapman, MA ’71, PhD ’80, Fadia Desmond, MA ’95, Norma Francisco, PhD ’99, Moolani Napolitani, MA ’06, Rudy Rubio, ’08, MA ’09, Thea Gentile Smith, MA ’89

Faculty committee members

Shelley Goldman, Rie Kijima, Michael Kirst, Emi Kuboyama, Rachel Lotan, Amado Padilla

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