Four Veteran Educators Receive 2010 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award

Jan. 19, 2010

Amy Vogt

ARLINGTON, Va. - Four veteran educators and members of the American Association of School Administrators will be honored with the 2010 Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award during the 2010 AASA National Conference on Education, Feb. 11-13 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The award honors Jones’ effort and commitment to elevate the status of minorities and women in education and her legacy of justice, humanity and promise for all children. She was associate executive director and organizer of the Office of Minority Affairs at AASA and was profiled in the film “Women at the Top” for her work with women who aspired to the superintendency. Prior to coming to AASA, Jones was a school administrator, teacher and counselor.

The recipients were selected by an external panel of judges based on evidence of their advocacy, mentorship and advancement of women and minorities and/or their commitment to address social justice issues among children, youth and adults in public education.

The 2010 recipients are as follows:

Barbara DeHart, professor in the school of educational studies and director of the urban leadership doctoral program at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., has focused her life and career on social justice for minorities and women. Throughout her 38-year career, DeHart has demonstrated courageous action and tenaciously fought on behalf of many worthy causes. For example, as superintendent in Westminster School District in Orange County, Calif., DeHart fought for the rights of transgender students when the school board selected not to follow state law and approve a state-mandated policy that included transgender children as a protected class. She has also piloted programs and initiatives that assist underprivileged students and parents. Additionally, she developed and implemented an innovative structure and collaboration entitled The Building Capacity for School Leaders Program in Westminster, which identified women and minorities throughout the district to participate in leadership education and professional development. During the past five years as a professor at Claremont Graduate University, DeHart has had the honor to successfully recruit, teach, advise, coach and mentor a diverse cohort of Ph.D. students who are future and current leaders in urban K-12 schools, community colleges and universities.

Barbara L. Jackson, professor emerita, Fordham University, has been committed to the field of educational administration for almost 50 years. She has served as teacher, professor, scholar, center director, department chair, associate dean and dean. Jackson is considered by many to be a trailblazer who opened avenues of research and practice that have made a significant impact on the lives of others, on the operations and structures of institutions and organizations, and on the field of educational administration. Among other achievements, Jackson initiated doctoral programs in educational administration at Morgan and Atlanta universities, both historically black institutions. As director of evaluation for the National Urban League, Jackson developed evaluation plans for street academies. A close colleague of Effie Jones, Jackson has conducted research on women in education, with concentration on women of color. Her work was seminal and facilitated this area of research for those who followed her. Jackson serves on many boards, including the Board of Trustees of Hampton University, and is an emeriti member of the Board of Trustees of Wellesley College. In recognition of her consistent and integral work with mentoring young researchers, the University Council for Educational Administration named the Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Program, which is focused on developing and mentoring scholars of color into the educational leadership professoriate, in her honor.

Judith Johnson’s fierce dedication to educating all children to high and challenging academic standards has made a difference in many ways over the course of her career. She was named to her current position as superintendent of New York’s Peekskill City School District in 2001, becoming the first woman and first African American to serve in this post. She immediately engaged the community in developing a strategic plan to level the playing field so Peekskill students had access to comparable to those of children in wealthier districts. The changes she has overseen have resulted in important student gains, such as a rise in the high school graduation rate from 55 percent to 76 percent. Prior to her arrival in Peekskill, Johnson was appointed by then-Secretary of Education Richard Riley to serve as deputy assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education and later as acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, where she provided leadership for federal education programs that addressed the educational needs of America’s 51 million students. In acknowledgment of her professional achievements and commitment to education, Johnson received the Maxine Giacobbe Award for exceptional work to reduce gender inequities and promote outstanding achievement from the New York Association of Women Administrators, was named 2008 New York State School Superintendent of the Year, and in 2009 was designated by Brooklyn College, her undergraduate alma mater, as one of four Alumni of the Year honorees.

Dianne Boardley Suber is the first woman president of Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. During her career, Suber has dedicated much time and effort to advocacy for children, especially those who are disenfranchised from the education arena. At Saint Augustine’s, her mantra — At the beginning of the day it is all about potential; at the end of the day it is all about results — is everywhere and influences her daily interactions with students. To close the gap in their experience and exposure, she has established programs to broaden students' cultural and civic experiences. She almost never gives up on a student and will go to the mat to keep others from doing so. Jones gave Suber her first turtle pen as a sign of a risk taker. Suber wears the turtle as a reminder of that assessment, that compliment and that directive from Jones. She recommits daily to making a difference, and has thrown herself full-force into both children’s advocacy and her role as Saint Augustine’s president.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit