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People: "Bammys" Honor Educators, Media, Bloggers

Last week was the 1st annual Bammys, a "cross-discipline" awards ceremony for "Educators, Thought Leaders, National Officials and Twitterati."

Joyandemmeline

From the press release: "Some 350 prominent educators, thought leaders, and national officials, together with the education Twitterati, came to Washington, D.C., from around the nation to be part of the inaugural annual Bammy Awards recognizing excellence across the education village."

As you may already know, Huffington Post's Joy Resmovits won for best education reporter.  That's her on the left, holding her award statuette, with education page editor Emmeline Zhao.   (Red carpet pics stolen off of Facebook.)

Read below for the full list of awardees, which includes other familiar names including Sam Chaltain, LDH, Diane Ravitch, and John Merrow. Toppo was there.  A bunch of bloggers were recognized, too, including Chris Lehmann and a bunch of other names new to me. If I was only going to follow one of them, who should that be?

NB This is all part of the BAM Radio Network, which I've appeared on, and as I undertand it is a campaign funded in part through AASA.  

The distinctive Bammy Award statuette was presented to 15 educators and education professionals as standard bearers for the part of the education community they represent. In recognition of parents’ role as the earliest educators in a child’s life, the first Bammy Award ever presented was given by Betsy Landers, president of the National PTA, to Lesley Kowalski, president of Mantua Elementary School PTA in Fairfax, Virginia. The fourteen other educators and education professionals to receive Bammy Awards were:

Jo-Ann Spence, Lowell Day Nursery School - Child Care Center Director 
Sam Chaltain - Education Commentator/ Blogger 
Daniel Willingham, University of Virginia - Education Policy/Researcher 
Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post – Education Reporter 
Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University - Education School Professor 
Anna Allenbrook , Brooklyn New School, P.S. 146 - Elementary School Principal 
Debra Palmer, Waldo County Head Start - Head Start Staff Member 
Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute - Innovator of the Year 
Jose Gerardo Gomez, Alamo Colleges - Maintenance Manager 
Malikah N. Jenkins, School District of Philadelphia - Secondary School Teacher 
Mary Broderick, Connecticut School Board Association - School Board Leader 
Gail Trano, Corlears School - School Nurse 
Heath Morrison, Washoe County Schools - School Superintendent 
Lynne Batty, Beverly School for the Deaf - Special Needs Staff

In addition, Lifetime Achievement Bammy Awards were presented to:

Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education 
John Merrow, correspondent, PBS and Learning Matters 
Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education, Stanford University

Some of the nation’s most influential bloggers were also recognized that evening as part of the event. Among them were Adam Bellow, Angela Maiers, Chris Lehmann, Deven Black, Erin Klein, George Couros, Joyce Valenza, Kelly Tenkley, Joan Young, Kyle Pace, Lisa Nielsen, Mary Beth Hertz, Nicholas Provenzano, Patrick Larkin, Shannon Miller, Shelly Blake-Plock, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Shelly Terrell, Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby, Eric Sheninger and Joe Mazza. The full group, referred to as the “Twiterrati,” were presented as part of an annual Bammy initiative called the “BAM 100,” aimed at bringing the most influential new voices in education into the national spotlight.

Intended to combat the negative narrative around educators by celebrating them on par with the way our culture celebrates entertainers, the event was uncharacteristically glitzy and glamorous for the education community. The evening included red carpets, limousines, tuxes and gowns, paparazzi, radio and television crews, 25 members of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, conducted by Henry Sgrecci, the Youth Orchestra of Prince William and the presentation of a handcrafted, individually numbered award specifically designed to be on par with and the Oscar and the Emmy. Response to the unprecedented inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive:

“I’m very excited about it because it’s the first time that educators have ever gotten the attention they deserve, and this is a particular time in our history when educators are not getting the respect they need and deserve so it make this an auspicious occasion,” said Diane Ravitch.

“This matters because it’s an organization that realizes that it takes a village. Education is a cooperative effort among a whole group of forces; it doesn’t happen unless everybody works together and so it’s really an honor to be singled out by a group like this,” stated John Merrow.

Eric Sheninger, school principal and part of the Twitterati, commented, “This is just a great opportunity to share with so many important people the other important people who are behind the scenes.”

“We are very excited to be here, and I’m so glad that you gave us an opportunity to be recognized. I believe recognition is extremely important,” said Caroline Hendrie, executive director of the Education Writers Association.

“I know that all of us can agree that great teachers have an amazing power to transform the lives of children every single day. But we also know these dedicated professionals can’t do it alone. They need the support of administrators, of parents, of community leaders and of the educators and para-professionals they teach alongside of in their buildings every single day,” remarked Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

About the Bammy Awards

The Bammy Awards were created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes and the intense scrutiny that today's educators face as a result. The Bammy Awards acknowledge that teachers can't educate children alone and don't do it alone. The awards aim to foster cross-discipline recognition for the vital role played by every member of the education village, encourage collaboration and respect across the various domains, elevate education and education successes in the public eye, and raise the profile and voices of the many undervalued and unrecognized people who are making a difference in the field every day.

The Bammy Awards are presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, made up of 164 of the nation’s most prominent and influential education leaders and professional associations.

The executive producer of the Bammy Awards was Errol St. Clair Smith with associate producers, Rae Pica, Holly Hagler, Jeannette Bernstein and Eric Sheninger. Co-hosts for the event were Dr. Mark Ginsberg and Nelson Davis.

Sponsors for the evening included School Health Corporation, Gojo-Purell, Cardiac Science, Enablemart and BAM Radio Network.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.