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Upton Sinclair Award Winners for 2013

Dec 27, 2013 by



Each year, since 2005,we have continued our search and review of the contributions from individuals in the field of education. We believe it is most important to continue our efforts to recognize leaders by including education authors, regular education, special education, gifted education, classroom teachers, principals and superintendents who exemplify Upton Sinclair’s integrity wherever they serve. We look “far and wide” for those who have continued to contribute the ” best of the best” in the field for their endeavors. We always welcome feedback and suggestions for future winners.

It is an honor and a privilege to add the following individuals as Upton Sinclair winners for 2013. As always, Education News Editor-n-Chief, Jimmy Kilpatrick, along with Delia Stafford, President & CEO Haberman Educational Foundation and Michael F. Shaughnessy Ph.D., Professor of Education, New Mexico State, wish each of the nominees continued success and hope that their stellar work continues. Please accept our sincere congratulations to each winner for your ongoing efforts to ensure that the children and youth of America have an opportunity to learn and pursue the American Dream!

Donna Garner: A career educator and author known to so many, taught in Texas classrooms for 33+ years, and was appointed by President Reagan and re-appointed by President George H. Bush to the National Commission on Migrant Education.  She also served on the English/Language Arts/Reading writing team for the state of Texas when the curriculum standards were developed in 1995-97. She then became the lead writer of the Texas Alternative Document for ELAR and years later worked unsolicited to help develop the new ELAR standards for Texas. Those so needed standards were adopted in May 2008.

Further, Ms. Garner was the writer/researcher for Scott & White Worth and served as the writer/consultant for an online tutorial to teach eager learners, English proficiency. In the last few years, as a writer, researcher, and publisher of articles covering political, social, and education issues, she has kept the public informed — never wavering from the “bottom line,” better said, “telling people the truth!” When making decisions for the children and youth of our nation, Donna’s work and her tenacity have set the road straight!

In the midst of her activities, Donna Garner has tried not to neglect her family; and she and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary this last summer. They have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren (freshman in college through third grader).

Her passion, so stated, “is to make sure that this and future generations appreciate and uphold the American dream so that all of the children and youth of America will have the opportunity to be successful.” Her dedication has made a difference! Indeed, a true Upton winner!

William Korach has held senior executive positions with Citibank, New England Life, and KPMG Consulting where he was responsible for implementing marketing technologies worldwide. Korach is a former Commander in the United States Naval Reserve who served on Active Duty during the 1960′s aboard the destroyer USS John R. Pierce and was recalled to active duty for Operation Desert Storm. At the close of Desert Storm, Korach wrote a paper for the Assistant Secretary of Defense on media coverage that was presented at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

He was president of the Navy League of the United States, St Augustine Council in 2010, and has written articles for Sea Power Magazine on National Security. The Navy League sponsors youth programs like Sea Cadets and Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Korach is an active instructor in these programs. Korach was educated at the University of Chicago Laboratory School and earned his BA at the University of Wisconsin in History.

Korach recently completed a history textbook Rock of the Republic because of his concern that America’s great heritage is no longer being taught in America’s schools. Mr. Korach, says: “I share the concern of David McCullough Pulitzer Prize winning author of 1776 and John Adams that our children’s ignorance of American history is a threat to national security.”

Mr. Korach has lived education, breathed education, fostered and sustained education for many years. His achievements have been remarkable.

Alan Singer  is a social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He is a member National Council for the Social Studies, New York State Council for the Social Studies, New Jersey Council for the Social Studies, Long Island Council for the Social Studies and the Association of Teachers of Social Studies (New York City). Dr. Singer is a graduate of the City College of New York and has a Ph.D. in American history from Rutgers University. He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. Dr. Singer is the author of Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2013), Social Studies For Secondary Schools, 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2008),Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011),  and New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008).

He was a co-director of the New York State Great Irish Famine Curriculum Guide and the editor of the “New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance” curriculum guide. Both curriculum projects were recipients of National Council for the Social Studies Program of Excellence Awards. He is a frequent contributor to Social Education and other professional publications.

Dr. Singer is a keen observer as to what is transpiring in his state and across the nation. His concern for student teachers, as well as the students that will be taught is commendable.

Bror Saxberg is Chief Learning Officer for Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) and a leading global provider of educational services offering post-secondary education, test preparation, professional training and K12 programs. Saxberg is responsible for the research and development of innovative learning strategies, technologies and products across Kaplan’s full range of educational services offerings.  He also oversees future developments and adoptions of innovative learning technologies and maintains consistent academic standards for Kaplan’s products and courses.

He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer at K12, Inc., where he was responsible for designing both online and off-line learning environments and developing new student products and services.  Prior to joining K12, Inc., he was Vice President at Knowledge Universe, where he co-founded the testing and assessment division which became known as Knowledge Testing Enterprises (KTE).

Saxberg began his career at McKinsey & Company, Inc. and later served as Vice President and General Manager for London-based DK Multimedia, part of DK Publishing, an education and reference publisher.

Saxberg holds a B.A. in Mathematics and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington that he received in 1980. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received a M.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University and also received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1989 and a M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1990.

Bror’s latest book ( co-authored with Rick Hess ) is probably my number one choice for “ Book of the Year “. As an educational psychologist, he knows the field, he knows learning and he knows educational technology and he understands the motivation of children, and the onus put on teachers.  

Rick Hess is an educator, political scientist and author, and he has studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include “Cage-Busting Leadership,” “The Same Thing Over and Over,” “Education Unbound,” “Common Sense School Reform,” “Revolution at the Margins,” and “Spinning Wheels.” He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, “Rick Hess Straight Up.” Hess’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind. 

Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.

Rick is always one step ahead of the field, knows where the field is going and knows the issues. His presence is keenly felt in his books and his appearances and workshops.

Paul Horton teaches United States and World History to 10th-12th graders at the Laboratory Schools. He is in his  thirty-first year of teaching History from 6th-12th grades. He has presented over thirty-five papers at state, regional, national, and international history and teaching conferences. His work has appeared in peer reviewed History publications including The Journal of Southern History and Civil War History. His History reviews have appeared in Social Education, The History Teacher, and The Alabama Review. His many commentaries on Educational issues have appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, Education Week, Education News, Diane Ravitch’s Blog, and the Daily Kos. He has written roadside History markers, spoken at the European Union Parliament at a global education conference, and dug nine field seasons beside students and colleagues at Crow Canyon Archeological Center seasonal sites.

He has served on the Editorial Board of a History Journal, as an AP History Reader, and as the Director of the Illinois Council for History Education. He has received six National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, three Gilder Lehrman Fellowships, a William Robertson Coe Fellowship, and a State of Iowa University System Regents Faculty Research Fellowship.

More important than his accomplishments (he states) are the accomplishments of his students! Fourteen of his students have won state History Day competitions in Iowa, Georgia, and Illinois, advancing to the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland. Recently, one of his students placed fifth nationally in the research paper category. Six of his students have been published in the prestigious Concord Review, including one who won a coveted Emerson award.

He is proud of every one of the students he has taught. They continue to inspire him and I looks forward to continue to learn about all of their wonderful accomplishments. He reports that he has boundless confidence that they will continue to overcome every challenge!

Paul has assumed a good deal of advocacy and leadership regarding educational concerns. He is often a lone voice in the wilderness- but his voice is heard and should be listened to.

Antoinette Tuff is a person and only the person upstairs knows how many student’s lives that she has saved. Confronted with some person who snuck into her school with a weapon, she calmly defused the situation, and saved many lives of many students and teachers. Often it is not the big policy analysts that should be recognized, not the book authors, but the people on the front lines of education who today put their lives on the line every day that they enter a school or classroom. Antoinette is a “ bookkeeper “ or “clerk“ in a Decatur, Georgia school that talked rationally to an alleged gunman and convinced this person to surrender to the police. More details can be found on the Internet regarding this wonderful person, who certainly would have given her life for the students in her school.

Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology in 1994 from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State. In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. As author of the theoretical construct, iPredator, Dr. Nuccitelli is a cyberbullying, cyberstalking, online sexual predation, internet safety and Cyber Criminal Psychology educator & investigator.These are issues facing the children and youth of America and is beyond widespread; schools all across America could benefit from his programs and consistent  research.

In September 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli established iPredator Inc. offering the private & public sectors educational and advisory services regarding internet predators, cybercrime & the cybercriminal mind. In June 2013, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator officially launched their internet safety website, iPredator, providing an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services on internet safety, dangers of the internet and his iPredator. Concurrent with the website, Dr. Nuccitelli also regularly updates their Forensic & Cyber Criminal Psychology blog, Dark Psychology and internet safety blog, Dr. Internet Safety.

Dr. Nuccitelli became interested in the psychology and profiling of those who use Information and Communications Technology [ICT] to abuse, steal, taunt and victimize others online in 2009. In 2012, Dr. Nuccitelli and his colleagues grew even more determined to develop victimization prevention & intervention strategies for vulnerable online users. At the center of iPredator’s products, services and corporate mission is Dr. Nuccitelli’s two theoretical constructs, iPredator & Dark Psychology. Since 2009, Dr. Nuccitelli has dedicated himself to learning the psychological composition of those engaged in nefarious, deceptive & malevolent online activities in an effort to help solve these dangerous issues and a worldwide tragedy.  

Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C.
NYS Licensed Psychologist
iPredator Inc.
Ph: 347-871-2416
Website: iPredator

Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson: As a winning 2013 Fulbright scholar hosted by the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at the School of English Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University, Dr. Hill- Jackson, is a worthy Upton Sinclair winner. Upton would have loved this story, reminding so many that were loved and were lost decades later, and of the many sacrifices had gone unnoticed.

Fulbright scholars are recipients of a highly competitive, merit-based grant for international educational exchange. The Fulbright award was founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 as a means to facilitate intercultural understanding around the world. Dr. Hill-Jackson is a Clinical Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. Hill-Jackson is a tireless champion of students from marginalized communities and uses her stories about teaching in Camden, N.J. and community endeavors to rally future teachers to focus pedagogy on the voiceless. She is a nationally and university recognized educator having garnered: 2002 AERA/Spencer Award; 2007 Maybelline / People Magazine Women Who Empower Through Education Award; the 2008 Texas A&M University (TAMU) Association of Former Students Award for Distinguished Teaching; 2008 Transfer Camp Namesake; 2010 Student Lead Award for Teaching Excellence (SLATE) at TAMU; 2010 Outstanding Panhellenic Professor; and 2011 National Society of Collegiate Scholars Inspire Integrity Top 10 Finalist award. All of Hill-Jackson’s experiences are uniquely tethered to the advancement of educational justice.

As a scholar of critical teacher education and community studies at Texas A&M University, and knowing the blind-spots of history, she decided it was no longer acceptable for the stories of 70-plus war brides of color to go unheard so she applied for and won a Fulbright scholarship so that she could return and properly research the subject. Tiger Brides: Memories of Love and War from the G.I. Brides of Tiger Bay (in Cardiff, Wales) is the result of several months of interviewing Tiger Bay residents, G.I. brides and their children, local historians, World War 11 experts and anyone else who could help her to piece together the story of wartime black G.I.s and their brides. 

The ground breaking documentary “Tiger Brides” was created, narrated, co-produced and co-directed by Dr. Hill-Jackson. It was filmed and co-directed by Anthony and Simon Campbell, of 15th Floor Productions, who were born and raised in Tiger Bay. The inaugural U.S. screening of the documentary will be held in Houston February 2014. Hill-Jackson adds, “the documentary is another example of the lost perspectives of the voiceless. My job as a critical educator is not over until the stories of the under-represented are a part of the national war bride narrative. In this way, history is honored and I can walk the talk for future teachers.”

As a final for the Upton Sinclair recognition is the Houston ISD senior class winners of 186 million dollars in scholarships in 2013! We are grateful for the leadership teams and the great teachers who work with the student winners! The American Dream is alive and well!

Previous Upton Sinclair Award Winners:

2005: Gerald Bracey, Nicholas Colangelo, Elaine Garan, Martin Haberman, Jonathan Kozol, Peter and Pam Wright, Reid Lyon;

2006: John Stossel, Jan and Bob Davidson, Peyton Wolcott, Fred Baughman, M.D., Will Fitzhugh, Joel Turtel, Bernard Gassaway, Ned Davis, Her Highness Sheikah Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, “All the Children of the World”;

2007: Sean Hannity, Don Meyer, Ron Clark, Frank Wang, Harry and Rosemary Wong, Tracey McGrady, Dr. Eldo W. Bergman, Queen Rania of Jordan, Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, Ph.D., G. Gbaanador, MD, FACS, FICS, Bill Cecil,  Here’s to the Upton School Principals of America;

2008: Harold V. House, Kathleen Chamberlain, Dee Alpert, Kevin Donnelly, Dona Matthews, Ph.D., Aisha Ussery, Collin Hannaford, Andrew Rotherham, Jim Zellmer., JoAnn Collins;

2009: E.D. Hirsch, Jay Mathews, John Goodlad, Billy Reagan, Geoffrey Canada, Frerick Hess Jay Hartling;

2010: Tom Watkins, Marlena Vaughn, Susan Ohanian, Dr. Marion Blank, Neal McCluskey, Ernest Boyer (Posthumously), Mr. Pierre Fignole, Chris Woodhead, Diane Ravitch, Ph.D.

2011: C. M. Rubin, Tavis Smiley, Joe Nathan, Ann Thompson, James Webb, Kiernan Egan, Professor Hani Q. Khoury

2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, CT , individuals, who gave their lives for their pupils and in the service of education individuals, who gave their lives for their pupils and in the service of education. First responders for their courage and on-going assistance in the little town where Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, CT , took a worldwide human race to its knees. Bless Be the Tie That Binds Our Hearts.

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  1. Donna Garner ~ What if she was right about HB5? | VOICES EMPOWER - […] to Donna Garner one of our heroes for being an Upton Sinclair Award winner! So excited and proud to work…

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