Marking the 10th anniversary of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education, the McGraw-Hill Cos. honored this year’s prize winners at a ceremony in New York City last week.
Each year, McGraw-Hill, a leading educational publisher based in New York, recognizes outstanding individuals whose accomplishments, it says, are making a difference in education, and whose programs and ideas can serve as models. Each honoree receives a gift of $25,000.
The 1997 prize winners are: former first lady Barbara Bush; J.W. Carmichael Jr., a chemistry professor at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans; Diana Natalicio, the president of the University of Texas at El Paso; and Vera M. White, the principal of Jefferson Junior High School in Washington.
Mrs. Bush was honored as a public champion of literacy. As the founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, she has worked to improve the reading skills of parents and their children.
Mr. Carmichael, who advises premed students at Xavier, has developed programs to help change the way science and mathematics are taught at independent colleges. Those efforts have raised student test scores, and helped boost Xavier to its No. 1 ranking in placing African-American students in medical schools.
As a university president in Texas, Ms. Natalicio is cited for reaching out to a largely Hispanic student population, bringing unprecedented growth to her campus in the last 10 years, and promoting diversity.
Principal White has stressed character education and high expectations in promoting academic achievement for her students, according to McGraw-Hill, and has made Jefferson Junior High one of the District of Columbia’s top-ranked public schools.
--ADRIENNE D. COLES