The New Jersey Association for Supervisor of Curriculum Development (NJASCD) awarded its highest honor, the Dr. Ernest L. Boyer Outstanding Educator Award, to Patricia Wright, Executive Director of NJPSA, during the NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD Fall Conference in Long Branch, NJ.
Dr. Ernest L. Boyer (1928-1995) had a remarkable career that spanned four decades as one of the most articulate and well-reasoned voices in the history of American education. He was highly regarded as an instructor, director, educator and, most influentially, a gifted leader whose impact on education has been formidable and lasting. Each year, this award is presented to an educator who has made a major contribution to the field of education and who has exemplified the vision, leadership qualities, and commitment to the improvement of education that characterized the career of Dr. Boyer. The award bearing his name serves to recognize and honor Dr. Boyer’s accomplishments, inspire the recipients to embrace the qualities and characteristics required to advance our profession, and encourage other educators to aspire to make a difference in the education of youth to shape a better future.
Pat Wright was presented the award on Friday, October 19, by NJASCD President Vincent Capuato, Executive Director Marie Adair, and NJDOE Commissioner Lamont Repollet, for her many lifelong career in public educational leadership and for her outstanding achievements in improving the climate and culture in New Jersey classrooms. She was the chair of the state’s anti-bullying task force, whose recommendations to the state legislature led to changes that focused on creating a climate and culture in schools where bullying is least likely to occur.
She is also the architect of the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR), a process for school improvement that brings coherence to the work of educators by connecting standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, educator effectiveness, and school climate and culture to the work of professional learning communities. The focus is on how educators collaborate to assist students in reaching the highest level of achievement. Guided by a common language and specific conversations, CAR creates a coherent plan for systemic implementation of effective practice, and makes curriculum development a priority – a shift from program to practice.
Wright considers this recognition one of the most significant moments in her career. “Winning this award is just unbelievable to me,” she said. “I have watched through the years, so many of the people who have inspired me and so many of my colleagues step forward to receive this award. I guess for me, it just makes me hopeful that somewhere along the line, I did make a difference.”