AAP PreK-12 Learning Group Hosts Lamplighter Honors Gala to Celebrate Leaders in Educational Publishing

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The PreK-12 Learning Group of The Association of American Publishers (AAP) presented the inaugural Lamplighter Honors for Leadership in Educational Publishing on December 9. The honorees were Dame Marjorie Scardino, Dan Caton, Peter H. Reynolds, Michael Jay, and Ira Wolfman.

The PreK-12 Learning Group of The Association of American Publishers (AAP) presented the inaugural Lamplighter Honors for Leadership in Educational Publishing on December 9 to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the learning resource industry and the ongoing mission of helping every child receive a world-class education. Awards were presented to Marjorie Scardino, Dan Caton, Peter H. Reynolds, Michael Jay, and Ira Wolfman. The awards were presented at the Lamplighter Honors Gala which was held at the Russian Tea Room in New York, NY.

The guest speaker at the gala was Richard Robinson, Chairman, CEO and President of Scholastic Inc. During his speech he described the important role of the learning resource industry, stating that the work of educational publishers "directly impacts how teachers teach and how students learn."

The Hall of Fame Award, which is the highest award of merit among the Lamplighter Honors, is given to those with an outstanding history of accomplishments. The PreK-12 Learning Group announced Dame Marjorie Scardino, former CEO of Pearson and Dan Caton, President of Wittel Morris Strategic Consulting and former President of McGraw-Hill Education as the 2013 Hall of Fame Award winners.

Dame Marjorie Scardino was presented the Hall of Fame Award by Will Etheridge, CEO of Pearson North American Education. Mr. Etheridge praised her for her success in leading Person, stating, "she managed to pull off a remarkable transformation" by embracing technology and innovation to develop a more personalized model of learning. As further testament to her multimedia expertise, Dame Marjorie was announced last week as the first female board member of Twitter.

During her acceptance speech, Dame Marjorie shared her vision for the kind person who will win a Hall of Fame Award in five years: "The person who wins this award will have fought for curriculum reform. Or fought for curriculum destruction." She also described how learning resource professionals are capable of improving society on a fundamental level through education.

Beth Wray, former Senior Vice President of Pearson presented the Hall of Fame Award to Dan Caton. Ms. Wray stated that Dan believed "success was a team sport" and described his keen ability to build collaborations across disparate departments. Mr. Caton is renowned for his innovative and collaborative approach to educational publishing since the 1970's and for his leadership in guiding various companies in their development of digital instructional materials. "As learning resource providers," Mr. Caton said, "we drive markets - we don't just respond to them." He further described how the industry is in a prime position to transform school curricula and has an obligation to the students it serves.

The Visionary Award is given to mid-career professionals for their insight and exceptional leadership. Peter H. Reynolds, Co-Founder of FableVision and NY Times bestselling children’s book author and illustrator was announced as the 2013 Visionary Award winner. At the gala celebration, the Award was presented by Paul Reynolds, Peter’s twin brother and also the Co-Founder and CEO of FableVision. Paul Reynolds described their first venture in publishing together as children, when they created a newspaper with the help of a photocopy machine. Here, he said, they discovered not just "the joy of creation, but also the joy of sharing" made possible by having multiple copies to distribute to others.

During his speech, Peter Reynolds remarked on the importance on tapping the unique interests and skills of individuals in order to address the fact that 600,000 children per year are failing to attain high school diplomas.

The Ambassador Award and the Member of the Year Award are two Member Awards created by the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group to recognize the contributions of specific members who have helped further the mission of the organization. The Ambassador Award is given to an individual that has helped establish strong relationships across the learning resource community and the Member of the Year Award is given to a member who has provided tremendous support to the Learning Group.

The Member Awards were presented by David Beacom, Publisher and Associate Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Co-Chair of the Executive Council of the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group. In introducing the member awards, he emphasized that all of the activities and programs of the Learning Group cannot happen without input from the members. He further stated that the success of the organization is built on a "crucial partnership" between members and staff.

Michael Jay, CEO of Educational Systemics was the winner of the Ambassador Award. During his speech, Mr. Jay, a former science teacher, described his enduring fascination with learning and education, his love of science, and the necessity of devoting more resources to the education of at-risk students. Mr. Beacom described Michael Jay's significant contributions to the Content in Context conference by not only helping to attract new attendees but by "developing original content that speaks to all areas of the learning resource industry".

Ira Wolfman, President and Chief Consultant of POE Communications was announced as the Member of the Year. During his acceptance speech Mr. Wolfman expressed gratitude to the Learning Group staff, describing them as "intrepid professionals" and to his fellow members for the honor. David Beacom praised Mr. Wolfman for his devotion to the organization by saying "he has helped set an example" for all members who want to contribute more fully to the mission of the PreK-12 Learning Group.

The Lamplighter Honors Gala was generously sponsored by Pearson, Cengage, FableVision, and Scholastic Inc.

Significance of the Lamplighter
The PreK-12 Learning Group adopted the name “lamplighter” as an homage to the Golden Lamp Awards, the original and enduring recognition program, and as a continuation of its long-time use of the lamp and flame as symbols of learning. These Honors acknowledge those who have, in various ways, provided a guiding light to students, educators, and fellow professionals on their paths towards knowledge and advancement.

About the Lamplighter Honors for Educational Publishing
The Lamplighter Honors were established earlier this year by the PreK-12 Learning Group to celebrate individuals that have made a positive impact on the lives and endeavors of those throughout the learning resource community, including students, educators, and their fellow professionals. These thought leaders, who are at various stages in their careers, have made significant contributions through their ideas, talents, and tenacity. The program includes four awards: The Hall of Fame Award (established in 1996), the Visionary Award (established in 2013), the Ambassador Award (established in 2013), and the Member of the Year Award (established in 2001).

About the PreK-12 Learning Group
A division within Association of American Publishers (AAP), the PreK-12 Learning Group serves its diverse membership by providing valuable resources and industry intelligence; fostering a fair, competitive and robust market; and encouraging the development of professional, quality content for teaching and learning. The Learning Group engages state, local, and federal policy leaders on such issues as funding, curriculum, testing, and literacy, and also organizes events, awards, and programs to support professionals at all levels. In 2013, the School Division of the AAP merged with the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) to form the PreK-12 Learning Group, which combines AAP's proven strengths in advocacy and legal affairs with AEP's successful programs for the benefit of its members. Read more at http://www.AEPweb.org.

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