The Simmons Luminary Award honors individuals or organizations who have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people’s lives through education.
Click here for the full article discussing this year's recipients and the significance of the Simmons Luminary Award.
North Texas Honoree
The Dallas Arboretum brings nature to Pre-K through high school students in their classrooms and provides hands-on programs at the Arboretum about plants and geology correlated to school curriculums. The eight-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, opening at the Arboretum in the spring, will create an outdoor science laboratory with 17 thematic galleries. The Simmons School works closely with Arboretum educators evaluating the effectiveness of their work. Research shows that Arboretum lessons improve students’ performance on standardized tests.
Daniel P. King, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
Daniel P. King, the 2013 Texas Superintendent of the Year, has pioneered school programs that significantly reduce dropout rates and increase college enrollment rates. As superintendent of Hidalgo ISD and now Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, King created Early College High Schools featuring dual college credit for high-schoolers. As a result, dropout rates have decreased by 90 percent and the number of graduates enrolling in college has doubled. The program’s success has inspired statewide legislation designed to curb the dropout rate by supporting partnerships between school districts and community colleges.
America's Promise Alliance
Founded in 1997 by Gen. Colin Powell, America’s Promise Alliance, is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people. With Alma Powell as its current chair and more than 400 national partners, America’s Promise has been at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing young people, specifically the high school dropout crisis. Through its Grad Nation campaign, it has created a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities that are working together to end the dropout crisis and raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020.