Simmons School Luminary Award logo

Event Information

The 2020 Simmons Luminary Award will take place on March 12, 2020. The Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. The Dinner and the presentation will start at 7:00 p.m. The Simmons Luminary Award honors individuals or organizations who have shown an extraordinary commitment to improving people's lives through education. Three award winners will be recognized at this event and represent a local honoree, regional honoree, and national honoree.


2020 Honorees

Big Thought

Big Thought logo

North Texas Honoree

Big Thought equips youth in marginalized communities to imagine and create their best lives and world. At its core, Big Thought empowers you to build their creative muscle, develop social and emotional skills and well-being, and create their authentic voice. Big Thought was established more than 30 years ago with the idea that all young people should have the opportunity to experience the arts. As we grew, our mission and work expanded. Throughout its history, Big Thought has been recognized as a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning, juvenile justice intervention and social-emotional learning.

Byron Sanders is a committed advocate for education, economic development, and creating equitable communities throughout Dallas, Texas. As the president and CEO of Big Thought, he works each day to explore innovative ways to narrow the opportunity gap for children.

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Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas service mark

Regional Honoree

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is building a pipeline of strong, confident girls. As the expert in how girls learn, Girl Scouts provides relevant programming that focuses on life skills, STEM, entrepreneurship and the outdoors – helping girls develop the confidence to know they can do anything they put their minds to. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 25,000 girls and 12,000 adult volunteers across 32 counties. In 2018, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas opened the STEM Center of Excellence, a 92-acre state-of-the-art camp just outside of Dallas where girls can experience programs in astronomy, robotics, coding, computer science and more. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas was recognized as a 2018 Tech Titan Technology Advocate Finalist, 2017 Million Women Mentors Stand Up for STEM Award, and 2016 CNM Connect Nonprofit of the Year. Learn more at or call 972-349-2400.

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Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

National Honoree

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is committed to developing networks of ideas, individuals, and institutions to advance teaching and learning. We join together scholars, practitioners, and designers in new ways to solve problems of educational practice.

Toward this end, we work to integrate the discipline of improvement science into education with the goal of building the field’s capacity to improve.

We are initiators. We test innovations on the ground. Once we understand what works and why and in what contexts, we communicate that information to enable others to make change happen in classrooms.

We are innovators. We hone in on “high leverage problems” – those that affect large numbers of students.

We are integrators. With our collaborators, we learn from each other, improve on what we know works and continuously create new knowledge. We take what we learn and make it usable by others.

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