NEA President Van Roekel presented the award to O’Malley in front of the 9,000 educators who are attending NEA’s Representative Assembly in New Orleans. The Maryland governor is only the third person to receive this prestigious award. Previous winners were Gov. Richardson of New Mexico and Gov. Easley of North Carolina.
Some of O’Malley’s other accomplishments: reinvigorating Maryland’s Career and Technology Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs statewide, and launching the comprehensive Maryland STEM Innovation Network to promote the delivery of high quality STEM education at all levels throughout the state.
“Governor O’Malley is a strong advocate for public education. He has made great strides in increasing school funding, expanding school programs, and taking the needs of the whole child into account in education policy decisions. O’Malley listens to parents, educators and community members when making policy decisions that affect Maryland’s public schools. He continues to be a champion of public education and truly believes, as we do, that education will lead to a brighter and better future for all of us.
Lots of governors like to think of themselves as education governors, but Governor O’Malley has really earned that accolade.”
Dennis Van Roekel, NEA President
"Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy, and especially in these difficult times, we must remember that it is also the key to moving our economy forward and the key to our future. In Maryland, we've made some very tough decisions to protect funding for our schools, and it is paying off.
We've worked with our Maryland teachers to create the No. 1 public school system in the nation two years in a row. I'm honored that the NEA recognizes our strong partnership and the great results it has produced with this award."
Martin O’Malley, Maryland Gov.
The National Education Association is the nations largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.