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Mary John O’Hair Receives National Innovation Award

photo of O'Hair and Elgart
Dean Mary John O’Hair (left) received the AdvancED Innovation Award at the 2012 AdvancED International Summit on June 26. With O’Hair is Mark A. Elgart, president and chief executive officer of AdvancED.

Mary John O’Hair has been honored by AdvancED® with the AdvancED Innovation Award for her unparalleled leadership in promoting and advancing excellence in global and international education. O’Hair received the award on Tuesday, June 26, at the AdvancED International Summit 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Since becoming Dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, O’Hair has worked to build collaborative partnerships with the educational community in Kentucky including the Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky public school systems, local colleges and universities, and AdvancED.

Because O’Hair’s education experience and expertise spans both K-12 public school and higher learning education, she has been able to successfully develop opportunities to bridge these two spectrums creating a more unified and collaborative education system focused on improved student achievement, college and career readiness, and greater alignment to educational research.

O’Hair also is Executive Director of the Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab at the University of Kentucky. Her visionary leadership led to the establishment of the P20 Innovation Lab to link university research and innovation to issues faced in schools and communities.

The Innovation Award is known widely as one of AdvancED’s most prestigious awards for recognizing achievements in education. O’Hair has shown success:

Being an innovative change agent who has taken on the risk of changing the way things are in order to create a greater usefulness and value to the profession.
Demonstrating dedication to the education community by creating opportunities that significantly benefit stakeholders in new and different ways.
Being committed to team-centered collaboration by uniting disparate constituencies in creating innovative opportunities and promoting collegiality.
Creating sustained and effective implementation of the innovation that has resulted in widespread impact for students.
Establishing new standards of excellence by creating innovative opportunities that welcome ideas, empower others, engender creativity, build trust, and encourage others to be innovative.

About AdvancED
AdvancED is a global enterprise, operating three regional accrediting agencies, accrediting 30,000 institutions in over 70 countries serving over 16 million students. AdvancED is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).

Accreditation is a process of helping institutions improve through a systematic program of evaluation, assuring that an institution not only meets quality standards, but also that it demonstrates a continuous commitment to providing quality education programs that are aimed at improving student performance.

For more information, please visit www.advanc-ed.org.

Special thanks to Kimberly Leidgertwood, director of communications at AdvancED, for providing this story.