Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear to Receive The National Dropout Prevention Network’s 2014 Crystal Star Award for Distinguished Leadership and Service

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

CLEMSON, SCKentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear will receive the National Dropout Prevention Network’s (NDPN) 2014 Crystal Star Award for Distinguished Leadership and Service during the organization’s upcoming national conference in Louisville, KY, it was announced today by Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Reynolds, Executive Director of NDPN.

“Governor Beshear and the First Lady have demonstrated their commitment to education by championing programs and legislation designed to ensure that students throughout the state not only graduate high school but are college- and career-ready,” said Reynolds. “Their example is certainly one to emulate and we are pleased to recognize their leadership in dropout prevention with the Crystal Star Award.”

Established in 1986 and headquartered in Clemson, South Carolina on the Clemson University campus, the National Dropout Prevention Network provides research, resources, evidence-based solutions and support to schools, districts, administrators and communities throughout the country in combatting dropout and increasing graduation rates. The organization’s Crystal Star Award is presented annually to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated their commitment to education and to bettering the lives of others.

A two-term Governor first elected to office in 2007, Beshear (D) and the First Lady – a former teacher – worked with both chambers of the General Assembly to introduce, pass, and implement Senate Bill 97 (SB 97) also known as the Kentucky Graduation Bill.

SB 97 is the most far-reaching dropout prevention legislation created in Kentucky, and raises the permissible dropout age from 16 to 18 years old for every student in the state.

“Keeping students enrolled in school is just the first step,” said Governor Beshear. “We must also keep them engaged and on the path to graduation and success in college, career and life. Preventing dropouts strengthens our economy and workforce, and improves the standard of living for every citizen.”

Governor Beshear and the First Lady were also instrumental in bringing the NDPN National Conference to the Louisville so that educators attending from throughout the state can learn first-hand about the latest effective strategies and initiatives in dropout prevention.

The presentation to the Governor and First Lady will take place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at The Galt House Hotel. The presentation is for invited guests. Media representatives interested in providing coverage of the awards may contact NDPC to confirm attendance, and secure the time and location of the event by calling (864) 656-3875.

Individual winners of the NDPN’s Crystal Star Awards in the area of dropout prevention include Kelly Tonsmeire, of the Alaska Staff Development Network in Douglas, AK, and Seith Bedard, of the Peabody Learning Academy, in Peabody, MA. Program recipients of the Crystal Star Award for 2014 are Mountain Educational Charter High School in Cleveland, GA and Edmonton Catholic Schools in Alberta, Canada. All of the NDPN Crystal Star Award winners will be recognized during the November 4 festivities. Following the awards, all media will be serviced with post-event information and photographs of the Crystal Star Award recipients.