Boston University School of Education Announces 2006 Alumni Awards

in News Releases, School of Education, University Affairs
May 9th, 2006

Contact: Erin Whipple, 617-358-1688 |

School of Education alumni were honored for outstanding achievement and service to their profession, community, and alma mater at the Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner on May 9, 2006.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding alumni with the Ida M. Johnston Award and the Dean Arthur Herbert Wilde Society Award. Nominees were selected out of more than 35,000 School of Education alumni members. The Ida M. Johnston Alumni Award was initiated to honor Professor Ida M. Johnston (SED’42,’43) at the time of her retirement from the faculty. The award, which is given annually by the School of Education Alumni Board to an alumnus or alumna, recognizes service to the profession, the community, and alma mater. Established by the Alumni Board in 1988, the Dean Arthur Herbert Wilde Society Award honors graduates of the School of Education for outstanding achievement and distinction in their profession; two awards are given each year.

The School of Education is pleased to announce the 2006 recipients:

Recipient of the School of Education Ida M. Johnston Award

Richard L. Schwab, SED’74

Richard L. Schwab has been the Dean of the Neag School of Education and a Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut since 1997. The Neag School of Education raised millions of dollars under Dr. Schwab’s exceptional leadership. During his tenure, the School raised its endowment to over $32 million dollars—including a $21 million gift to name the School—and received a five-year, $5 million Teachers for a New Era grant funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dean Schwab has created a national presence for the School, raised the School’s U.S. News & World Report ranking to 21st out of all schools of education in the country, and provided a strong, clear vision for the teacher preparation program that has made the Neag School of Education one of the premier programs in the nation.

Dr. Schwab is extremely motivated in his quest to strengthen American education systems by improving the quality of teachers and administrators. He has set out to do this by engaging learners at the Neag School more fully through internships in the practice of their profession. He has created the Integrated Bachelor’s/Masters (IB/M) Program and established partnerships throughout the state of Connecticut to provide student teaching opportunities for future educators and administrators. Dr. Schwab has received national commendations for the effectiveness, innovation, and excellence of these collaborations.

He is also recognized at the national level as an active member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. He has taught at the New Dean’s Institute and been appointed to the National Commission on Teaching America’s Future. He has numerous several publications and presentations to his credit, such as the Portrait of the Profession: Teaching Teachers in the 21st Century, which he co-edited, and Preparing Future Teacher Leaders: Experiences from the University of Connecticut’s Five Year Teacher Education Program. Dr. Schwab serves as a consultant for countless schools throughout the country on such issues as School Restructuring, Program Evaluation and Strategic Planning, Teacher Evaluation, Peer Coaching, and Merit Pay Programs. In 1999, he received the Pi Lambda Theta Outstanding Educator Award.

Recipients of the School of Education Arthur H. Wilde Society Awards

Leslye Abrutyn, SED’71

Dr. Leslye Abrutyn has devoted her time and her considerable efforts to improving school achievement through the use of technology as well as through parent and community outreach. She currently serves as Superintendent of the Penn-Delco School District in Aston, Pennsylvania, a position she has held since 1997. She oversees six schools accommodating 3,300 students and 525 employees in a district with a total of 26,000 citizens. In order to make sure that the schools are strongly linked to the district as a whole, Dr. Abrutyn distributes community newsletters, conducts seminars, and hosts special events for members of the community. She co-hosts “All About Education,” a weekly radio show, as well as a bi-weekly television program on educational issues.

Dr. Abrutyn is a strong advocate of the use of technology in the classroom. At the 2001 Technology and Learning Conference, she presented “Using Technology to Improve Achievement, Accountability, and Public Support.” That same year, she led the Penn-Delco district to distinction for their effective use of technology in schools. Of the 18 schools nationwide named Computer Curriculum Cooperation’s Honor Roll, four were in her district.

Darragh Callahan SED’70, ’94

Dr. Darragh Callahan has been nominated by SED Early Childhood Education Professor Jane Lannak to receive the Arthur H. Wilde Society Award because of her commitment to educational reform, to bettering the lives of children, teachers, and parents, and for her tireless pursuit of high quality, early childhood education programs. Her efforts began when she was named Chief of Child Development Services for the Department of the Army, Headquarters V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany and Chief of the Family Support Division in Berlin. She was responsible for all aspects of services to children and their families, and oversaw the professional development and training of thousands of individuals hired to work in newly established childcare programs. Dr. Callahan also led the effort to bring all of the childcare facilities into compliance after the Military Childhood Act was passed. She designed the “Kaleidoscope of Change,” a multimedia documentary depicting how childcare for families on military bases could be improved. The documentary was distributed Army-wide and it was presented to the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army.

Currently she serves on the Massachusetts Kindergarten Curriculum Committee; the Board of Horizons Initiative, which serves homeless children; and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society Early Childhood Planning Committee. Dr. Callahan remains connected to her alma mater by supervising both Elementary and Early Childhood Education student teachers at the School of Education.

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