Dr. Mary Vixie Sandy Receives Prestigious James A. Kelly Award

ARLINGTON, VA. — The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is excited to announce that Dr. Mary Vixie Sandy, the Executive Director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, received the National Board’s James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching on November 11, 2022. The Kelly Award, named after James A. Kelly, Founding President and CEO of the National Board, recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of accomplished teaching.

Dr. Mary Vixie Sandy serves as the Executive Director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the nation’s oldest independent standards board for educators. As a policy leader with more than 30 years’ experience working in higher education and government, she currently oversees public policy related to educator preparation and licensing and directs an agency that awards over 250,000 credential documents per year and accredits more than 250 colleges, universities and local education agencies offering educator preparation programs.

Previously, Dr. Vixie Sandy served as the Executive Director of the UC Davis School of Education CRESS Center, as an Associate Director of Teacher Education and Public School Programs with the California State University Chancellor’s Office, and as a policy analyst for the California Department of Education and the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Dr. Sandy holds a Doctorate in Education from UC Berkeley, a Master’s Degree in Education from UC Davis, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Sonoma State University. Her professional focus is on building the capacity of teachers, leaders, public schools and communities to meet the needs of California’s diverse student body.  

“We are so excited to honor Dr. Vixie Sandy with our James Kelly Award this year”, said National Board President and CEO Peggy Brookins. “She truly exemplifies what it means to be an accomplished teacher, and to work for the advancement of our profession and the values that guide it. We are grateful to have her as a partner in the important work of furthering American education.” 

 “It is such an honor to receive this award–  named after James Kelley, who embodies what it means to be a quality educator and a powerful advocate. I have spent my 30 year career in policy and government working to support and develop the educators our students need to meet their highest potential. I believe deeply in the power and far-reaching impact of quality education and accomplished teachers.” 

Since its inception in 1999, the James A. Kelly Award has honored individuals who embody the following traits, reflecting the legacy of James A. Kelly:

  • A deep-seated belief in the inherent right of all children to receive a quality education;
  • A professional life dedicated to improving education for teachers and their students;
  • A passionate commitment to improving teaching and learning in America;
  • Unwavering dedication to the professional integrity and competence of teachers;
  • Visionary and boundless energy, eternal optimism, and expert leadership;
  • An innate capacity to inspire collaboration and mobilize support that enabled unparalleled achievements in the history of American education reform; and
  • A clear vision coupled with steadfast commitment and fierce determination which has led to historic milestones in American education and a meaningful impact on teaching and learning.

Past recipients of this award include President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, the Honorable Richard Riley, the Honorable Arlen Specter; the Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr. the Honorable Roy Barnes, the Honorable Ted Strickland, Barbara Kelley, Edward Rust, Jr., Linda Darling-Hammond, Michael Kirst, Mary Futrell, Barnett Berry, and Ron Thorpe.

About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (www.nbpts.org)

The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.