Dr.  Rebecca Palacios to Receive Prestigious James A. Kelly Award

ARLINGTON, VA. — The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is excited to announce that Dr. Rebecca Palacios, co-founder and former vice-chair of the National Board, will receive the National Board’s James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching on November 16. 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. Rebecca Palacios serves as the Senior Curriculum Advisor for Age of Learning, Inc., where she works to plan strategic curriculm, design age-appropriate learning activities, and help to develop content to support English language learning. As a pioneer in dual-language learning, Dr. Palacios has served on committees for the National Science Foundation, the Education Development Center in Boston, and Scholastic, Inc. 

Dr. Palacios taught preschool for over 30 years in Corpus Christi, Texas, and received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Palacios was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2014 and is the co-founder and former vice-chairperson of an organization that has certified more than 100,000 teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. With over 30 years of experience in early childhood education and dual language learning, Dr. Palacios has also published many articles on teacher professional development, dual language programs, and early childhood education. 

“We are delighted to honor Dr. Rebecca Palacios with our James Kelly Award this year,” said National Board President and CEO Peggy Brookins. “Her continual dedication to improving our education system through curriculum and early childhood dual language learning truly shows that Dr. Palacios values equal education for all and deeply cares about the children she teaches.”

Dr. Palacios said she is honored to receive this prestigious award. “I am honored to receive the James A. Kelly Award, an award that so thoroughly embodies what it takes to be an educator and the dedication it takes to be a leader in education. Most of my 30-year career has been aimed towards improving early childhood education and dual language learning, which seeks to improve the American educational system. I strongly believe that improving early childhood education has long-lasting impacts on the growth of our children for the rest of their lives.”

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.

The Kelly Award will be presented to Dr. Palacios at a ceremony at the Hyatt Centric Arlington in Arlington, VA. 

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.