The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Awards the Inaugural Champion for Change Award to Dr. James Meredith

On Friday, June 9th, The National Board recognized Dr. James Meredith by awarding him the inaugural Champions for Change award. Dr. Meredith is an individual who passionately advocates for our mission of ensuring that every child benefits from the transformative impact of Board-certified teachers. 

Dr. Meredith is a revered civil rights activist and figure in education that has dedicated his life to improving the lives of children in Mississippi and beyond. He demonstrates an unwavering commitment to educational equity, tirelessly working to create opportunities for historically marginalized students. His efforts unite communities and propel the movement toward having a Board-certified teacher in every classroom. 

Today’s celebration stems from a simple email response nearly two years ago, where, at 87, Dr. Meredith not only expressed support for the National Board’s initiative to increase the number of Teachers of Color obtaining Board Certification but embraced it as a cause worthy of his continued dedication. His passion and call to action resulted in almost 1,000 teachers applying for 300 positions in the Technology Integration for Mississippi Educators (TIME) cohort. Dr. Meredith’s steadfast commitment is evident through his continued appearances at community conversations and events, where he provides encouragement and emphasizes the significance of their work. Collaborating with his team, he secured a quarter of a million dollars in additional funding, enabling more teachers to overcome obstacles and pursue certification.

“We are grateful for Dr. Meredith’s relentless pursuit of equality, courage to face adversity, and belief in the power of education,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, President and CEO of National Board.

The National Board is honored to present Dr. Meredith with this award as we continue to build up our efforts to build a more diverse and equitable teaching profession.

About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (

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 mean better learning for students.