Award Winning Educators and Parents Call for Support for Public Schools

The Learning First Alliance will bring together exemplary educators and parents who serve in a wide range of roles in public schools to discuss the pursuit of excellence in all public schools and how lawmakers and communities can support public education. The panel will be held Feb. 26, 2020, from 2-3:15 p.m. ET, in Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

LFA, a coalition representing 10 million parents, teachers, administrators, specialists and school board members, will host the discussion as part of Public Schools Week 2020, held Feb. 24-28, 2020.

“America’s public schools educate the vast majority of our students in the United States, regardless of ability, race, wealth, language, religion, zip code or country of origin,” said Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association. “Public schools are the cornerstone of our communities. We’re asking our federal lawmakers, state officials and community leaders to recognize the important roles that public schools play in securing our students’ and our nation’s future and asking them to give public schools their full support.”

Panel participants include:

  • Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association and elementary school teacher, Utah (panel moderator).
  • Dr. Curtis Jones, AASA’s 2019 National Superintendent of the Year, Bibb County School District, Ga.
  • Laura Ross, ASCA’s 2020 School Counselor of the Year, Five Forks Middle School, Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Kerensa Wing, NASSP’s 2020 Principal of the Year, Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, Ga.
  • Leslie Boggs, 2019-21 President of National PTA.
  • Lesley Bruinton, APR, Public Relations Coordinator of Tuscaloosa City Schools, Ala., and President-elect of the National School Public Relations Association.
  • Dr. Andy Jacks, NAESP Center for Innovative Leadership Fellow, 2018 Virginia Principal of the Year, and a 2018 National Distinguished Principal, Ashland Elementary School, Manassas, Va.
  • Ashley Kearney, DCPS Public School Teacher of the Year 2020 and math teacher, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School; Washington Teachers Union, Washington, D.C.
  • ElizaBeth Branham, president, National School Boards Association; school trustee, Lexington School District 2, and attorney, West Columbia, S.C.

Educators and communities will celebrate Public Schools Week 2020 by inviting the public to see how their schools are fulfilling what many consider the purpose of education: developing young people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes so that they graduate from high school ready for college, career and citizenship.

“This is the first time we’ve brought together real-life practitioners from such a broad range of fields to show how they work together to help students and schools succeed,” said Richard M. Long, executive director of the Learning First Alliance. “These are educators who have been lauded by their peers, and this gathering will show their strength and our pride in our nation’s public schools.”

House and Senate lawmakers also will sponsor resolutions supporting public education as part of Public Schools Week 2020.

For more information about Public Schools Week 2020 go to and use #PublicSchoolProud to share on social media.

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