DALLAS—December 8, 2009—The National Staff Development Council presented the Contribution to the Field award to Thomas Guskey and Shirley Hord. This award is NSDC’s highest honor bestowed to an individual for his or her impact on the field of professional development.
Thomas Guskey has improved the effectiveness of professional development leaders across the world by bridging the gap between education research and practice. Guskey is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Kentucky and served as director of research and development for Chicago Public schools. An expert in evaluation design and analysis, Guskey was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association and served on the Task Force that developed the NSDC Standards.

“Tom Guskey is a master at helping people understand how to put complex ideas into practice,” said Charles Mason, NSDC President. “His leadership has helped improve staff development planning and evaluation in school systems across the country.”

Shirley Hord’s achievements as an educator, researcher, international consultant, and author have made her a true pioneer of professional learning. Hord retired as Scholar Emerita from Southwest Education Development Laboratories in 1997. She served as a Fellow of the National Center for Effective Schools Research and Development and as U.S. representative to the Foundation for the International School Improvement Project. Her 57-year career includes notable research efforts on the change process such as Concerns-Based Adoption Model, NSDC Standards, Innovation Configuration Maps, and Professional Learning Communities.

NSDC President Charles Mason said, “No one cares more deeply about the relationship between professional learning and student learning. Shirley Hord’s PLC research serves as the foundation for the movement.”

NSDC presented the prestigious award at its 41st Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. NSDC’s annual awards program recognizes individuals for their commitment to improving student achievement through effective professional learning. The School Improvement Network sponsored the 2009 awards.

Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.