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NASBE Honors Three D.C. Recipients for Service and Policy Leadership Awards

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Washington, D.C.—This week, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) honored three D.C. recipients with awards—former State Board Executive Director John-Paul C. Hayworth, Jefferson Academy Librarian KC Boyd, and former Student Representative Alex O’Sullivan. 

“The D.C. State Board of Education is incredibly honored that NASBE has highlighted and honored the work of the members of our D.C. education community. Their contributions and engagement are reflective of the level of passion and dedication we strive for as we continue to champion for equity in education,” Jessica Sutter, President of the D.C. State Board of Education said.

John-Paul C. Hayworth Honored for Dedicated Service to NASBE and the D.C. State Board of Education.

John-Paul C. Hayworth is honored with the David A. Kysilko Award for his dedicated service to the D.C. State Board of Education as its former Executive Director, for multiple terms of service as President of the National Council of State Board of Education Executives (NCSBEE), and for being a NASBE affiliate organization and as an ex-officio member of the NASBE Board of Directors.

Hayworth led the D.C. State Board from 2015 to 2022. During his tenure, the D.C. State Board adopted its statewide accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), approved student learning standards for multiple subjects, and approved standards for accreditation and certification of teacher preparation programs. He also advocated for inclusion of student representatives on the State Board and development of a vibrant Student Advisory Committee. He is now the LGBTQ_+ Audience Strategy Director for AARP.

“We deeply appreciate John-Paul’s wealth and breadth of knowledge about education policymaking, the generosity of spirit he consistently displayed, and his commitment to elevating student voice and serving the students of the District,” said Paolo DeMaria, NASBE President and CEO. 

NASBE Names D.C. Public School Librarian KC Boyd as Policy Leader of the Year.

KC Boyd, a 20-year school librarian and education activist in the District of Columbia, is recognized for her policy contributions to public education. A staunch advocate and activist for school libraries and librarians, Boyd has elevated equity and funding for public school libraries to ensure that every child has access to books in which they see themselves reflected.

Notably, Boyd has advocated strongly for the District’s Students Right to Read Amendment Act of 2021, which would ensure funding sufficient for every D.C. public school to maintain a school library. In testimony supporting the bill, Boyd underscored how critical the support for school libraries was for expanding education opportunities for D.C.’s most vulnerable students and for attracting talent to D.C. public schools. She also advocated for funding and technology to enable librarians to develop high-quality lesson plans that lead to positive learning outcomes for all students. Boyd, recently named School Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal for her transformative work at Jefferson Middle School Academy.

“The Policy Leader of the Year award is the highest honor that state board of education members can bestow,” said NASBE President and CEO Paolo DeMaria. “We are happy to recognize the exemplary service of Ms. Boyd in ensuring all children have access to the libraries and books that are so critical to their learning and development.”

NASBE Names Alex O’Sullivan 2022 Distinguished Service Award Recipient.

Each year, the NASBE presents Distinguished Service Awards, which are the highest awards that NASBE gives to individuals who have served as members of state boards—recognizing their efforts on behalf of education.

Alex O’Sullivan, exhibited dedicated service to the D.C. State Board, and made a significant impact serving as a Student Representative and working to amplify student voices in the work of the D.C. State Board. As a Student Representative, O’Sullivan was an active leader of the Student Advisory Committee and helped support student needs during the pandemic. O’Sullivan co-sponsored the D.C. State Board’s resolution SR20-9, which includes recommendations on increasing the recruitment and retention of Black/African-American teachers. He also was instrumental in the proposal and passage of SR21-3, which increased the number of Student Representatives actively serving on the D.C. State Board from two members to four, a shift which mandates that at least one student representative come from a school in Wards 7 or 8. 

In January 2022, the State Board passed a resolution formally recognizing the contributions of O’Sullivan,” stating that he “has proven himself to be a dedicated scholar and State Board representative even as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students in immeasurable ways.”

For a full list of award recipients, visit



Contact: Milayo Olufemi


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