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For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 3, 2003
Contact:Kimberly A. Beck 781-338-3105

Board of Education Member Receives National Award

Malden - William Irwin, Jr. a longstanding member of the State Board of Education has been chosen by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) to receive the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and commitment to serving students in Massachusetts Public Schools.

He is the first Massachusetts Board of Education member to receive this honor.

Irwin is the Director of the New England Carpenters Training Fund, and the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund. He also serves as President of the Building Trades Training Directors Association of Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts School to Work Executive Committee.

Irwin is being recognized for his distinguished years of service, leadership and outstanding contributions to public education.

His leadership has led to a revision of vocational education regulations that have raised standards for all students and aligns vocational education to standards based reform.

The federal School to Work initiative began in Massachusetts just five years ago. Through the efforts of the Board in which Irwin is a member, there are hundreds of school-business partnerships where students receive professional guidance on the work site and utilize work-based learning plans to enable them to enhance their technical/technological and academic skills.

Chairman of the Board of Education James Peyser offered in a nomination letter to NASBE, “We are proud of the great service Bill Irwin has given to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on behalf of the 975,000 students in our schools.”

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll also commended Irwin’s great work.

“Bill has had the courage to fight for strong standards for all students even when it wasn’t popular,” he said. “His leadership has helped thousands of students reach remarkable levels of achievement.”

Irwin is a graduate of Wilmington High School and the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Program, and attended Northern Essex Community College and Northeastern University.

Irwin has been a Board of Education member since 1990, as a representative of labor, and served as the Vice-Chairperson in 1992. His term expires in January 2005.

In 1999 he also received the “Hero in Education Award” presented by the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers.

Irwin will be honored at NASBE’s annual conference in Baltimore in October.

Last Updated: July 3, 2003
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