Akron Public Schools Board Member Receives 2015 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award

October 2, 2015

Alexandria, Va. (October 2, 2015) - The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA’s) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2015 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award: Akron Public Schools Board Member, Reverend Dr. Curtis T. Walker Sr.

A minister of Beth-El African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Walker has served as a member of the Board of Education of the Akron City School District since 2000. Walker served as President of the Board of Education in 2006 and again for two back-to-back one-year terms during 2010 and 2011, providing outstanding leadership and guidance to the Board. Currently on the Joint Board of Review, Walker represented the Akron Board of Education while serving as Vice President of the Ohio School Boards Association’s (OSBA) Black Caucus during 2011. Walker also served as the Northeast Region representative on the OSBA Legislation Platform Committee during 2013.

“NSBA presents the Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award to individuals who demonstrate long-standing commitment to the educational needs of urban school children,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association. “Reverend Dr. Walker through his dedication and service been an outstanding advocate and champion for student achievement in his community.”

“For decades Rev. Dr. Curtis T. Walker has been the epitome of a servant leader. Whether preaching to the congregation or ensuring that the right teaching was taking place in Akron classrooms, Rev. Dr. Walker has been there for the people of Akron, said Van Henri White, CUBE Steering Committee Chair and President of the Rochester New York School Board. “Indeed, long before Akron School District embarked upon its $800 million dollar "Imagine Akron" school building program, Rev. Dr. Walker had the courage and faith to "imagine" that the schools of Akron could "build" Akron students into responsible, intelligent, and successful citizens.”

"There is no better person to receive the Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award than Reverend Dr. Curtis T. Walker, Sr.,” said Richard Lewis, Executive Director, Ohio School Boards Association. “He is always working to improve student achievement in his district and throughout the state. Curtis demonstrates his commitment to improve the lives of children every day."

"Reverend Walker is the heart of the Board.  His faith and endurance have made him a mentor to many of us,” said Lisa Mansfield, Board President, Akron Public Schools. “We are so grateful for his professionalism, guidance, and compassion. He has always put the children and families of Akron first."  

More information on CUBE and past winners of the Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award is available on CUBE’s webpage.

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The National School Boards Association is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school board associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S.

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