CTY director rewarded for her contribution to public education
Virginia Roach, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, is this year’s recipient of the Medalist Award from the New York Academy of Public Education. Established in 1935, this is the academy’s highest honor, awarded annually to an individual who demonstrates commitment to improving the public education system.
Academy President Anthony Cavanna said the award reflects the profound impact Roach has had on public education throughout his career. Roach joined CTY in August after nine years as Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University and Dean of Bank Street College of Education, both in New York City. She was previously a professor and department chair at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University. She also served as the Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Last spring, Roach was on the list of “35 best women in higher education” published by Various issues in higher education.
Diversity, equity and inclusion have remained common themes throughout Roach’s career. She has taught special education and has been a mentor and champion for women in leadership positions in higher education. She has published over 100 articles on education policy and reform, special education, leadership development and equity in schools.
Since taking charge of CTY last summer, Roach has led listening sessions with parents, staff, alumni and external partners of CTY to learn more about the organization, brief his priorities and develop its five-year strategic plan. Some key areas of interest drawn from these sessions include expanded academic programs and partnerships with schools; increased efforts to meet the needs of high school students during their transition to college; and an enhanced research program that includes a review of CTY’s own assessment practices.
“Throughout my life, I have been deeply moved by the needs of disenfranchised people, both through educational policy and through community service,” said Roach, who is the mother of twice exceptional child, a term that refers to gifted children who also have a disability. “My parents, who were very involved in their community, instilled this in me. I think it is my responsibility to try and do something to help children with extraordinary educational needs, with economic inequalities, those who are who do not see their needs met at school; and people who are systematically discriminated against in their school or workplace. These issues drive my work here at CTY. “
Cavanna said Roach “will join a select group of people who have been honored by the Academy and who reflect the breadth of influence in government, history, publishing, science, dance, theater , journalism, as well as the advancement and support of schools at all levels. “
Past Medalist Award recipients include biochemist and author Isaac Asimov; US Education Commissioner James E. Allen Jr .; and historian, author and educator Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
Roach will accept his award virtually at the Academy’s board meeting next month.